Thursday, November 15, 2012

Obama Won, and I'm Glad

Whaaaat?! Surely you can’t be serious.

I am being serious. And don’t call me Shirley.

Let me ‘splain. Put down the pitchforks and pom-poms.

How can a lifelong conservative Republican, precinct-walking Romney voter say she’s glad the other guy won?

I’m not glad that Obama won.

Butbutbut… you said--

I know what I said. Have a seat. This is going to take a while.

I’m not glad that we’ll continue to spend trillions of dollars we don’t have. I’m not glad that millions of people will continue to be unable to provide for their families without government involvement. I’m not glad that Obamacare will become a permanent part of our legislative landscape. And I admit, I was really hoping I could stop spending $800 a month on gasoline.

I’m not glad that the worst president of the modern era, possibly the worst president ever, was re-elected. As far as I can remember, the only three campaign promises he kept were killing bin Laden, increasing energy prices, and fundamentally transforming America. The last one makes me truly sad. America’s emptiest suit, so very full of himself, gets four more years to remake our republic in his own image.

There’s been a whole lot of “How could this happen?” on the Right over the past week. I’ve seen a lot of articles and blog posts from people scratching their heads about this election. Simply put, Obama won because a majority of voters wanted what he was offering – twice. We are a fundamentally different country now. I’m not convinced our current populace would have elected Ronald Reagan, were he running in 2012 instead of 1980. Obama won because he fits our times.

On November 6, 2012, we saw that the America we knew is terminally ill. The America that drew my mother here from El Salvador, that made my father proud, handed itself its own death sentence. Now it’s just a matter of watching the life drain out of Uncle Sam’s face.

America. It was nice while it lasted. The Second Coming feels a whole lot closer than it did ten days ago.

Wow. Exaggerate much?

Not really. Especially now that Hamas is going to war with Israel. We weren’t the only ones watching the outcome of this election, you know. Anyway…

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Lot Can Happen in Four Years

Wow! I came back here to my mostly-abandoned blog and felt like I'd opened a time capsule. A baby pic of kid #4? That was two kids ago! And the sidebar -- hoo boy, I've got a lot of decluttering to do. But that will have to wait. I've got a big post rolling around in my head, and it's too big for a Facebook status update. And to think I last updated this blog before I'd even joined FB.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sorry, been a little busy

Since I last posted, I had the following experiences:

--Found out I was pregnant
--Bought a 30' camping trailer
--Totaled the trailer
--Schlepped three kids to soccer for the first time
--Had the baby (see below)
--Lost a brother-in-law to a massive heart attack (today, Feb. 12, would have been his 50th birthday)

Two months old. Eats like a horse, sleeps like a log, growin' like a weed.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Insert Pithy, Witty Post Title Here

I've been scarce for the past few months. (Duh.) The short list of reasons includes: family calendar (a project prolonged by the last flailing gasps of an elderly OS laboring under the weight of Photoshop); Little League; and "life", the analog version. I had to banish myself from Web surfing for at least a month just to finish the calendar, and I've been too busy to get back here and clean things up. At least now my online presence resembles my real-life office -- a space in serious need of decluttering.

General update: The Goose is in Hardy Boys book fifty-something, The Boy has fallen in love with a girl at preschool, and The Flea is along for the ride, as usual.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

We Interrupt This Program... bring you "Mad Libs Junior: Comic-Book Hero", as authored by the Goose. Words in bold print are the ones she inserted.

My favorite comic-book character is the Purple Flea. She's a superhuman creature with tons of sad powers. When a bad guy attacks, her thumb tuns into the size of a/an pineapple and shoots out a poison pirate. She is able to make any enemy snore with fright. Her sidekick is a giant purple balloon who starts to dance whenever he smells trouble. And she rides around in a/an smelly jet that's shaped like a/an house. When she isn't fighting crime, she poses as a/an hairy schoolteacher. The only key to her identity is a/an magical purple mark right above her lung. When I grow up, I hope I burp just like her!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Authority of God's Word for God's Church

I made it on time for the first session (alert the media!), so I signed in and slapped on a nametag. I noticed lots of Simi Valley registrants on the list, and I found out later that a surprisingly high number of attendees here are not from either Cornerstone Church or Eternity Bible College, but from surrounding churches. The lecture room was almost full – lots of college kids and young single types. I’m guessing the turnout is 150-200, which is probably the largest conference ETM has ever held.

