A Quote to Start Things Off

Somebody told me there was no such thing as truth. I said if that's the case then why should I believe you" -Lecrae - Gravity

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Pictures of Memories I

Pictures of Memories I
Snow kidding! These "kids" now range from 17 to 23

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

High Fructose Corn Syrup

This week at We are That Family there is a special themed version of Works for me Wednesday. It's a backwards rendition of WFMW. You present a dilemma and the rest of the readership tells you what works for them. It's a backwards rendition of WFMW.
My dilemma is this: I wrote a post for WFMW over a month ago for this particular edition. If you go back to my WFMW post back in the Rocks in My Dryer era circa 2-18-09, you will note that I said I had post ideas planned out through 4-15-09. You will also note that Shannon was not running themed editions on the first week of the month for the last few months of her WFMW run. So, I came up with this post and thought it would be terrific for the 1st Wednesday in April. So what do I do? Do I post my original idea or come up with a new post entirely. Here is the post I intended to run today...
High Fructose Corn Syrup

It is so hard to get our children to eat healthy these days. Especially hard to get them to eat their vegetables. That's why I am so glad for high fructose corn syrup(HFCS).

There has been a lot of misinformation coming out about HFCS, and I for one was so deeply moved that the corn refiners association would battle this misinformation with advertisements like this one.

What I especially like about HFCS is that it's in so many products. Because of it's ready availability, it is so easy to eat in moderation.

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

Monday, March 30, 2009

Turtle Soap is Best

8 or 9 years ago a good friend of mine and his oldest boys were visiting Amy, Emma and me. We were headed somewhere, perhaps a White Sox game. This was back in our apartment days and we had recently moved across the hall from a 1 to a 2 bedroom. I was showing them around and we got to the bathroom. We had the aquarium soap dispenser with the sea turtles pictured. One of the boys asked their father why we had turtle soap. Without even missing a beat, my friend cheerfully responded "Cause turtle soap is best!"

I am not sure why he answered this way. I am equally unsure why, but I really liked his answer. It was anything but ambiguous. It was a proclamation, that has stuck with Amy and me all these years. About a year ago, I mentioned this exchange to my friend. He had totally forgotten it and really had no idea why Turtle soap was best. My friend had 4 children at the time of the remark and now has 9 with 10 on the horizon. He answers a lot of children's inquiries and I do not expect him to recall each and every one of his answers.

It got me to thinking, though. To me, this was a memorable, if not, defining remark of his, and he had no recall of it. There have been many occasions when I have remembered something as a highlight reel type memory and the other participant had little or no memory of it. It is also very common, when someone else has an indelible timestamp memory of me, that I have not thought of for years.

Now, when these moments are light turtle soap memories that is fine. As a father and specifically the teacher of my children, I hope the snapshots my children choose to remember are of a positive nature rather than words I'd rather they forget. Today, for example, my daughter recalled my oft spouted phrase of my main job being keeping my children safe. She even made a joke about it (It doesn't pay much, but it's worth it!). She also made a comment today about all the times I yell at her. As parents we build memories, as sinners many of those memories we wish could be forgotten. As a believer in Jesus I know those sins and those memories can be washed cleaner than turtle soap ever could.

Next Time: High Fructose Corn Syrup

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Go ask my Dad.

My last post was about a give-a-way at Mama Archers Blog. I posted it because that is how one enters the give-a-way. Today, I am posting about a post that appeared on her blog last year. Again, my motivation is to earn another entry in her give-a-way. But more than that it gives me the opportunity to broach a topic on this blog that I have not as of yet brought up.

Some of you may know that I would someday like to write a book. I often say I am working on a book, but that does not do justice to my friends who are actually working on a book. I have ideas for a book on relationships. From time to time I may talk about some of those ideas here.

Mama Archer's post was about relationships. In the post she linked to something she wrote in a blog called Weekend Kindness. What she shared was actually from a paper her daughter had written about finding a spouse. Many of the standards her daughter mentioned are those I am imparting in my daughters. Specifically, a courtship model, that involves the active role of the parents especially the father.

When my 9 year old was younger, I taught her what to say if a boy ever wanted to marry her. The response is "go ask my Dad." She still remembers it, and has not fought with me about it, yet, but that day may come.

