Thursday, May 22, 2008

That Ol' Moloch Box!


The most important thing we've learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER
letThem near your television set --
Or better still, just don't install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we've been,
We've watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone's place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they're hypnotized by it,
Until they're absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don't climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink --
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!'you'll say,
'But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!'
We'll answer this by asking you,
'What used the darling ones to do?
'How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?'
Have you forgotten? Don't you know?
We'll say it very loud and slow:
THEY ... USED ... TO ... READ!
They'd READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more.
Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching 'round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it's Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There's Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They'll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start --
oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts.
They'll grow so keen
They'll wonder what they'd ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.
Roald Dahl

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Return to Meal-Time Sanity

I have been noticing something lately... some of my kids have grown picky. I believe that for one, it is the side-effect of having more grocery money at my disposal; not having to stick to simpler foods… mostly though, I believe the reason is lack of vigilance on my part. In my experience, the answer to this is a sort of meal-time boot camp. No more choices, just thankfulness. (How often does God have to deal with us, thus?)

There was a time when the task of meal planning was much saner in this household. I’m being nostalgic and going back to the way it was, at least to the degree that I’m able.

We are going to have our breakfasts planned according to the routine of the day.
For instance on Monday, we “hit the floor running”, it is the day that we have extra mess around the house after the festivities of the Lord’s Day, we usually have laundry piled up because we didn’t do any on Saturday and Sunday, and it is the day that we have a standing appointment in the afternoon – piano lessons.
So, on Monday, breakfast is easy, and you must get it yourself - Mom is busy! The kids can choose between cereal, toast, any designated leftovers in the fridge or make themselves an egg, as long as they clean up the mess!
Monday lunch is also about speed and ease, usually grilled cheese. The rest of the week, we will have soup made from “must-goes”, fresh bread and fruit.
So here is what my morning meal plan looks like:
Breakfast: Each day, Kephir Smoothies &
Monday (our crazy day): Catch as catch can!
Tuesday : Oatmeal and bacon
Wednesday: Pancakes or Brown Rice Waffles and sausage
Thursday: Grits and ham
Friday: French Toast & sausage
Saturday: (Grocery shopping early in the morning) Muffins
Sunday: Muffins or other baked goodies, breakfast casserole
(There are some of us who must have protein at breakfast.)

Lunches will be soup, bread & fruit. If the soup runs out, or we have to eat on the run, we will have tortilla wraps or sandwiches.

I’m hoping that going back to this plan will result in healthier attitudes at the table. I’m also hoping that as prices go up, it will make things easier on our budget.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

On my list of "want to reads"

Reasons to win souls from the book Unashamed by Floyd McElveen: Found in the review of that book at Discerning Reader.

Because our Lord and Savior commanded us to
Because those who die without Christ are eternally lost
Because nothing pleases God more
Because winning souls brings great joy to our lives
Because winning souls results in changed lives
Because the sacrifice of Christ demands that we win others to Him
Because redeemed individuals bring glory to the Lord
Because winning souls demonstrates the power of God
Because winning souls demonstrates the purpose of God
Because we are grateful
Because of love
Because there is rejoicing in heaven
Because of the promise of heaven
Because of the reality of hell – McElveen makes no bones about the reality of hell; if God and heaven are eternal, then hell must be eternal too.
Because of Jesus Himself – “Jesus is what makes heaven a place of incomparable glory and joy.”

Check out the other great book reviews there!

Monday, May 12, 2008

First Simple Woman's Daybook Entry

FOR TODAY: Monday, May 12, 2008 ...
Outside My Window... it's a chilly cloudy day, the branches in our old oaks are whipping around.

I am thinking... about how much I need to get my pictures into albums.

I am thankful for... my hardworking menfolk, Steven has just arrived home, Gaelan has just left for his shift as a police officer, and hubby is finishing up his day at the shipyard.

From the kitchen... Chili that Shayna made in the crocpot, she's about to make cornbread, there's potato sourdough bread rising on the counter.

I am wearing... a long denim skirt, pale green t-shirt, a beige, multi-colored flecked cable cardigan and green socks, hair's in a pony-tail.

I am creating... a scrap quilt for a cousin's upcoming wedding.

I am going... to change my shirt when I'm done and touch up my make-up before Conrad gets home. (I'm not planning on leaving the house until Wednesday.)

I am reading... The Compleat Gentleman by Brad Miner and Mossflower by Brian Jaques to the kids.

I am hoping... for Gaelan to have a good night, and that God will grant him the desires of his heart.

I am hearing... Wind in the trees and the children talking while they fold laundry.

Around the house... School's done, chores are mostly done, it's pretty quiet.

One of my favorite things... My new crocpot...I got the kind with the gasket and clamps to keep it from spilling. I have retired my old ones which were limping along missing various necessary parts.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: I'm hoping to work on Shayna's hair more, we've been taking out her locs...hard sore-head work, that! I would like to get a third of that quilt pieced this week!

Here is picture thought I am sharing..."How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!" Psalm 133:1

Gaelan and Isaac actually goofing off, but a good picture none-the-less!

How To Help Your Grieving Friend

I wanted to put a link to this great series so that I could refer to it again. It looks to be very good. Found through Nancy Wilson's blog (also very good!).

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Bitty Booties

I made these Bitty Booties for Moya Mommy's baby shower. I found them fun to make, and really like how they turned out. Take a look at the flicker photos of all of the possibilities.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Comment on the Bulgogi recipe...

This recipe is SPICY! Lisa tells me that beef bulgogi is not supposed to be spicy. We had this just the other day and all decided that we would have enjoyed it with a little less kick. So, the next time I make it, I'm going to use only 1/2 tsp. of red pepper flakes.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Anna at Pleasant View Schoolhouse wrote an encouraging post entitled "Lessons from Vintage Fiction". Here's a little taste:
"Vintage fiction has been my treasure trove for figuring out how to put together a homemaking life. Old housekeeping manuals will give you out-dated specifics about how to iron or polish the silver the way it was done in the thirties or forties, but it's the mentioned-in-passing daily routine that fascinates me so deeply. Here's what I have learned about a domestic life, courtesy of Grace Livingston Hill, L.M. Montgomery, and their ilk:Homemakers have work to do. They get up early and make breakfast, since someone in the family needs sustenance before catching the trolley for a long day at the office. Homemakers have a plan for each day's special tasks. There's really no time to sit around; running a home is a demanding undertaking."

Go and read the rest.