"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

24 September 2011


I just now discovered this little blog... and I thought a few of you kindred spirits warped souls would find it amusing.

20 September 2011

Homeschool Mom Prepares for Two Days Away....

Its an overnight, how hard is this? Throw a clean outfit and toothbrush in a bag and walk out the door. Not, definitely and profoundly not rocket science.
Except that my kids are home schooled. At vastly different grade levels. And Dad gets stuck with their pianolessonfootballpracticespanishgreekandkorean flashcardshomeschoolstudycenteronlineclasstaekwondoprojectstoemailtoteachertesttostudyfornewbooktoreadforhomeschoolgroup insanity routine. Most of which rattles around in my head and never sees its way to paper. Ever.

So I'm leaving my husband the usual two days worth of lesson plans. Writing down the plan itself is easy. We all do that. Its the sorting out of how he should record the work, where he can find the online and study center assignment sheets, and passwords for online classrooms that takes a while. I'm sure I've forgotten something. To date I have left him the following notes, all in a haphazard pile to be enjoyed tomorrow... while most wives leave little love notes I've left the following:


(This is an easy note since Isaac is 14 and better be able to figure out his assignments for himself. Except his Art History project, which can wait until I get home. Its a necessary note though, because the white notebook is, conviently and thoughfully, otherwise totally unlabelled. Yup. It makes sense to me... it only needs to make sense to me, right? Right??)

N: FLL#63,64, S.W. two pages, Math 1 less./day, Ginger Pye, SOTW5B, VP>> EVERYTHING ELSE IS IN HIS CARS BINDER!!!

M: WORKBOOKS IN DESK, Math 1.5 less/day, Ginger Pye, S.W. two pages, 100EASYLESS#37-38

Does any of this make sense to anyone who doesn't homeschool? Its like a super secret code. I bet the Taliban is trying to crack this sucker as we speak. My world is a pile of books that only my mind ties one to the other.

And crud, I forgot to remind him to make N practice the Gettysburg Address. Daily. Ratz.

And I'm going to be behind when I get back. There's no mention above of any of their language studies, except Isaac's Spanish (in the white notebook!).

But to those readers who might homeschool it does make sense... I bet you can see exactly how my day goes from those lines of familiar initials used in internet speak so frequently you almost forget what the actual programs and titles they represent are. Add to that the Wednesday piano lesson and Tae Kwon Do lesson and the Thursday football practice and I can account for almost every significant chunk of time between when I wake the yard apes and when they're done with school. Its like a secret Homeschool Handshake... Most people ask "what do you do?" homeschoolers ask "what curriculum do you use?" "FLL/SOTW, SWB is my homie!" "Oh,yeah, us too! Are you using OPGTTR for your kindie?" "Nah, we have been using EZLESS. since the eldest learned."

Its like a blinkin' secret handshake to know which homeschool tribe you belong to. Classical, Unschool, Traditional School at Home, Online, Charolotte Mason??? Or maybe there ought to be a flow chart...

15 September 2011

On Anger, Charity, Politics, and Sin.

A friend of mine posed the question on Facebook, why are Americans so angry at the poor? He was responding to a very well written piece found here.

I like the article, particularly the first part, because the writer articulates well the human sin behind the anger that the middle class is expressing toward the poor right now. We're angry because we guard our wealthy, basically, those treasures where moth and rust consume and thieves (and governments) break in and steal.

What the article fails to articulate is that most people are not angry at the poor directly but at the government who is taking their hard won possessions and distributing them without their consent. The poor are, more precisely, caught in the crossfire.

I remarked to my friend that: Before "entitlement" spending and welfare initiatives, the poor had faces and charity demanded love and relationship. We've taken a lot of those opportunities away with government control of welfare.

And here is where the crux of it lies. Its not in defending one's own wealth, we're supposed to give it away. What the welfare state has truly taken from the "rich" is the opportunity to give freely. When giving is forced, it becomes a begrudged burden. When giving is forced and then given to someone whose need is never truly seen by the giver, it becomes faceless and sterile. And love is lost. And relationship is lost.

Jesus said anyone can give good gifts to his friends. He's right. It is much harder to give to our enemies, strangers, the sterile, faceless need. But when we don't even have an opportunity for relationship to enter into giving, the fallen world becomes resentful and downright angry, not only at the government that takes and mandates but at the one who, often innocently, receives.

My political bias is libertarian. But I also understand that in a fallen world, libertarian becomes libertine and eventually anarchy. I know that we can't maintain a true libertarian utopia. We're too broken, and outside of the liberty of Christ's Kingdom, which comes from true unity and submission, it will never work. And so pragmatically I figure that governments will do what they will do, and rather fatalistically and cynically I figure there's not much point in political rhetoric.

