Friday, December 31, 2004

Speaking of funny books...

Patrick McManus fairly consistently puts me into laughing fits where speech is impossible, breathing difficult, and I'm laughing, almost soundlessly, my eyes full of tears, my arms holding my shaking sides. My favorite stories are those which include his boyhood friend “Crazy Eddie” Muldoon. Especially the one where he and Eddie build an airplane.
Part of that is because I myself, at the tender age of ten, attempted myself to build an airplane, constructed out of a rickety old wheelbarrow and PVC pipes. I would then push the wheelbarrow as fast as my legs would go across a the bumpy, wind whipped fields, sure that any moment my creation could take flight, at which point I planned to jump on. I neglected any type of steering mechanism, which in hindsight would have been essential. However, wiser heads prevented me from ransacking the linen closet for sheets. Needless to say, I was unable to lift off.
Even with the second design, which was a glider made of PVC pipe, worn on the back, I still couldn't convince said wiser heads to allow the use of sheets-- probably because they would have caught the wind and propelled my scrawny ten year old frame straight into the barbed wire fence between our land and the neighbors.
Unlike young Pat and Eddie, however, I lived nowhere near a lake or pond, and wasn't able to experiment with submarines.

Two other favorite funny books are by Jerome K. Jerome – Three Men on the Bummel, and Three Men in a Boat.
The stories that he works into his books are just as funny as the main story he is telling- for example, in the former, the story of man losing a wife accidentally while bicycling through a country the language of which neither one spoke well.

Our family has also greatly enjoyed all of the Hank the Cowdog books we've read, written by John R. Erickson. The books on tape, read by the author, are also excellent, especially since reading them aloud taxes the reader immensely, since its always hard to understand people who are laughing and reading at the same time.
Sometimes when I watch the boys for the evening, I'll put them to bed with a Hank the Cowdog tape. They love it so much they'll go to bed earlier without a peep of protest, and after impulsively letting them make their own personal pizzas (“Look! I made mine a volcano!” “I need more pepperoni for my turtle.”) that's a very tempting thing! ;-)

Monday, December 20, 2004

English Country House Murders: Classic Crime Fiction of Britain's Upper Crust,
edited by Thomas Godfrey
A wonderful little collection of mysteries (22 of them), most of which I hadn't read.

My favorites in this collection were
“Jeeves and the Stolen Venus” (an unusual comic interlude),
“The Man on the Roof”, by Christianna Brand,
“The Fordwych Castle Mystery”, by Emmuska, Baroness Orczy,
“The Doom of the Darnaways”, by G.K. Chesterton, which I had read before, and
“An Unlocked Window”, by Ethel Lina White.
I picked it up on my way through a little town, at the library, where they were selling discarding books. I thought their prices in general steep, but I'm glad I paid the $2 for it. I love mysteries, so I'm always looking for other good mystery authors.
I think some of these authors will be good to research. Another recent read was an Ellis Peter's mystery, set in medieval times. I'd tell you the title, but it's behind wrapping paper, so I can't! ;-)

Thursday, November 25, 2004

I will praise the name of God with a song, And will
magnify Him with thanksgiving.

(Psa 69:30 NKJV)

Friday, November 19, 2004


There is something about a little coffee shop that draws you in. It might be the dark wood tables and chairs. It might be the amazing, tantalizing smells. It might be the soft, glowing lights. It might be the bottles of coffee flavoring. It might be the coffee. It might be the smoothies. It might be a refuge from the shopping district, awash in tinsel, looking cheap in the bright sunlight. It might be the sandwiches, or the cookies. Or it might be the chance to have a good conversation. Or it might be the newspapers and magazines. Or it might be the teas...especially the chai. It might be the glass canisters of candy. It might be the icicle Christmas lights festooning the wood waist high. It might be (but probably isn't) the two taxidermically preserved deer heads, despite the fact both of them are very nice, at least five pointers. It might be the music. It might be the framed pictures and awards on the walls. Or it might just be the free wi-fi.

Personally, I think its a combination. But this is still way better than Starbucks.

Hooray for small local coffee shops (with wi-fi!)

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Oh, please...

'SYRACUSE, New York (AP) -- Syracuse University students taking "Hip-Hop Eshu: Queen B@#$H101 -- The Life and Times of Lil' Kim" will have a guest speaker Wednesday -- the multiplatinum recording artist herself.'
"The Syracuse course requires students to read Kim's song lyrics as literary texts and analyze her iconography in videos and performances, according to the course description."