Joshua Walker, provost of Eternity Bible College, welcomed everyone to the conference and opened with a word of prayer. We sang a couple of praise songs, and then Doug Main, assistant pastor at Community Bible Church and an instructor at Eternity Bible, introduced Pastor McDougall. I had to chuckle knowingly when Doug said, “to many of us at CBC, his first name is Pastor” because he embodies so much of what a pastor is called to be.

Pastor began by saying, “I’m going to talk to you about God’s Church.” (It helps if you pronounce it “charch." LOL.) He gave an overview of his ministry through the last 44 years, then outlined his goals for the conference’s attendees: 1) personal renewal, 2) renewal in their marriages and families, and 3) renewal in the life of God’s Church.

I’m tempted to say that the title of this talk should have been, “McDougall’s Greatest Hits, Volume 1.” It encapsulated many of the things we’ve been hearing on Sunday mornings for the past ten years.

“This (holding up Bible) is the only authority; it’s all that matters… Understanding what it says isn’t so difficult; it’s a willingness to submit to what it says that’s difficult.”
Pastor said that there are three tests for us as we encounter Scripture:
1) Is it really the authority?
2) Is it the only authority?
3) Will we let it define itself?

He referenced 1 Corinthians 4:6, “…do not go beyond what stands written…”, which is pretty much the theme verse for CBC. In preaching through 1 Peter on Sunday mornings, he realized that he wants to emulate aspects of Peter’s life – every decision, every sermon, every theological position, and everything he writes must be based solely on the Word of God.

He said that one of the main problems we have in the Church today is that when we want advice on something, we run to the Christian bookstore and read all kinds of books, many times to the exclusion of THE Book. He cautioned the audience not to spend more time reading the notes in their study Bibles than reading the text itself.

He quoted David Wells: “Today the issue is not so much the inerrancy of Scripture but its sufficiency.” He added his own corollary: “The Bible by itself is sufficient for the church Christ created. But the Bible by itself may not be sufficient for the churches we have created.” This elicited lots of ohhhhs from the audience, as if 100 mental light bulbs went on all at once.

That one moment was very encouraging for me, because I remember having many of those light bulb moments when dh and I first began to sit under Pastor McDougall’s teaching ten years ago. After a while, it’s easy to forget the excitement of learning something new. Seeing all those people interact with these principles for the first time made me excited again.

One area to apply 1 Cor. 4:6 is in learning to separate personal preferences from biblical principles. We must not go beyond the Book in judging the motives of men’s hearts, since we often don’t even know our own motives. But more importantly, if we “speak down on” (katalaleo, James 4:11) someone else, we put ourselves above that person, and we speak down on the law. The only time we should “jump in with both feet” is when someone has clearly violated a clear directive of Scripture.

Finally, Pastor explained the pyramid. (To follow what I’m saying in this paragraph, open the link in a new window.) “Jesus didn’t give people rules; He gave people principles.” Principles and people were the extent of Jesus’ ministry. He didn’t leave any programs behind. Programs aren’t wrong, but we need to keep in mind that they’re our creation. As for property, Jesus didn’t even have a place to lay His head at night. Pastor also mentioned that most churches have the pyramid inverted, with property at the base and principles at the peak.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Liveblogging, Kinda Sorta

My pastor, Don McDougall, is teaching at a conference this weekend through his Eternal Truth Ministries. It started last night and runs through tomorrow afternoon. The hosts this time are Cornerstone Church and Eternity Bible College in Simi Valley, California.

Pastor McDougall holds these “leadership retreats” a couple of times a year in various locations, but there’s always at least one in southern California each year. His focus is on pastors and elders, but the principles he teaches are valuable for any member of Christ’s Body.

After reading Tim Challies’ liveblogging accounts of the Shepherd’s Conference and the DGM Conference, I got the wild idea of liveblogging this event. Since I got this thunderbolt of an idea only a few days ago, I’m doing everything last minute. Par for the course around here! I’m not able to attend all the sessions either, so I’ll be getting whatever info I can from fellow church members who will be there. I apologize for the rinky-dinkiness of the setup, but I want to be able to take at least some of what I've been learning over the past 10 years and spread it around to as many people as possible. Cornerstone is videotaping the sessions, too, so when those are available, I’ll link to them.

Session 1, “The Authority of God’s Word for God’s Church”, was held last night. I’ll post my thoughts on this message shortly.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Friday, October 20, 2006

Kid, Meet Candy Store

"Duh" Moment #881: If you're a book lover having trouble picking out books for your bibliophilic progeny, don't hand a book catalog to said child and expect him to be able to help you narrow your choices. Waste. of. time.

