Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Divine Roles

I recently picked this book up at the library.  I suppose I judged the book by it's cover because I thought it would fit Harley perfectly.  You know the whole "Princess" and "Smartypants" thing.  After reading it to her I was so annoyed, disappointed and angry.  In the story Princess Smartypants defeats all of her many suitors with her superior intelligence and wit until she finally runs off every available male in the kingdom. At that point, she can finally live happily ever after alone, taking care of just herself.  Okay, first of all, I am in favor of teaching our girls to be strong and educated women. I certainly want Harley to know that she can be or do anything she wants. I hope she realizes she is more than just an object but I also hope she chooses to marry someday. I hope she chooses to take care of more than just herself.  I don't believe that we are happier alone, or that as females we are better off without men. Isn't that what God told Adam in the Garden?  Actually, maybe that is the point. Maybe we have completely forgotten what God has told us about real happiness.  Marriage and family might not be a Cinderella Fairytale. In fact, marriages sometimes fail. Men and women make heartbreakingly poor decisions sometimes. We all know that family life can be hard work, frustrating and stressful but there is no other unit or group or individual who can achieve greater happiness than what can be found within a home of individuals who truly love and care about each other. 
I feel like there is a movement in our country right now, a sort of Women's Lib Part Deux.  The goal of the movement is to convince the world that men and women are the same. In my religion in particular, a few women have protested the wearing of dresses and/or the fact that only men hold the priesthood.  They believe we are all the same and what a man can do, a woman should do also.  I take issue with this stance. I believe that our spirits were created male and female before we were ever born and as such we were given different responsibilities in relationship to our gender, such as bearing and nurturing children. Man was also given responsibilities including honoring and protecting his family. None of these responsibilities included oppressing women or degrading the importance of the male in society. Men and Women have different roles to play, different strengths and weaknesses. The idea of us all being the "SAME", is not only terribly boring but dangerous.  It jeopardizes the creation and rearing of children. It demeans my role as a mother and my husband's role as a provider. Proponents of this self-named Women's Lib Part Deux, would have you believe that I am uneducated and repressed while my husband lords over me with more physical power and an insatiable sexual appetite. It is ludicrous and offensive. Studies have shown that a child's greatest indicator of future success in life is not necessarily what a parent taught him or her, but that they lived together as a family and felt loved.  Key words-"lived together, felt loved."  Other studies have found evidence that a male parent and a female parent are also vital indicators of future productivity. These findings are not particularly shocking to me.  Read your history books and you will find that before the free-loving era of the 1960's, husband and wife and children were essentially the only socially acceptable model of family life.  How many mass shootings were there in the 1950's?  How much lower was the suicide rate?  How many men and boys were addicted to pornography and abused drugs?  Significantly fewer.  Do you think that is a coincidence? A healthy marriage between a husband and a wife is ideal-not always possible-but ideal. Family is the fundamental unit of society so why are we trying to promulgate the idea that women don't need men.  I have sons and a daughter. I want each of them to feel their divine worth and understand that God sent them to this earth to fulfill different roles that are equally important.  And instead of the message that the author of Princess Smartypants wants my daughter to hear, I hope she will take the advice of one of my favorite women, Margaret Nadauld when she said,
“Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity.”    

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Marble Monster Munch Mayhem

Oh,  how I love alliteration! A while back we had six consecutive days of rain. So, we had to get creative or go crazy. We each made some monsters and glued them onto a box. Then we shot marbles at them.  This literally provided the munchkins with almost 2 hours of entertainment.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pumpkin Head an October Tradition

Early every October we have a Family Home Evening that includes the creation of our beloved friend Pumpkin Head. I am certain none of the kids remember a year without him.  It doesn't feel like October until he arrives on the front porch. 
In addition to scarecrow building we also watch our favorite Halloween Movie, Spookley the Square Pumpkin, while we drink cider and eat donuts. 

8 Can Taco Soup or Food Storage Soup

I love soup, especially in the fall and winter when the weather turns colder. One of my favorite and easiest soup recipes is my 8 Can Taco Soup. It is made completely of canned food that can sit in your pantry for a couple of years before expiring.  Forgive my photo. I have yet to perfect the art of food photography.
1 Can Black Beans-Drained & Rinsed
1 Can Pinto Beans-Drained & Rinsed
1 Can Green Enchilada Sauce
1 Can Corn-Drained
1 Can Chicken Broth
1 Can Diced Tomatoes
1 Can Chicken Drained
1 Envelope of Taco Seasoning
Salt & Pepper to taste
(Note: all of the cans should be the regular or 14.5 oz variety)
Combine in pot or Crockpot until warm.  Serve with chips and cheese.