But I do see a real unhealth in taking the responsibility for charity from the hands of the people. Charity should be the result of libertarian sort of giving. Taxation giving isn't giving at all, and both the modern democrats and republicans would rather take what is not their and use it for their own agendas, rather than consider how to return financial management (including giving) to the hands of the people.

Have we grown that lazy and irresponsible towards our brothers and our resources that a giant impersonal government thinks it can step in and take that responsibility from us entirely?

13 September 2011

The San Francisco Treat

Its San Francisco, made out of Jello... how cool is that??
Apparently the "artist" is Liz Hickok, who does stuff like this pretty regularly. On one level its the weirdest thing ever, on another level... well this just looks awesome!!! Anyway, for your viewing enjoyment, folks.

10 September 2011

While I'm busily posting desperately important news stories...

Drunk Swedish elk found in apple tree near Gothenburg
The elk was apparently searching for fermenting apples when she got stuck

A homeowner in southern Sweden got a shock when he found a drunken elk stuck in his neighbour's apple tree.

The animal was apparently on the hunt for fermenting apples when she lost her balance and became trapped in the tree.

Per Johansson, from Saro near Gothenburg, found the elk making a roaring noise in the garden next door.

He called the emergency services, who helped him free the boozed-up beast by sawing off branches. She spent the night recovering in the garden.

The next day she took herself off into the woods with her hangover.

It is not unusual to see elk, or moose as they are known in North America, drunk in Sweden during autumn, when there are plenty of apples about.

Other residents of Saro had seen the elk on the loose in the preceding days.

Mr Johansson said the elk appeared to be sick, drunk, or "half-stupid", the Associated Press reported.

There's even a picture:

Is there a twelve step program for moose??

Rowan to resign????

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan William set to quit next year

The Archbishop of Canterbury is planning to resign next year, nearly a decade before he is due to step down, it can be revealed.

Dr Rowan Williams is understood to have told friends he is ready to quit the highest office in the Church of England to pursue a life in academia.

The news will trigger intense plotting behind the scenes over who should succeed the 61-year-old archbishop, who is not required to retire until he is 70.

Bishops have privately been arguing for Dr Williams to stand down, with the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London, telling clergy he should give someone else a chance after nearly ten years in the post.

Lambeth Palace would not be drawn into confirming or denying whether the archbishop will be leaving next year.

A friend of mine posted this to Facebook, but I don't see it reported in any of the usual places, so I thought I'd pass along for y'all.
The rest is here.

05 September 2011

Nuts to you!!!

Well, soap nuts anyway.

I've been reading, once again, on how toxic our world is and how simple things like our laundry deterget are going to, at some unknown time, rise up in the middle of the night and murder us all in our beds.

Okay, not really.

I'm not much of an environmentalist per se, since I am pretty sure all the hooplah in the media is bunk, phoney science, and propaganda to keep us all in line. But I do believe in good stewardship of the earth, and I don't trust big corporations to decree on what's healthy and good. Nope not at all. So I've come to the conclusion that "better living through chemistry" is usually a lie and that the less chemical mess we pour on our lawns, water systems, and bodies the better.

Over a couple of years of going more natural in my housekeeping (however lackluster my housekeeping skills may be) I've grown to seriously dislike chemical smells, even and especially those that are supposed to be "mountain fresh" or some variation on the theme. I switched to unscented, then to natural home-made stuff. I've saved a bundle in cash.

Some of the stuff doesn't work as well... but a lot of it does. Castille soap, watered down, and a good shot of lavender oil makes a really good bathroom cleaner. A sprinkling of baking soda beforehand turns the spray soap into a scrub. If you're interested in how to do such things, the book Better Basics for the Home is a great resource.

My garden is organic, mostly from lack of care, but I've come to the point where I can't manage to pour pesticides on potential food, my lawn, or places where any human I've ever known is likely to hang around. I eat organic blackberries for free because they grow wild near my house. The herbs I cook with are equally orgainc, again mostly from laziness on the part of the gardner.

I am convinced that CFL light bulbs are not only ugly lighting but a massive environmental disaster in the making. And that antibacterial hand goo causes superbugs and weakened immune systems.

And I have learned how to do organic laundry. I stumbled a while ago across a product called "soap nuts" (this is not an advertisement) and thought I'd try it out. I found a recipe for using soap nuts to make liquid laundry detergent. The problem was that, according to the website where I found the recipe, the detergent spoils pretty quickly. So I made my own (nicer smelling) adaptation. And a while back someone asked for the recipe. I promised to offer it IF it worked. And so here it is:

Organic Laundry Soap
8 cups water
16 Soap Nuts
a big ol' handful of organic due to lazy gardening practices dried lavender

Boil up the whole mess for half an hour (of actual boil time). Allow to cool and ironically store it all in an old oxyclean canister.

One load of large load of laundry takes two ounces of liquid. The lavender slows the spoilage of the soap nuts liquid, but storing it in the fridge won't hurt either. :) Lavender is kind of antibacterial. Yea.

