So, High Fructose Corn Syrup works for me. To see what other sweet ideas are out there go to We are that Family for the April 1st edition of Works For Me Wednesday.
Next Time: Father and Son Ski Trip
Mama Archer is hosting the following give-a-way on her blog. I have found a most excellent review of the product on Christianbook.com. As you know, from a recent post, song parodies work for me. In Lyrical Life Science tunes like "The Yellow Rose of Texas" are used to teach science on an approximate 6th grade level. Mama Archer is giving away the teacher book, c.d, and two student work books.
Next Time: Go ask my Dad
I am not here right now. I am out celebrating my 11th wedding anniversary a few weeks early. Actually I count that Amy and I have three wedding anniversaries: The actual anniversary is April 11th. We were married the Saturday prior to Easter in 1998. So I always count the Saturday prior to Easter as a second wedding anniversary. Amy was employed as a school psychologist when we were married and we chose our wedding date to coincide with her spring break. So, now that she is employed as a school psychologist again, I count her week of spring break as an anniversary of our wedding and honeymoon.
As you are reading this Amy is on her spring break and that is the anniversary we are celebrating. Extended time alone with Amy is not very common these days. I had no intention of blogging in any way shape or form while she is gone. So I simply am writing this post a week early and scheduling it for the 25th.
Taking some time off with the woman I love works for me. While I will not be linking this post to We Are That Family I encourage you to go there to see what works for others.
Next Time: Science isn't Science 'til you give it away.
If you haven't figured it out already I am unusual. A former seminary professor described me recently as marching to a different drummer. That's putting it mildly. That's why I am using this household hints/time saving carnival to tell you why I like song parodies. But bear with me before you move on to the next post, I do have a WFMW method to my madness.
It all started with my upbringing. The music I remember most vividly listening to when I was a child was Allen Sherman, most famous for his song Camp Grenada (Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah) also known as a Letter from Camp. My siblings and I had all of his songs memorized. Sherman would take simple songs like On Top of Old Smokey and put a bizarre twist on:
On Top of Old Smokey
All covered with hair
Of course I'm referring
To Smokey the Bear
Down by the Riverside became Don't Buy the Liverwurst and there were so many like that.
My Mom and Dad celebrate the holidays by writing their Christmas Letter to the tune of popular Christmas Carols. Thus for Christmas 1974, the year when their final child, my sister, was born their friends and family were treated to this reworking of Hark The Herald, Angels Sing
We were 6 and then were 7
On that day in early morn
Bonnie Eileen, at last was born
She is Kathy's pride and joy
'Specially because she's not a boy.
As I continued to grow I began to shift from Allen Sherman to a weirder Al, that being Mr. Yankovic. Being a big fan of Billy Joel, I liked how Yankovic skewered him in "It's still Billy Joel to me." ...
Bought a couple of his record albums and they're starting to sound the same
It might be Elvis and it might be the blues
It might sound like the B-52's
But it's all Billy Joel to me.
Song Parodies work for me first because I am a man with a passion for song writing who can't carry a tune, with or without a bucket. So my melodies do not sound, when I sing them, like they sound in my head. If I write a straight song, I need to find someone to write music for my lyrics. If I write a parody at least the public knows what it's supposed to sound like.
Parodies, don't have to be funny. I have written touching songs like the time one of the girls the college group moved away. I wrote a farewell to the tune of Hakuna Matata called Hakuna Renatta. Her name is Audrey, so it didn't work that well. Her name was Renatta, I'm just kidding about Audrey.
I got to thinking about song parodies recently when one of the contributors here, dropped out of blogging last week. See my post Danger:Blogging for further details. Instantly the first stanza and chorus of a song to the tune of the Everly Brothers' "Bye Bye Love" hopped into my mind. Now this person came back to blogging less than a week after she left, ruining my second verse and chorus. Real life gets so much in the way of the creative process. But I went back to the drawing board and I present in homage to the fine upstanding mother of 5 pirates and a princess:
I then viewed the original article that spawned all this discussion. It was an article about how having three children is now only achievable by the extremely rich, how many people desired to have more than two children but simply could not afford it. What I found extremely interesting, was how the columnist defined necessities ...
"Consider raising a single "luxury" child. By luxury, mind you, we're not necessarily talking hedge-fund rich, merely able to afford and "raise right." And the pressure to do that, even if you're not uber-wealthy, has become overwhelming. From the moment the heartbeat blinks across the sonogram screen, Big Baby starts in with its pleading and conniving: I'm your child! How can you spare any expense? Don't you care?"
Finally, I looked at another listing for parents of three child and found a study from Psychology Today from 2005, (Which would really make it Psychology Four Years ago, but I digress) showing that additional children don't make parents any happier than their initial child. Yipes.
It was unexpected and unsettling to have Google treat me this way. I started out by looking for people with 3 kids like me. Instead, I found people who found having 1 let alone 3 or more children irresponsible. I found people who found raising children a luxury. And I found people who thought raising children would bring them happiness. In retrospect, I am not quite sure why I was surprised.
We live in what many call a materialistic age or world view. The three responses to large families that I found are all aspects of materialism.
The idea that large families are irresponsible to the environment stems from the basic tenet of materialism: Material is all there is or, as Steven Eyre put it in his excellent 1992 book on world views: Defeating the Dragons of This World, "Matter is all that matters."
Now there is nothing a matter with matter. You could say that I'm not antimatter. It's just that all this talk about matter without a maker makes matters worse. God created the material universe. Taking God out of the equation as we have, makes ideas like the ones I read at The Responsibility Project perfectly understandable.
The second tenet of materialism is what Eyre sums up with the motto "you are what you own." This explains why people put a high price tag on children. I read more than one account of people who wanted to have a larger family but could not afford to raise them in the "modern western lifestyle." We don't need to raise designer children. We need to raise children to know their designer.
Finally, if the material world is all that there is, it seems natural that we would seek fulfillment from our things, the people around us and the people we make. The divorce rates now make perfect sense to me. If happiness is the grail that we are searching for, I am surprised that 1/2 the marriages survive. But if there is something outside the material universe, such as, and I'm just spit balling here, the God who spoke that universe into being, then perhaps it is that God and not our possessions, or the people around us, or the children that God entrusts us with, that our well being comes from.
Next Time: And the winner is ... me.