Monday, September 29, 2014

Amy's order of operations

We have a big ol' whiteboard in our school room. It’s been used for various math problems and all manner of science stuff, as well as a place to put copy work when the kids were younger. It’s also been a canvas for various art projects. For instance, here are two of Sean’s latest offerings:

But since we've sent people to college, it’s also been used as a message center. Michael started leaving notes for us when he heads back to school. And now Amy’s gotten in on the act. She came home yesterday afternoon for a visit, and when I went in the school room this morning, I found this:

Sean and Rebecca were working on the order of operations for math (which is what I assume Amy referenced by her PEMDAS thing) (hey, at least she remembers!) and apparently Amy decided to add her own spin to things.

Thankfully, I fulfilled two of the three at dinner last night - and if only I'd known about #1 I could have done that one, too. I'll know for her next visit. 

Finally, an order of operations that I can actually do!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The ring bearer's wearing the ring

Our ring bearer, my cousin, Brandon, was the most adorable little guy. He was a sweet, kind kid who was a joy to be around. His dad, my Uncle Richard, was the ring bearer in my mom's wedding, and I loved the idea of carrying on that family tradition. 
The happy couple, Sean's dad, the best man, and Brandon, the ring bearer,

Sean fixing Brandon's tux right before the wedding. This is one of my 
favorite pictures from the day - I love this!

So this summer when we got the invitation to attend Brandon's wedding I RSVP'd yes instantly. How could we not go? A chance to be with extended family and the opportunity to be a witness to my little ring bearer's nuptials all during our 22nd anniversary weekend - sounded like a win-win-win!

And it was. Loved seeing some of my aunts and uncles and cousins (missed those who couldn't make it!), loved being a part of Brandon's special day and I loved thinking about his anniversary being 22 years and one day after ours.
View of the wedding and the vineyard - gorgeous setting for sure.

Our ring bearer, all grown up!

Congratulations to Brandon and Lauren! We wish you wedded bliss - and when that wears off, we wish you God's grace to continue loving each other as much as you do right now. And after 22 years, we can tell you that the love that comes after working at marriage is so much sweeter, so much deeper, so much better than anything we could have anticipated on our wedding day. We pray it is the same for y'all.

We love you!
The happy couple!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Fun, anniversary edition

Today is our 22nd wedding anniversary. Seems fitting that we’re traveling to attend the wedding of my nephew, who served as our ring bearer all those years ago. 

Thankfully, Sean's proposal was more successful than this guy's. Probably a good thing I don't care if he can make soup:

It's our anniversary, but I think Rebecca's more excited that it's Hermione Granger's birthday:

Happy birthday, Hermione!

Have a great weekend!

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.