So that's my domestic posting for now. There ya go.

And stay away from CFL's. No joke, they're nasty.

03 September 2011

The Close of the Fair

The county fair is officially over! I'm thankful. Every day we've had to haul out to the fairgrounds and feed my middle child's show rabbit. Today required two trips, one to feed and one to close out the rabbit barn. I'm very glad to have the time back in my day now that the fair is done.

But its a little sad, too. I don't much care for the hoorah of a county fair, but the quiet of the day is a nice time to go visit. And the end of the fair means the end of the 4H season. While 4H drives me nuts most of the time, the kids are good kids and my kids will miss them until summer. Summer friends are interesting friends, on for a while and never with hard feelings apart for most of the year.

And I was proud of my kiddos tonight. The eldest helped the bunny club leader's husband haul rabbits and cages back and forth between barn and car, even though he's had nothing to do with bunnies all year. The youngest was the most enthusiastic cage cleaner I ever met, sweeping and chatting with the other bunny owners. He made a huge impression tonight as he cleaned cages for bunnies that weren't his own. The whole idea was for his bunny club leader, who's given so much to the kids all year, not to have to spend all night in the bunny barn.

Middle boy now wants to run a bunny kennel, so people who go on vacation can board their rabbits. Its a cool idea, since its easy to board the dog, but we always have to wrangle a friend to watch the bunnies. But mostly middle boy just likes to play with rabbits and wants to be around hundreds of them. I'm sure he envisions a booming business!

There's something neatly mature an entrepreneurial about the county fair. Its cool to see people showing their skills, winning prizes, demonstrating the talent hiding in our little corner of the world. For one week, amazing skills, not just in farming but in art and baking and whatever else lurks at county fairs, come out of the woodwork. And you know, people seem to go back in time to a kinder age. Especially during the day, when the midway is closed.

Thanks again Big Knob Fair. See you next year, I'm sure.

01 September 2011


I'm sure its just the fact that my dinner took place at the county fair last night, but I feel miserable.

It doesn't help, however, that I looked at today's news. The Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh is reporting that All Saints' Rosedale has had to vacate their property. Of course in the never-ending media he-said-she-said game, the Episcopal Diocese says they never forced anyone to go anywhere, as if cuddly ol' TEC would be glad to just let bygones be bygones.

But the bottom line isn't money, it never is and never will be. The bottom line is that my good friends in Rosedale refused to turn their back on the Anglican Church in North America. Yes, Rosedale has publically stated that they couldn't afford the TEC diocese's price on their building, but disaffiliation with the ACNA is a non-starter for most everyone I know over here in Anglican Pittsburgh. There's not a price low enough that most of us would be willing to turn our back on our brothers and sisters. TEC needs to understand and get used to that.

We've already been through one split, where we have to turn and walk away from friends and loved ones with whom we shared our ministry and our lives. We didn't walk away from those relationships lightly, we preferred not to walk away from them at all. Don't our friends in TEC see how much we loved them, how we grieved to lose them? Why would they think we'd then so lightly be able to walk away from the friends in ACNA with whom we've been through so much, whom we love with the same love. We've lost enough, relationships that will never be the same. We know we can't go back again.

Do they not understand that nothing short of the cross of Christ could have ripped us from our friendships in TEC? If we were following the Cross when we left, how can we turn from it now. We have paid the cost in our friends, what a petty price is a building.

I'm honored to serve alongside my friends in Rosedale, who now will abandon the building they've loved and cared for and worshiped in for generations. They're the real deal, and they get to prove it by paying a visible price.

I can't presume to speak for a diocese, or even for my little parish. But I can speak for myself... on the one side I see friends willing to make sacrifice for the Gospel, for their friends, for generations yet unborn. On the other, I see the institutional equivalent of a petulant teenage boyfriend who whines "If you really love me... " And as every girl knows, such boyfriends aren't worth keeping.

Thanks, TEC, for yet again confirming my decision to leave.

I'll try to remember that the nasty feeling I have inside is the result of dinner at the county fair.

I Have Decided to Become A Math Teacher....

Because apparently I no longer have to worry about whether I get the answers right.

Arizona: Teachers Can Have Accents and Use Bad Grammar

Published August 31, 2011
It's not how you speak English – it's about whether you know it at all.

That was the final word out of Arizona, where the state and two federal agencies reached a settlement over an allegation that the state was discriminating against teachers who may have thick accents or use bad grammar when teaching English-immersion classes.
The agencies alleged that application of a state law requiring English teachers to possess a good knowledge of the English language discriminated against Hispanic teachers and students.

Glad to see Arizona is keeping the best interests of the students at the forefront in all of this. Didn't you read in the Declaration of Independence that all expressions of the English language are created equal? I honestly don't care about the accents... but good grammar is best taught by exposure.

Oh for crying out loud.