My youngest child, also a daughter, is 3. She is leaving what I call the "save them every day" stage. The part of their life when you seem to be keeping them from physical peril at every turn. We spend so much of their early child hood keeping them from physical harm, making rules to keep them safe. Before they use a tool that could hurt them, we instruct them, and give them careful supervision while learning new skills.

I am not sure why with all that care giving I would be willing to withdraw all that guidance when they become of dating age. Many parents seem to think they have no chance of asserting control in any of those areas, so they do not try. I was greatly encouraged to read that Mama Archer's daughter plans to allow her parents an active role in determining her future husband. I will write more about these issues in the future.

Next Time: Turtle Soap is Best

Science isn't science 'til you give it away

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

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Taking Time Off

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.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Crazy Dave's Giveaways: Announcing the quarter winner.

Today, is my Dad's birthday. I think that's one of the reasons why I ended the contest today. Last year when my Dad turned 70 I, along with my brothers and sisters attempted to give him him all the American coins minted in his lifetime. Not all, just 1 of each. We came very close and I think he really appreciated the gift because he had been a coin collector earlier in his life. I did the lions share of the collecting and really enjoyed it. I think that's why I am still collecting coins.

I must say I really appreciated the excellent turnout for the give-a-way. I noticed how many people so eagerly wanted to win this collection. Unfortunately, there is only one winner and that is Mub from the Netherlands. Congratulations Mub.

For all those out there who did not win let me share a few quick quarter collecting tips. Today, I went to the bank and got 3 rolls of quarters. Of those 120 quarters, 54 were state quarters. And of those 54, 30 were of different states. That's right if I was just starting collecting today I would be 60% finished after going though only 3 rolls. Those very 30 will be among the quarters being sent to Mub.

Another idea for collecting is use cash for purchases as much as you can. What cash gives you is change, many quarters are found in change. We call that change for the better. After getting the quarters today, I stopped by Taco Bell for dinner. I used cash and do you know how many state quarters I got back in my change? None. It's not foolproof. What I did get back, was a little more uncommon than a state quarter. That's right, in my change from Taco Bell was a bicentennial quarter. And in honor of Mub, my father, and the United States of America and their original 13 states, I am going to give Mub not 12.50 worth of quarters, but $13.00 worth. That very bicentennial quarter that I got at Taco Bell today and the new Washington DC Quarter as well as 1 of each of the 50 state quarters.

For all those who did not win. this was so much fun for me, I am sure I will be giving away quarters again on this very blog. Until then here is a fun video of me actually catching 30 quarters in midair.

In other give-a-way news, the Counsil's never contacted me in regards to the book I attempted to give them last month, The Power of an Encouraging Word. So I have redrawn from last months entrants and the winner is ... DG. Congratulations to DG and Mub. I have contacted them and hopefully they will get their prizes in the very near future.

Next Time: Taking Time Off

Friday, March 20, 2009

Next Time

Blog Insider - A look at the widgets, gadgets, and what nots of Home School Dad.

Tonight's Episode: Next Time

On January 6, 2009, I started this here blog. Just a couple of pictures of our 3 children answering the titular question Why do we home school? Not exactly the stuff of legend. I did start a tradition on that post that I have maintained now for 56 subsequent posts. I always end each post telling the reader what is coming next. It is the journalist and talk show host in me. I like you, the bloggee, to know what's coming next.

If you page back to my first post, then page forward looking at all the next time tags, you will see that I am never wrong. If I say Next Time: Swimming Lessons, by golly the next post is about swimming lessons. Incredible.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret, I cheat. Often when I say what is coming next, I have not yet written that post. Sometimes all I have is an idea. Sometimes, I decide I'd rather post about something different than what I advertised. Well if this were a magazine, newspaper or weekly television program, I would just have to live with my mistake and make some disclaimer type announcement. Here at blog central, no such problem. I write my new post and then simply edit my old post and put in the new title. When my devoted readership comes back and I am writing about newts, they may be a little bewildered and say, "Hey, I thought he said he was going to write about hippos!" They will go back to my previous post, and there for all to see, it will say: "Next Time: Newts." Amazing!