In connection to this, I was visiting a friend recently when she invited me to tag along to her afternoon art class. She assured me that her professor wouldn't mind, so I took her up on it, having been forewarned as to the focus of the class by viewing my friend's completed assignments-- straight A's. At least she has a sense of humor about them.

We arrived at the college campus, and reached the classroom. We were the first ones there, and sat down on tall stools around tables covered with a protective fabric-ish cloth. A few more students arrived, some friendly and talkative, others morose, or just shy. But this, it turned out, was a class where all were required to give input-- a great way to force them into thinking about the pieces in an elements of design fashion.

Class started, with only five students there at the beginning. More trickled in, leading up to a total of eight. Then, we started going around the room and each student would tell us all about their piece, and everyone would talk about it, and give input and praise and criticism.
We started with an elephant, made, like all of the pieces, out of wire, then a few other pieces, then my friend's piece, then IT.

IT was supposed to be an aspen tree, but it looked like flying fish suspended by wires, or flying tennis rackets. I didn't figure out it was an aspen tree until he explained his "piece."
I like aspen trees a lot, and I object to him saying that mass of wires looked like one. The teacher offered some technical criticism, but didn't seem to have a problem with the chaos of the piece.

So what do classes studying the the lyrics and music videos of Lil' Kim and classes that produce "art" like this have in common? They both fail to recognize standards, because, as secular centers of learning, they deny God's standards...and embrace the appreciative study of hip hop music videos and "artistic" chaos.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Google censorship?

'SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- Google Inc.'s recently launched news service in China doesn't display results from Web sites blocked by that country's authorities, raising prickly questions for an online search engine that has famously promised to "do no evil." '

'Google acknowledges its Chinese language news service -- introduced on a test basis two weeks ago -- is leaving out results from government-banned sites, but the company believes the omissions jibe with its long-standing mission to make its search engine efficient and useful.
If Google were to display results from sites the Chinese government blocks, computer users would end up clicking on links that lead nowhere -- something the search engine has always tried to avoid.'

But at least, even if the links didn't work, then the user would know that there might be another side of the story.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Did some research for an email - here are some older news articles.

Fox News article from Thursday, November 13, 2003
"Last month, Bush hosted an Iftaar dinner (search) at the White House to honor the start of the holy month of Ramadan."
Here's a snippet of his speech:
"Ramadan is a special time of prayer and fasting, contemplation of God's greatness, and service to those in need. According to Muslim teachings, this season commemorates the revelation of God's word in the holy Koran to the prophet Muhammad. Today this word inspires faithful Muslims to lead lives of honesty and integrity and compassion.
In hosting tonight's Iftaar, I send a message to all the nations represented by their ambassadors here tonight: America treasures your friendship. America honors your faith.
We see in Islam a religion that traces its origins back to God's call on Abraham. We share your belief in God's justice, and your insistence on man's moral responsibility."


"Bush and the first lady paid their respects by bowing in front of the main shrine hall before signing a registry book, including a brief comment on their visit. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi did not accompany Bush to the shrine, apparently to avoid a stir over the constitutional separation of state and religion."

"The Korean Church together with the Japanese Church is shocked and frightened at the act of the President Bush's shrine worship at the Meiji Shrine in the morning of Feb. 18, 2002 upholding the flag of the so called a Christian justice and a superpower, for it is an act of idol worship breaking the first, second, and third commandments of the Christian faith. We strongly denounce it." Find it here.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

'Reuters reports:
"A court in China's southern boomtown of Shenzhen has fined a couple 780,000 yuan($94,250) and sealed off their house for having more than one child, the Beijing Morning Post said Monday. "The pair were among nine couples who were fined 'social fostering fees' for their extra children, the newspaper said. They had their first boy in 1997 and last year had twin boys, the newspaper said."

The above is, of course, the country which currently enjoys "Permanent Normal Trading Relations" with the United States. '

link and comments thanks to Pieter, who blogged it here.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Thoughts on a book...

Vineeta Vijayaraghavan

A coming of age/ cultural identity novel set in India. The main character, Maya, was born and spent her first four years in India, then went to NYC to live with her parents. Now fifteen, she's being sent to India for the summer.