Monday, October 7, 2013


Tuesday night Atley had Flag Football, piano and violin practice, an hour and half of homework and then Cub Scouts. His day literally lasted about 14 hours. Way too much for a 9 year old.  It was no surprise that Wednesday morning none of the kids woke up until well after 8AM. My thought, this is a perfect day for playing hookie. We headed to the Leesburg Animal Park and the Pumpkinville Festival.  Of all the fall festivals around Washington D.C. this is my favorite. It is smaller, less crowded plus you get lots of close encounters with the furry kind.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Busy Time

I learned the hard way with my oldest that some kids need lots of practice using their fine motor skills. I try to create small activities for Harley to work on while I am busy making dinner or cleaning the kitchen.  One of her favorites involves Cheerios/Fruit Loops, Spaghetti Noodles and an Egg Carton.  It may seem a little bizarre but it is much easier to string noodles than thread and it really hones in on those specific fine motor skills we are trying to further develop.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

National Book Festival

Each September the Library of Congress hosts the National Book Festival. Luckily for us it was a couple weeks before the wonderful government shut down that we are all enjoying so much.  It takes place on the National Mall and features lots of author book signing's, story time for kids, free books and tons of other activities.  We had a fabulous time except for the 10 minutes that Nash disappeared in a crowd of a least 10,000. I guess it shouldn't surprise me. He is not one bit interested in reading, which is practically blasphemous to his mother. This year, as is usually the case, PBS Kids had a huge booth where the children participated in Sid's Stinky Smelling Challenge and met some of their favorite characters. They even wrote and illustrated their own little books.
All three of them chose a monster theme for their books, Here is the text Harley made me write in her book next to her illustrations:
"Monsters! Help!  It's going to bite us.
I'm going to die.
I need a drink of Mountain Dew. Help! Help!
I want to make a ladybug.
Oh no! There is another monster. We have to fight it.
We fighted the monster and now it's dead.
We have to write now.
Let's play checkers and with sparkles.
That's All!"
I am fairly certain I am raising a young Jane Austen.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Dulles Plane Pull

What is a plane pull you ask?  It is just that, a bunch of people see how far and how fast they can pull a plane while competing against other teams.  We try to go every year.  There are always lots of cool planes on display and plenty taking off and landing at the airport, plus there are moon bounces and airport tours. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Still Alive

I always tease my friends whose every blog entry begins with, "I know it has been a while since I blogged but..."  and there is a month or more between each entry.  Apparently, that is the pot calling the kettle black.  Things have been crazy busy, as each fall seems to be, back to school nights, PTA meetings, Primary Programs, soccer, scouts, homework, violin, piano, flag football, preschool; not to mention football is now officially on 5 days a week plus all my other shows are coming back for the new season.  Pathetic right? I will attempt to catch up and stay on track for the rest of the school year, but I can't make any promises.  

We had one last swim party before the weather turned autumn like and we closed the pool for winter, as I type that I realize it is officially 86 degrees outside right now. The party included a sleepover with three other little boys, beside my own. To say that it was one of the longest nights of my life, would not be an exaggeration. It doesn't help matters that Harley thinks she is a 9 year old boy that can flip into the deep end and fart with reckless abandon.  It wasn't until days later that we realized that during the wild party the toilet in the basement some how got cracked and flooded the guest room!
Harley and I have spent some nice days at the park. We are both finding it difficult to entertain her without the help of her brothers though. Even the park seems a little dull without our traveling comedy troop in tow. She has told me on more than one occasion that I was boring. She also told me that my ears were getting way to big to pull off the short hair any longer. I love her candor. She is such a diva.  She gives me a tea party just about every afternoon and forces me to eat all of whatever she provides.  So, if you think I may have gained a few pounds, it's all Harley's fault, in more ways than one.

 Nash is playing soccer and once again his dad is coaching.  He scored a whopping 12 goals last Saturday. Granted he has learned the art of Cherry Picking or camping out by his own goal refusing to play defense. We are always so happy when he plays well and wins or we have a truly devastated child as witnessed above. Hopefully, one day his overly competitive nature will serve him well.

We took in one more Nat's game before the season came to a heartbreaking end just shy of the hunt for October.  We even ran into some of our dearest friends at the game and hitched a ride back to our car with them.  I am not sure what I like more about a night at the ball park-Bryce Harper or Shake Shack!