Well, I don't use it very often. But I am glad it's there, obsessive as I am. I was going to write about this my last time out, but this week my two oldest children rode their bikes without training wheels for the first time. So, I wrote about that instead and just changed the next time information on my prior post. The only place where there are any discrepancies on my future issues, is on my face book page. I feed these posts directly to my face book page. I have the feed set up automatically. What you see there is the original next time message.

Next Time: Announcing the Quarter Winner. (Or will it?)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Kids Bike

2-4-6-8 who do we appreciate cyclists! Cyclists! Go cyclists! It was Tuesday afternoon and my 7 year old and I decided the training wheels needed to go. So I took them off and I've been riding without them ever since. Kidding! They were his training wheels.

We took them off and went to the church parking lot, down the street. There was quite a bit of falling and after a while my sad, dejected son wanted to give up and go home. I told him 3 more falls and we would go home. The next time up he got it. Here is some footage.
When my 9 year old, also still in training wheels, got wind of Charlie's achievement, she wanted to be part of the act. So here she is earlier today.
They are getting better and better and I am really proud of both of them. We plan to do a lot of biking as a family this year sans training wheels will be best.
Next Time: Next Time

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Song Parodies

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

January 27
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:

Bye Bye Blogs

She was a blogger
A virtual friend
'Til her days of blogging
came to an end

Her blog was helpful
And filled with mirth
But her 6 children
It was not worth

So she said
Bye bye blog
Hello family
Do you remember me?
I used to blog about you

Bye bye blog
I'm sad we had to part
You're not my children's heart
I'm not called to care for you
Your not the love that's true

'Twas not a fortnight
Less than a week
Her blog came back
With a few tweaks

Blogs can be useful
When in their place
She'll find the balance
with our Lord's  grace

So she said hello blogs
You're not my idol now
Won't make you a golden cow
I know what matters most

Hello blogs
My blog's not what I am
If it was, it would all be spam
I won't forget my post
Or I'd be a bad host

Song parodies work for me, to find out what works for normal people, go to We are that Family and check out Works For Me Wednesday.

Next Time: The Kids Bike

Our Star Wars Names

My son loves Star Wars. He would spend all his time playing Star Wars if I let him. Amy and I usually don't allow guns or shooting in the house. But I have assured Amy that this all took place a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

I was in a bargain basement aisle at a local store today, when I saw this clone trooper outfit. He absolutely loves it. Star Wars is not the same passion for the rest of the family as it is for Char Char Binks, but we like it because we love him.

This is why we all adopted Star Wars names recently. Charlie is no longer the aforementioned binks but is now Clone Captain Chuck.

Before I divulge the rest of our monikers here's a joke Charlie made up for any Star Wars junkies out there. Q: What happens when a clone captain gets in an auto accident? A: Clone Captain Rex (wrecks) .

I am Daddy wan Kenobi
Amy is Amy-kins Sky Walker
Emma is Emma the Hut
Lucy is the nefarious Count Lulu

Charlie must have real issues with women. The men are the good guys and the women tend towards the darkside. Hmmmmmm?????

Next Time: Song Parodies.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Danger: Blogging

Danger Sign

Recently, in the past week, within 24 hours of each other, two of the blogs that I follow announced their discontinuation.

The first by a friend from college, came as no real surprise. He had trailed off from 40+ posts in January to 28 in February and his first post in March, was on March 9 to announce no more blogging in the immediate future.

His blog is highly personal speaking of the strange twists and turns his life has been taking of late. While, I enjoy reading each post, I am often drained when I finish reading it. Just think how he must feel as the one writing and living it.
His reason for taking a breather was straight forward writing such a personal blog was too emotionally charged for him right now. Especially since many of the issues in his life were showing no signs of changing anytime soon.

Personally, it is not like he is leaving my life or even my cyber life. We are still face book friends, which is how I learned about his blog in the first place.

The second blog discontinuation was a little more surprising. Her goodbye post on March 9th was her 17th post of the month with no mention in the other 16 of blogger burn-out. She hosted her own carnivals and was a regular contributor to other carnivals that I contribute to as well.