Maya has to deal with cultural differences, but since she is Indian the culture shock is lessened. Still, she isn't used to living with the daily realities of caste, rigid social rules of interaction with servants and with men, and arranged marriages. During her summer, she learns about her mother, with whom she has never been close, from her grandmother. She also learns a secret which helps her to understand her own history and her mother, and her relationships with her mother and grandmother.

Things to deal with:
Hinduism/horoscopes, cremation, terrorism, race/caste differences, arranged marriages, immigration/ sense of displacement, guilt, relationships, healing.
Disapproving reference to premarital misbehavior and birth control.
Maya's grandmother tells her that some social rules ought to be broken, but that she ought to consider carefully which ones are important enough to break, since breaking them will offend those she loves, like her very traditional aunt and uncle.

Be aware- Two uses of the Lord's name in vain by a character portrayed as flippant.

Well, it was more worthwhile than Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. But not as satisfying as the third book in the Mitford series, which I just read.

I enjoyed learning more about India, though, and thought that the book was well written. I'd recommend it, but it isn't a 'you-must-read!' book.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Here a Moose, there a Moose...

Flying moose lands on car's roof
'A leisurely Sunday drive came to an abrupt halt for a couple in southern Norway over the weekend, when a fully grown moose suddenly landed on the roof of their car. "We didn't even have time to think when there came this enormous thud," said a shaken Leo Henriksen after the bizarre incident. '

Drunken moose alert in southern Norway

"A warm summer has led to an unusual bounty from the region's fruit trees. The sudden and early snowfall has left some fruit under snowy cover, while still more remains on the branch. This fruit is fermenting, and also a readily available and tempting source of food for the region's moose."

Endangered moose
'This familiar Norwegian sight - a traffic sign showing a moose crossing -
has become a hot souvenir item for tourists willing to ignore the law.
"There are 500 moose signs stolen per year, many of them by Germans," Geir Ove Nordgård of the Public Roads Directorate told the newspaper.'

(a big thank you to Mr. Michael Schweppe of Polemics for pointing out this article, which led me to the other Norway related news.)

I had no idea Norway's moose population was so exciting.

In other Norwegian news, the U.N. has, for the fourth year straight, ranked Norway as the worlds best place to live, carelessly disregarding the imminent threat of drunken moose. I object. This threat should be dealt with in a serious way.
Also, I think people thinking of immigrating to Norway should also read this worrying Norwegian news story: Dog robs gas station.

Aussie brings dry farming expertise to Botswana

PANDAMATENGA, Botswana (Reuters) -- The sun-scorched scrub stretching as far as the eye can see could easily be in the Australian outback -- only there are no kangaroos. In fact it is Botswana in southern Africa, but Peter Schuurs is using dry-land farming methods from his native Australia to transform the local economy and carve out a future for peasant farmers who might otherwise simply sell up and move to town.

Sunday, August 29, 2004


"MUNICH, Germany (AP) -- There's more good news for chocolate lovers.
Scientists have found that eating dark chocolate appears to improve the function of important cells lining the wall of blood vessels for at least three hours."

Thursday, August 26, 2004

"TORONTO, Ontario (Reuters) -- Somewhere in Canada there are thieves with nearly 50,000 cans of beer they will have a hard time selling, although police said Thursday the truck driver who disappeared with the loot has been arrested."

"Very little of the stolen beer has been found. Four cans, three of them empty, were found in various parts of the New Brunswick province, according to the police and media reports."

Please, read the rest of the story... its hysterical. Really, it sounds like a movie.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

I opened Time magazine this afternoon, and was surprised to find an article entitled "The Right's New Wing" -- about conservative youth.
Interestingly enough, their stats show that 55% of college freshman support abortion rights... depressing, but then, in 1992 it was 67%.
Politically, there are surprises as well:
At the National Conservative Student Conference,
' "No one mentioned Bush. Which brings us back to this year's race. Although students are moving right on many issues, the President isn't necessarily benefiting. In 2000 Al Gore beat Bush among 18-to 29-year-olds by only 2 percentage points, but recent polls show Kerry with a double-digit lead among the young. (The race is a virtual tie overall.) Of course, very few conservative students will vote for Kerry, but most of the kids who attended the conference didn't seem eager to become field troops for the President either. As National Review editor Rich Lowry noted on the conservative magazine's website the day after he spoke at the conference, "What was most notable about this year was just how many smart young conservatives out there seem to think that there are no important differences between Bush and Kerry." '

Also, student quote:

'One student laid out a conservative case for Kerry: "When a Democrat is in office and proposes the same policies that Bush has proposed, Republicans act Republican and kill them," said Aakash Raut, 23, a senior at the University of Illinois at Springfield, in a heated debate with pro-Bush students. "And you have actually more conservative government than you do if a Republican is in the White House." '

I thought I recognized the name, and I was right-- Aakash Raut guest blogged at now closed Deux Ego, which was were I remembered his name from, and blogs himself at University Blog.

