Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Done in by math again

This is what I get for doing math, y’all.

I posted a picture on Facebook of me and Sean facetiming with Amy. (Facetiming? Is this a word now?) Amy looked lovely and I wasn't looking too shabby. Sean, on the other hand… let’s just say the picture did not adequately represent how absolutely handsome he actually is.

(That’s a nice way of saying it was bad. Really, really, bad.)

I posted the screenshot before I realized how not great it was of my dear husband. It didn’t look quite so off on my iPhone screen, but on the laptop, it wasn't good.

Michael immediately commented that he didn't think Sean would have selected that picture. Amy concurred. As did Rebecca. And this is when I made the crucial, mathematical mistake: I said that, “2/3's of us look good. Sometimes you gotta go with the math.”

Surely you see the problem. Now I can just imagine my people posting a picture where I’m not looking so hot but the rest of them are. And they’re going to use my line WITH MATH to say they’re justified in posting it.

So for the record, I would like to edit my equation/fraction/math thingy to this: “If 2/3’s of us look good, and 1/3 of the 2/3 is me, then you go with the picture.”

Math. It will get you every time.

Here's a good one of Sean. Hope that makes up for the not-great one... 

Monday, September 15, 2014

One in every color, please

Amy’s college has a program that allows students to call for a safe ride to and from their dorms any time between 8 pm – 1 am. It’s a no-questions-asked ride, and we encouraged her to take advantage of that service, especially after her late-night theater rehearsals.

But apparently, that’s the wrong approach. According to some feminists, we should have encouraged her to walk by herself in the dark because, “we should be tackling the cultural assumptions at the root of the campus sexual assault crisis,” not simply giving her the tools to keep herself safe.

I started thinking about this when the so-called, “date-rape nail polish” got such negative reviews last week. I do not understand the uproar. This sounds like a great idea to me – puts control in the hands (literally) of women. Brush on the polish, then dip your fingernail in the drink. If the polish changes color, you know someone has slipped you something. Instantly, you have armed yourself with valuable information.

But some activists say this sends the wrong message. It says society has given up on expecting men to respect women so now women have to wear drug-detecting nail polish. Instead of being pleased there is the possibility of alerting themselves to a potential drugging, anti-rape activists are concerned that this somehow hurts women. Tracey Vitchers, the board chair for Students Active For Ending Rape (SAFER), said, “…we need to think critically about why we keep placing the responsibility for preventing sexual assault on young women.”

Why we need to place the responsibility on women? What? This isn’t placing responsibility on women – this is giving them the power to control their encounters. I thought this would be empowering. This enables a woman to be in control of her circumstances to the best of her abilities.

No, no, says a whole lot of women who are active in the anti-rape circles. Rebecca Nagle, one of the co-directors of an activist group called FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, said, "The problem isn’t that women don’t know when there are roofies in their drink; the problem is people putting roofies in their drink in the first place." 

Um, I’m pretty sure it’s a problem when women don’t know there are roofies in their drinks. And OF COURSE we should be teaching and training our young men that any type of assault or abuse is 100% unacceptable. No argument here. But this nail polish is a potential tool women can employ to keep themselves safe. On what planet is this a bad plan?

We’d all like to live in a perfect world where sin doesn't exist and everyone looks out for each other’s best interest. But we aren't in Heaven yet. We’re on Earth where bad stuff happens. It’s our responsibility to train our children to love, honor and respect others. It’s also a parent’s responsibility to teach children to go into the world with their eyes open. If it’s wiser to walk in a group, we teach them to walk in a group. If you have to be in a dangerous part of town, go in the daytime.

And if you’re going to drink at a party where you don’t know everyone in attendance, wear the nail polish that you hope doesn't change colors.

It’s called personal responsibility.

It’s not letting men off the hook or making it less important to get to the “root cause of the on-campus rape culture” (here’s a clue: it’s sin). This is empowering women to make informed choices. Which I thought was something feminists wanted.

We still want Amy to use the safe ride if she’s walking back alone. It’s just smart. Anyone who sees it differently cares more about the theoretical than the practical. And to protect myself and my babies, I’ll go with practical every time.

Friday, September 12, 2014

School humor

We are really in full-school mode now. Took a week to feel it, but I definitely feel it now! I found a few funny school-related items and thought after this long week, a few laughs at education's expense was in order.

This kid gets an A from me:

This is definitely how I work. Drives Mr. Engineer nuts:

And this is how I do math:

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Down with that patriarchy

I have never been so thankful to read something in a magazine. Ever. Ever. Ever.

The Home School Report, the quarterly publication from HSLDA (the Home School Legal Defense Association) arrived in my mailbox last week, and the lead article, written by Michael Farris, HSLDA Board Chairman, tackled the rise of patriarchy and legalism which has been accepted by some in the home school community.

Two “leaders” who touted the teaching of extreme patriarchy and were embraced by a segment of home schoolers have recently admitted to sexual sin and have stepped down from leadership.

(To be clear: the patriarchy preached by these two men is completely different from the complementarian view of gender roles. The two terms cannot be used interchangeably.) 

Farris wrote a lengthy article on what he called this dangerous teaching. And he said he should have done so sooner. His change of course came about because he began hearing about how women and children (and even fathers) have been hurt by these non-Biblical teachings.