I know her only form her posts and we were often commenting on each other's posts. It was from her that I heard about Homeschool kids write which I praised in my last post. Her reason for leaving was that blogging was stealing her away from her true calling in life: growing Godly children.

The termination of these blogs in such proximity to one another did have an impact on myself. Now, as I mentioned previously this month, I am a catharsis smatharsis kind of guy. Writing deeply intimate posts on a daily basis and sharing them in blog land is not what I do. So, I don't run too much jeopardy of suffering emotional burnout here. I do fall prey to making this blog a much higher priority than it should be. In the past weeks my blogging has become a cause of friction between me and my family. I am supposed to be blogging about them, not letting blogging become a hindrance to them.

As a home schooling dad and the main teacher of my children, I need to keep my priorities in order. As the leader of my home, I need to be loving my wife and putting her first ahead of my self. If blogging gets in the way of those things my blogs no matter how fun, thoughtful, or how many quarters I give-a-way are worthless.

Don't worry my friends I have no plans of going away. I had already made several changes at home and on this blog before I read the farewell posts I am telling you about. I love blogging and more ideas and dreams about improving this blog than I have the time to implement them all. So, that means that many of those ideas will never get implemented. As long as I am doing my main jobs expect no goodbyes in the near future.

Next Time: Our Star Wars Names

Thursday, March 12, 2009

In Praise of Home School Kids Write

Leftovers let you feel good about yourself twice. First, when you put them in the refrigerator "Hey! I'm saving money!" Then, two months later when you throw them away "Hey! I'm saving my life!" - George Carlin

That has nothing to do with today's post, but I was cleaning out the fridge today. Just keeping it real.

A few weeks ago I read about a website called Homeschool Kids Write. Each Monday they post a writing assignment and the students can either put the assignment on their blogs and post a link to it or they include a place for students to post if they don't have a blog of their own.

The reason why I like it so much is it's simplicity. I let my children know the assignment and then they write it. I post it and link it for them, and then we spend some time reading what the other students write. It has become a cost free planning free component of our school week.

Here are some samples of the assignments and what my children have done with them ...

Assignment 53 was to write about your favorite president. Charlie wrote ...

I like Abraham Lincoln because he freed the slaves.

Nice, concise writing, I give it a 10.

Assignment 56 was to write a dialogue between yourself and a sandwich. Emma has been taking a skits class at our co-op. I think that's why her dialogue reads like a skit...

My Samwitch by Emma
Emma: Balony again! Why doesn't mom choose liver sausage insted?

Samwitch: Hey! Don't insult me!Emma: Sorry! I thought you weren't listening. But why do you just have to be balony?
Samwitch: Hey! Don't blame me for being a different kind! Besides, I thought you liked balony.
Emma: My sister does but I don't.
Samwitch: Oh! I thought she liked liver sausage.
Emma: She doesn't but I do.Samwitch: Oh then I got mixed up! I'm sorry! Will you forgive me?Emma: Yes, I forgive you. But tell Mom I like liver sausage, okay?
Samwitch: Do you mean you're not going to eat me?
Emma: Yep! I have extra money for cafateara food.
Samwitch: Yea!
Emma: Good bye!
Samwitch: Good bye!
Emma: Good, liver sausage! I don't have any more money.
Samwitch: Oh Man!
Emma: Well good bye!
Samwitch: Good Bye!

You notice how it's not called homeschool kids spell. I often will have the kids correct their spelling before we post it, but in this case I decided to post it as is.

SO, if you are looking for some ways for your kids to practice their writing and see samples of others, I recommend Homeschool kids write.

To see what other home school families are talking about go to the carnival of homeschooling hosted at the Home School Cafe.

Next Time: Danger! Blogging

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Poem: March 11th

March 11th
written 3-11-93 Russia
Two days before my Brother's birthday
Eleven days before my Dad's
Yesterday, it meant only tomorrow
In a few hours, the roles will be reversed
Just another day

Life in another country
New experiences each day
Man has a way
Of making the extraordinary

Living in former Godless Russia
As a missionary
I've preached at church services
In old communist buildings

But today is just a day
Not special
Today I spoke to Russian students
Little spiritual knowledge
But much curiosity

But today is just a day
God forgive me

Next Time: In praise of Home School Kids Write

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Collecting State Quarters (Crazy Dave's Give-a-ways)

I started two valuable collections in 1999.