I'm surprised at Time magazine...they actually published something interesting and educational that wasn't Iraq war news (not, mind you, that I complain about the amount of Iraqi coverage—it not only it takes up space that would otherwise be filled with drivel about famous people or sickening movies, but also serves as a sobering reminder that the war continues.)

Someone should check the editors' temperatures.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

' PATRAS, Greece -- Iraqi midfielder Salih Sadir scored ... Wednesday night, setting off a rousing celebration among the 1,500 Iraqi soccer supporters at Pampeloponnisiako Stadium...
Afterward, Sadir had a message for U.S. president George W. Bush, who is using the Iraqi Olympic team in his latest re-election campaign advertisements.

In those spots, the flags of Iraq and Afghanistan appear as a narrator says, "At this Olympics there will be two more free nations -- and two fewer terrorist regimes."

"Iraq as a team does not want Mr. Bush to use us for the presidential campaign," Sadir told through a translator, speaking calmly and directly. "He can find another way to advertise himself." '

The unwilling poster children of Iraq's experiences with the American empire.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

CNN story on homeschooling.
"About 1 to 2 million school-age children -- who make up 2 to 4 percent of the school-age population in the United States -- were home-schooled during the 2002-2003 school year, according to statistics collected by the National Home Education Research Institute."

Of course, they also quote criticism of homeschooling:

' "Unless we are prepared to keep our children in bubbles their entire lives, we have to give them an opportunity to have some exposure to real-world problems so they can develop coping strategies," says Ted Feinberg, assistant executive director of the National Association of School Psychologists..."It's one thing to read about it," he says. "Much of what we learn in life is a matter of interaction. I just wonder how that takes place in a home school environment."'

Unbeknownst to Mr. Feinberg, homeschooled children across the US are learning about real-world problems. Does he imagine that all homeschooled families are independently wealthy people who isolate their children on ranches and spoon feed them, therefore depriving them of the interaction that leads to learning? Please.

Most homeschoolers I know interact, on a regular basis, with people -- ok, here's where it gets shocking, people -- who aren't in the same exact age group!

That way, they learn how to interact with adults, like the little old lady they talked to when out taking a walk with their siblings and mom during recess. That way, they learn how to take care of little ones by watching mom and helping her out. They also learn how to interact with all age groups through family friendships, something that isn't peculiar to homeschooling, but does seem to be endangered in modern school systems.

Socially, of course, there are drawbacks: they may not meet drug pushers in junior high. Obviously sheltered, therefore, when, at the age of 35, they encounter one, they'll be ill prepared.

"Oh, no!" they'll be thinking, "I can't deal with this! I'm no longer an omniscient teen!"

However, if encountering drug pushers in j.h. is what's needed to expose them to real-world problems, then why are schools so upset about drugs on campus? Surely that too is just needed real-world experience, right?

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Irony hearing "The Last DJ" played on a radio station in Germany playing US music.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Well, I'm home. I've been awake for most of the last twenty four hours, thanks to the time changes, and now I'm wide awake and its really late at night. Here.
Not in London. In London, its eight in the morning.
It was a simply wonderful trip. I loved getting to know my traveling companions, and meeting my relatives, and watching European fashion. Which was really funny at times.

Paris was hot, expensive, and really crowded. I've been once, I don't need to go again.

Edinburgh was lovely. I would enjoy visiting the area again.

Germany was amazing. Of course part of that is that we stayed with my extended family, but we weren't in tourist areas anymore. And that was wonderful. Food was cheap and good, the Tiergarten was unbelievable, certainly the best zoo I can remember ever going to, and the castle and churches were beautiful.