The titles with a blue mark next to them are the ones The Goose wants.

Update: She just pointed out to her dad that she didn't mark the Instructor's Guide. "I'm not an instructor."

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Daily Weekday Schedule

How much more proof do I need that she's a total Goose? For your consideration, observe:

Notice there's no mention of "make bed" on this list. But she intends to brush her teeth THREE times a day. Uh-huh.

The "tip: Fridays CK" refers to our Friday morning Mommy-and-Me preschool co-op.

At the bottom, it says "Read H.B." H.B. is short for Hardy Boys.

I love that she put "brush hair" before "eat breakfast." Brushing her hair is her least favorite activity; she avoids it like the plague. Now I have a document that SHE created that I can use to point to her need to brush her hair daily. It's hairbrushing apologetics.

I could just eat her up, she's so adorable.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I Resemble That Remark

One of the moms over at the WTM boards linked this Weird Al Yankovic video. I busted a gut watching this one. It reminded me of my score on the geek quiz you see on the Web. And yes, the guy dancing in the background is Donny Osmond.

Weird Al is one of the most creative minds in showbiz -- and he's got my sense of humor.

Back from Playing Blog Hooky

I know, it's been a whole month since I last posted, and my faithful readers have both been wondering what's become of me.

The weekend after Labor Day we went camping for a few days with my mom. She went home a day earlier than we did. On our way home, the siding on the trailer started peeling away like a banana. One minute, everything was fine; the next minute, I looked at the mirror to see the siding panel flapping in the wind, and the insulation bulging.

We got off the freeway right away and pulled over to survey the damage. The wood at the front of the trailer had rotted away due to leakage, so the screws weren't holding anymore. To get us into the nearest town, dh took screws from the rotted areas and reattached the siding at points where the wood wasn't damaged.

We found a Walgreens and bought two rolls of white duct tape. We spent the next half hour taping over the repairs, to keep the wind from doing any more damage.

I didn't think to take a picture of the trailer before we fixed it. IMO, the trailer looks like we used a giant White-out tape dispenser on it. It looks better now than before the trip!

Suffice it to say, between this adventure and our discovery of a cracked fitting in the fresh water tank system (and the cabinets that don't close anymore, and the poorly designed storage, and the cramped quarters, etc.), it's time for a new trailer!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

School is In, and Not a Moment Too Soon

Yesterday was the first day of our fall semester. This will be my first year teaching two little sillies. The Goose is now in 3rd grade, and The Boy is doing K4. The Flea is majoring in Mischievous Studies, and is producing a dissertation on "The Deconstruction of the Blankie: One Fingerful at a Time." She is a diligent researcher.

I don't feel quite ready for our school year -- still some ancillary things I haven't gotten around to ordering, and our science curriculum arrived just yesterday. But man, these kids have grown stir-crazy, being out of their regular routine! The time has come!

I always looked forward to the beginning of the school year when I was a kid. New books, new supplies, new school clothes. In my mind's eye I can still hold my Mickey Mouse Club metal lunchbox, redolent of peanut butter. But around here Day One arrived with little anticipation. We'd worn ourselves out with swimming lessons instead of shopping sprees. Our Friday lunchboxes probably won't be on sale anymore by the time I make it to Target.

But one of the coolest things about homeschooling is taking off after school to spend the afternoon and evening at Six Flags with my dad and brother. I NEVER got to do that when I was a kid.

We've had a light schedule the past two days, but you'd never know it by looking at my third-grader's face. Every math assignment is greeted with grimaces of despair and disgust. (And these Singapore Math books are the same ones she loudly and eagerly awaited only two months ago.)

Writing words inside a 1" high box is a task beyond her ability, since she's incapable -- INCAPABLE, I tell you -- of writing letters smaller than 2" high. It's pathetically comical. Finally I have enough days of homeschooling under my belt that I can respond to this annual ritual with bemusement instead of worry. This phase will run its course, and not a moment too soon.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

What About the "Good" People?

Tim Challies has a great post entitled, "Does Anyone Choose Hell?" Lots of good discussion going on. Here's a snippet of my comments:

My dad used to "worry" for years about "the pygmies in Africa" -- why is it just for God to send them to hell if they've never heard the gospel? It was a long time before I realized he was asking the wrong question. Instead of asking, "Why are some condemned to hell?", he should have been asking, "Why are any granted mercy?"