I started my collection of children and my collection of state quarters. Legally, I can only give one of them away on the Internet. Before I tell you about my state quarter give-a-way, let me tell you why collecting state quarters works for me.

When the quarters first came out I got one of those Extra large size books for a family collection. I enjoyed collecting so much that I decided to get 3 smaller size books for each of the children. In the apartment years finding quarters was easy, I'd go through the quarters before I used them in the laundromat. I also paid $8.00 in tolls a week mostly in quarters so I had plenty to work with. Getting A transponder for tolls and buying a house with a washer dryer nearly killed my quarter collecting. But I trudged on. Anytime we got change in our house I sifted thought it quicker than (insert speedy reference here).

Then a couple years ago the kids wanted to start getting an allowance. Perfect. That requires me each payday get a roll or two of quarters and sort through them before the kids had a pay-day of their own. The kids always exuberant when we find new quarters. It is interesting how their personalities manifest themselves in which state coins they like. Emma likes Kentucky because of the horses, and prefers other coins with animals on them. She is a little upset that no state has the motto "The bunny state" with cute little rabbit coin to match. Charlie likes Indiana because of the Car, Ohio and Florida because of the Astronaut stuff. I had to stop Lucy from putting a nickel in her mouth today so she hasn't really acquired a taste for quarters yet.

So when the Hawaii quarter came out at the end of last year we waited in anticipation to complete our collection. They didn't come to our local bank until February. By then we already had the 4 we needed to complete our set. But that wasn't enough for me. I still had the collecting bug so I have in the past 2 months collected a 5th set just for the fun of it.

So that's why State quarter collecting works for me. To find out what works for other people go to Kirsten's Works For Me Wednesday site at We Are That Family. But before you do, I want to tell you in honor of today being my 50th post I am giving a collection of all 50 state quarters away.

You could use them to start a collection of your own. Or that's $12.50 you can use to stimulate the economy. Or you could use them to learn how to flip quarters from your elbow and catch them in midair. Click here for a demonstration.

To enter just leave a comment on this post or on my face book feed of this post. The sidebar has the official rules. The contest runs until 8:00 p.m EST 3/23/2009


Next Time: March 11th

Sunday, March 8, 2009

And the winner is ... me.

My wife is an optimist when it comes to contests. Any time there is a giveaway such as $5,000.00 given for doing a phone survey for your latest meal at Bob's Taco Barn, Amy is certain that we won. This is often before we even enter. The truth is we often enter but hardly ever win.

Now, in the blogging world, there are give-a-ways galore. I even host one on this very blog. (Check our next post for more details.) Many enter, few win. I don't often tell Amy when I enter, because otherwise she would be devastated with how often we are not slated to win.

Now for those of you who don't know, Amy loves Cheetos. That is even her screen name in a few places here on the world wide web. So when Carma of Carma Sez was giving away a huge bucket of Utz Cheese balls, I thought to myself, "That's for Amy." It turns out that these particular cheese balls don't have riboflavin, the ingredient that gives Cheetos it's Cheeto-ness. But it's not like we were going to win them, was it?
It turns out we won! Here is Carma's post announcing the winner of her giveaway.

Carma's only contingency was that the winner get a picture of them and the cheese balls at a popular regional locale. Well across from my local Walmart there is what remains of mine and then my kids', first amusement park: Santa's Village. And to celebrate winners, I of course had to wear my 2005 World Champions Cap.
Thanks Carma from all of us for all the Utz. MMMM Tasty!
Next Time: Crazy Dave's Give-A-Ways State Quarters.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Unbelievable (A Family of 5, irresponsible?!?)

I had a few free minutes a couple of nights ago and decided to do a little googling. I googled "I have three children", because a) I have 3 children and b) I thought I might find a couple cute little blogs or websites with like-familied people.

What I found was extremely troubling. First, I stumbled upon a website called the Responsibility Project. It seems to be one of those old fashioned bulletin board type chat rooms where people post on a variety of topics. Well, someone posted on whether having three children was responsible or not. I was astounded by what followed.