This paragraph in particular resonated with me:

“Women are not to be the de facto slaves of men. Women are created with dignity equal to that of men. Women have direct and unmediated access to God. Daughters should not be taught that their only and ultimate purpose in life is to be the “helpmeet” of a man. While being a godly wife is a worthy ideal, the only statement that is true for every woman is that she should love and serve God as her highest priority. My wife and I raised our own daughters to believe that being a wife and mother was a very high calling but did so in a way that would not crush them if God’s leading had been different.”

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

Before I’d even met Sean, I knew I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom if I married and had children. Even so, I went to college. Because it would have been presumptuous to assume that I would be married with a family, because that is not a promise ever given in Scripture. Children are a blessing, not a promise.

I have taught my kids that being a wife and mom are the very best jobs I could have. It is my joy and privilege to serve them and their Dad. It is my joy and privilege to primarily work in the home despite the sacrifices, sacrifices that seem non-existent as my full-time mothering years come to a close. And it would be a joy to see my girls devote themselves to their families in this way, if they have them.

Can girls receive education that doesn't involve a college degree? Of course. College isn't everything, and now that I have two kids in college, the stories I hear about their peers' weekend activities make me wish my babies weren't there at all! But this is the educational path they have chosen, and we are happy to support them. If #3 comes along and has a completely different idea of how she’d like to further her studies (which wouldn't surprise us in the least!), we will support her, too. 

A girl’s ultimate goal in life is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. Whether she does that in a boardroom or the laundry room, that is her ultimate goal. And I am thrilled that someone as prominent as Michael Farris is shining light on this form of patriarchy that really is keeping down girls and women.

Please click here for a link the complete Farris article.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Husband, we have a problem

Dear Sweet Husband,

We have a problem.

Last week, I found some great deals on a few Land’s End items for you. Polos, a sweater and shorts. New, never worn. 70% off! They would look great on you.

But I am holding them hostage until you actually get rid of some of the stuff in your closet. More precisely, I am holding them hostage until you get rid of some of the stuff you've had in your closet since before we got married. Which was almost 22 years ago.

Now, I understand that your size has not changed in lo, these many years. And by, “understand,” I mean I don’t understand at all. I think I've been eight different sizes since we got married. As a result, the only thing in my closet that’s older than our marriage is the sweater I wore when I met Amy Grant in 1984. So I get that there are some things we want to hang on to – like your drum line jacket from high school. I wouldn't dream of asking you to get rid of it. But all the other stuff that you just keep pushing back on the rod because it still fits has to go.
Honey, some of those shirts are plum worn out. The collars… they’re just bad. The shorts… no surprise which pocket holds the wallet. Maybe the benchmark could be if it's older than our move to Michigan, it has to go... How does that sound? 

For some time now I've asked you to give a few shirts from the closet that can go to Goodwill. Not one shirt has left your closet. So I’m resorting to putting this on my blog in the hopes that this will spur you on towards a closet clean-out. This and the new stuff I'm not washing until I see a few things leave your side of the rod.

As always, I am here to help.

Much love,
Your wife

Friday, September 05, 2014

Teaching old dogs new tricks

Amy, this one's for you.

Well, today is the first day of HPA rehearsals for the year. I'm helping out again, and this time we're doing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat - yet another show I know nothing about. Well, that's not entirely true. I know the Bible story of Joseph and I know my love from 6th grade, Donny Osmond, played Joseph on Broadway. But that is the extent of my knowledge. I'm sure by April I'll know all the songs, like this one, featuring Diana DeGarmo from American Idol fame (and a fellow Georgia girl):

Sean is already practicing with the CD.

I have come a long way in my musical theater knowledge, thanks to Amy and HPA. For instance, five years ago, I wouldn't have gotten this references. Now - even thought I hate these cat pictures, I cannot help but laugh at the joke:

A heart full of...loathing, unadulterated loathing! Yay! Wicked\les miserables cross over!

If only they'd made the cat green.

And one more that I get since I just saw Newsies:

Who knew Batman had such sweet moves?

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Random Thoughts

Ah, September. The start of another school year. Routine, how I love you! 

Until about November. Then I don't want you to tell me what to do any more.

Who am I kidding? I'll barely make it through October...

We have two kids in college this year. Good night. How did that happen?

Amy was able to come home for Labor Day weekend which may not have been a good thing. She’d only been gone a week and I had barely come to terms with the fact that I only needed to set three place settings for dinner.

Michael wasn’t able to leave campus for the long weekend – he’s an RA and was on duty. Thankfully, their schools are only 45 minutes apart so Michael drove over to see us last night when we dropped Amy off after the long weekend.

When Amy was home we heard all about the first week. She tested out of her piano class – yay! Her math class is not very challenging – yay! Well, yay for me. She and Sean are not amused. They went on and on about how easy it was. I could barely follow what they were talking about.

In that first week, she had two recitals and two auditions. Nothing like jumping in with both feet.

Michael had an interesting first week as well – he’s not supposed to tell us all that goes on with discipline issues, but suffice it to say there are a lot of stupid kids in college. They may have all kinds of book-learning, but when it comes to basic common sense, they are coming up short.

Both Michael and Amy found this blog post insightful, considering all the extra-curricular activities going on around them: Christ Did Not Die for You to Do Keg Stands I highly recommend it for anyone with a college student.

I have already informed Rebecca that going away to college is not for her. She’s just going to stay home forever. You can imagine how well that went over.

I wanted one nice picture. One. Is that too much to ask? Apparently so... Thankfully they got it together at the last minute.