Friday, August 18, 2006

Book Shopping Draws to a Close

I'm finally finishing my history book planning, and it turns out I won't be buying as many history books as I'd planned. I'll actually have to set foot in the public library this year, LOL. Things would've been different if we hadn't decided to buy the 58-book set of Hardy Boys books for The Goose's birthday this month. I also ordered our chemistry curriculum this week, so that's another set of books I've bought. It just means that I'm closer to being done than I thought.

It's a good thing. Once I sat down and matched the titles I've been collecting over the past year with the relevant chapters in SOTW3, I've got about 13 chapters covered. We'll buy a few more books -- several on church history and a few fiction classics -- but most of the rest will be on audio or borrowed from the library. I figure if we're doing extra reading for 18-20 chapters in SOTW3, we're doing well.

We thought The Goose would take about a year to finish the Hardy Boys series, but she's finishing a volume about every three days. I hope that pace will slow a bit as we transfer much of her reading time to school. The books are still in the treasure chest dh designed for her birthday (a mystery theme party, of course). They desperately need a permanent home. I've got some serious book rearranging to do before we start on the 28th.

That Thud You Just Heard... my jaw hitting the floor. My mom bought me this thing at Ross for $4, and it actually works! Normally when she buys us stuff it's things like dollar-store Power Rangers that disintegrate on contact, but this one's a find. The Goose is thrilled. Brushing her hair is painful for both of us.

Of course, all this could change in a week when it dies a dollar-store death. But I'm cautiously optimistic.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Well, I missed all the hullabaloo from the Carnival of Homeschooling. My "always on" DSL connection has been "at the pleasure of Verizon" again. Today they like me, so I have service. Ten minutes from now, it's anyone's guess.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Stuff You'd (Probably) Never Say Before Having Kids

"OK, everyone! Parking lot hands!"
"Your shirt is not a napkin." (A few of you ladies may have to say this to your men.)
"Turn off the lights and go to sleep NOW!" (My dh tells me a polite version of this whenever I'm up late click-clacking on the computer.)

On Humor

Let me give you two different scenarios:

The Roast
You are the founder of a club. Some of the other members you know well, others are only acquaintances. But one day the members all decide to get together and have a "roast" for you. At the black-tie rubber-chicken dinner, a couple of members put on a skit. The skit includes jokes and gags that poke fun at your club, and one person does a dead-on impression of the guest of honor (you). Everyone in the room is ROTFL and having a great time. It's the highlight of the evening, and everyone in the club talks about it for years afterward.

The Coals
You are a girl in junior high school (that's "middle school" for you young'uns). In your history class is another girl. She seems smart -- always ready with the right answer when called upon, asks thoughtful questions. You've said hello, chatted a couple of times. She's nice and polite. One day about midyear, you're walking to lunch and you see her talking to her friends, with her back toward you. You're within earshot just as your acquaintance does a dead-on impression of one of the slower kids in your history class. The whole group erupts into laughter, and your acquaintance says, "Yeah, all the kids in that class are so ----ing stupid. They make me want to ----ing gag."

Both of the attempts at humor I've just described involve truth. After all, nothing's really funny if it doesn't ring true. But to borrow a line from Sesame Street, "one of these things is not like the other." The difference is intent. One's harmless fun, and the other is malicious gossip.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Not Funny Anymore

In the midst of our three-week heat wave, I got the kids signed up for swimming lessons. This week was the first week of class. Every single day was overcast, about 70 degrees in the middle of the day until it burned off in the afternoon. Today we had DRIZZLE. "OK, Lord, I get the joke. Hot/cold, ha ha. But this isn't funny anymore. We're freezing our hineys off in the water." "And why couldn't we have this weather when we got married 11 years ago?!" Not the most reverent attitude, I know.

On the bright side, dh brought me a dozen long-stemmed roses for our anniversary tomor-- today! I really needed them, too. I'm in the process of banishing all the toys from the kids' room, sparing only the dinosaurs. (The circumstances surrounding this project are less than happy.) The Power Rangers made an early exit to the garage last week. Now I've got fifty boxes of toys in my living room, and they won't fit in the garage. DH suggested taping them shut and putting them back in the room. I think that'll work. The kids can gradually earn the toys back as they prove their room-cleaning abilities, or as soon as I grow out these bald spots I got from tearing my hair out.