One person began her post ...

"The single most effective thing an individual can do to help the environment is not to have children." Many disagreed, many agreed.

One 14 year old stated ... "I have no problem with abortion, if a kid has no memories or consciousness, it isn’t a human being. If the baby is unwanted then killing it isn’t hurting anyone. "

After that it was a free for all.

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.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Calculating my Tips

Works for me Wednesday is having a best of edition this week. So I calculated my tips and this is what I am most proud of ...

Originally posted 2/17 for Shannon's final Rocks in My Dryer WFMW

Today, I would like to tell you all why Works For Me Wednesday works for me. As a stay at home, home school dad, a few credits shy of his Home Ec. degree, WFMW gives me the first clue on topics I know nothing about, and the next step in areas that I am growing in.

WFMW is also, one of the best formats for me to do my writing. I like sharing what things my family has done that make our life more productive and enjoyable. I love seeing the comments on my blog that there are others who can find them helpful as well.

Here is my WFMW routine:

1) I keep a list in my notebook of future WFMW posts. My goal is to have at least 4 post ideas written down at the beginning of each month, so I am not scrambling at the last minute for an idea. As of today, I have post ideas from now until 4/22/2009.

2) Sometime Monday evening or Tuesday morning I write my post for that week and save it as a draft. This morning when I began to write about gloves, I noticed Shannon's above referenced post and took this idea, which was 3 weeks away from my notebook.

3) When I come home from my Tuesday night home group, I publish my post and wait for Shannon to post hers. My goal is to be one of the first 25 posts on the list. My secret ambition, is to be in the top 10 every week. My dream, is to be the first one on the board. My dream that is so special you don't say it out loud (I am only writing this, NOT saying it out loud), to be asked to headline and be a guest blogger on WFMW. That's not gonna happen. But, I was #8 last week.

4) After WFMW is posted and I am linked to it, the real fun begins. I read all the posts linked before mine. I always try to leave a comment where appropriate. As a man, I would feel very silly commenting on posts about make-up.

5) When I get to mine, I will sometimes read a few more before retiring for the day. On Wednesday morning, I check my post for comments. I will then read those posts, If I have not already. I spend the rest of the day between school and home stuff checking out as many posts as I can.

6) I am always looking for one idea that I can implement immediately. A month ago I discovered two I liked ,one was about a system that e-mails reminders to you and another that tells you how to clean out a microwave. I just got a reminder e-mail to clean out my microwave.

So, that's why WFMW works for me and why I am so glad that Shannon started this tradition that Kristen is continuing. Blessings to you both.

To see more of the best of WFMW be sure to stop by We Are That Family.

Next Time: Unbelievable! A family of five, irresponsible!?!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Useless Stats: Face Book

I would first like to annunce the winner of my first give-a-way. The Counsils, followers of my blog are the winners of Ken Sutterfield's book The Power of an Encouraging Word. Congratulations. Please contact me and let me know where I can send the book.

I just recently made my 100th face book friend. I have been on face book for less than 2 months and I have 100 friends already. This is very impressive, considering that in reality, I have like 3 friends. SO thank you face book for being a friend of the friendless

Statistics have always intrigued me. Which may well be why, I only have like 3 friends. I have categorized my face book friends by how I know them. Here is how my face book friends originate. . .

Grew up with in Elk Grove 17%
Roberts Road Bible Church (where I got married) 14%
Family -Amy's side 13%
Harvest Bible Chapel Crystal Lake (previous church) 10%
Family - My side 10%
Russia 9%
Western Illinois University 8%
Friends of Amy 4%
Camp Manitoqua 3%
Columbia, SC 3%
Met through friends or family 3%
School of Leadership Training 3%
Campus Life 2%
Harvest Bible Chapel Lake Zurich (current church) 1%

I'm not sure how I can live with myself, posting this mindless piece of drivel, immediately after my post about quality over quantity. In the words of Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, I may need a second apartment.

Next Time: Calculating my Tips

A to Z 2023 Road Trip

#AtoZChallenge 2023 RoadTrip