Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Making Decisions

When our children were much younger, Eric and I used to depend on rock-paper-scissors to make many decisions for us.  Who should change the baby's dirty diaper?  Who should get up to comfort the crying child in the night?  Who should feed the baby in the high chair?  Who should respond to the call from the bathroom for "help"?  For these decisions we often immediately put out our fists for the challenge.  Now, I think that this led to an equitable sharing of these duties, but Eric thinks I won more often than he did.  (Winning, of course, means NOT having to do the unpleasant chore....)Obviously this method won't work for any weighty decisions, but for mundane things it's great.  Now I realize there are people who take rock-paper-scissors VERY seriously.  But for us it remains a lighthearted way to make a quick decision about things that don't really matter in the long run.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Words of Wisdom

Just came across this blog post about the busyness of the Christmas season.  Sally at Eternal Echoes has elucidated my thoughts exactly:
No wonder we are weary, we have lost the ability to truly rest, and have forsaken the wonder of waiting, replacing anticipation with headlong rush of activity adding stress to a season that sends bank accounts and relationships spiraling into disaster. How tragic that parents are judged not by the love, care and concern that they have for their children but by the size of the parcel they are able to provide. I speak to mothers who sacrifice bedtime stories and cuddles for part-time jobs simply in order to buy that latest toy for a child whose head has been filled desire for a toy that has been advertised solidly from September onwards. I speak to families stressed out by not being able to buy the approval of relatives and friends. I hear it from my own children as living on student loans they struggle to resist the perils of the season!
Advent is not about chocolate filled calenders it is a season of repentance and fasting just as Lent is, it is also a season of preparation, one that calls us not to look to the babe in the manger but rather to the risen Christ WHO WILL COME AGAIN.
The rest of her post is equally thought-provokoing.  It's nice to see others are pondering these issues and writing about them.

Hat tip to Dave Black for the link.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.--George Santayana

Sixty-eight years ago today Japanese navy planes attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  Most of you who read my blog probably don't need a long description of this event and its consequences for our country.  That's not what I'm writing about today, although it's a fascinating subject. When I was in high school I read everything I could get my hands on about WW II, and wrote a lengthy research paper on the Battle of Midway.  Names like Nimitz, Yamamoto, and the Enterprise, Hornet, Kaga, and Akagi still bring back memories for me of studying that battle in depth.

What's on my mind today, however, is this:  today will pass, for the majority of Americans, with little thought of the historical import of Pearl Harbor.  In February 2008 journalist Steven Knipp wrote for George Mason University's History News Network:
In 2001, the U.S. Department of Education reported that nearly six out of 10 high school seniors knew so little about their own nation’s history that many are basically historically illiterate.
The rest of his article is worth reading, if you can stand to read about just how uninformed American teenagers are these days.  I wonder how much they know about World History?

I don't have the time to get into the "Who is to Blame?" factor, especially since right now I'm supposed to be doing school with my own children, whose schoolwork has devolved into sitting across the table from each other seeing who can roll their tongue or turn it over.  Is it the schools' fault?  Parents?  TV? iPod? Video Games?  Individuals?  I really don't know.  I'm merely lamenting the fact that most people I know don't care about history, don't know about history, and apparently haven't learned anything from history.  As a Christian who believes God's Word is true AND historical, I value history highly.  It makes me sad that most people do not.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Pictorial Essay

The pies the kids and I made the day before Thanksgiving: (guess who made the apple pie?)

Our table set for the Thanksgiving meal:

I treasure the cornucopia that was always on our table when I was a kid:

Our Christmas tree!