London was nice, but I was a little burned out by then. Also, it was harder to find things to do that weren't absolute tourist traps but were still interesting. The British Museum and the National Gallery were nice, as was just sitting in Trafalgar Square on the stone steps and watching people go by.
I did appreciate the fact that in London, men stood up and gave little old ladies their seats on the metro.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Greetings from Germany!
I've been delighting in exploring German food, and immersion is definitely a great way to get a little language jumpstart.  So far we have please, thank you, excuse me.  I'm staying with relatives, and they've been feeding us and showing us around, which is wonderful of them considering that their are six of us. 
My great aunt has compared our eating capacity disfavorably to my uncles' however... we are mere frail girls, and cannot put away as much!

Must run...almost time for dinner.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

email exerpt: me to my family

"We went to the top of the Eiffel tower last night, and went to the Louvre this afternoon.  The Mona Lisa area was packed, but I was able to stand in tranquility later and gaze at two Vermeer's: the girl doing lace, and the one with the man and the globe.  

One main difference I’ve seen between Edinburgh and Paris, it apparently isn’t considered necessary to have your shoe color match any other color you’re wearing.  This gives you a lot more freedom.  Also, Parisian women wear astounding shoes, with heels almost all the time.  As a whole, they display far less midriff, but a little more shoulder than women at home."

Monday, July 12, 2004

"Read. Nuff Said."

So says a button handed out as part of a teen reading program sponsored by a public library.
When I first saw it I didn't see any problems with it. After all, reading is good, right? Better than all the trash on TV and the many revolting modern movies, for sure! Better than wasting time on Nintendo, Game Cube, and PS2, definitely!

But are they saying reading is good in and of itself? Because if so, they're wrong.

Here is my interpretation:
Reading can't save you. [public library]
Art can't save you. [NEA]
Education can't save you. [public education]
Government can't save you. [all of the above]
God can save you. [see the Bible for more information.]

Reading, in and of itself, isn't redemptive or good in any way. It can in fact be harmful- a steady diet of anti-God propaganda will affect you, whether its through movie, television, book, magazine, or radio.
Heather has Two Mommies? Nuff Said.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Well, my roomate Emily left at five this morning, so I've been up since then although I don't have to leave until 7.15am.
I'm repacked and the dorm room is clean.

What can I say? CWSC was great. Douglas Wilson's sermons on Confession, Bitterness, and Life Between the Sexes were very good, George Grant's ability to use the art of rhetoric to make you see the vision that he's seeing is amazing, and Steve Wilkins told us about the Venerabe Bede, among others. He told us that the Bede died singing the Gloria Patri.
I've met some wonderful people, too, like Charity, whose family just adopted three boys out of foster care, and Natalie, whose family is caring for five foster children .
I aquired a Peroutka button and some books. :-)
I'm sad its over but glad I'll be home again soon

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Well, I'm flying out late tonight for the
Christian Worldview Student Conference 2004, so I'm pretty sure no blogging for a week.

I'm packed, so far as I know. I haven't remembered anything to put in my bag lately, anyway. *remembers something* Aha!
I put sticky notes all over my closet door to remind me of everything:
- Return Heather's book
- Write thank you's
- Pack toothpaste and shampoo
- cell phone charger
- pack shoes
and others...

Cya'll in a week. :-)

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Minnows are so hard to catch.

(c) Natalie, posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 08, 2004


I'm leaving on vacation for a week.

If I never return then I've been inhaled by a shark. ;-)

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Today has been a fairly normal Saturday at our house:
- people sleep in if they can
- mom goes grocery shopping
- I ride my bike to the library
- mom plans meals for Sunday
- I read outside.

and special, too...

- we all go swimming
- hamburgers, pop, chips

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Who decides?

This is an interesting article on the debate over who chooses how they want to have their baby, specifically, whether a Caesarean section can be forced, by her doctors, on an expecting mother.

Here is the beginning of the article:

"PHILADELPHIA - Amber Marlowe was a seasoned pro at delivering big babies — her first six each weighed close to 12 pounds. So when she went into labor with her seventh last winter, she brushed off doctors who told her the 11-pound, 9-ounce girl could be delivered only by Caesarean section.

But the medical staff at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital wouldn’t budge, not even with her track record. “All my others, I’ve done naturally,” Marlowe recalled telling her physicians. “I know I can do it.”

So Marlowe checked herself out and went looking for a new doctor.

While she was on her search, Wilkes-Barre General’s lawyers rushed to court to get legal guardianship of her unborn child, giving the hospital the ability to force Marlowe into surgery if she returned.

The case is one of several in recent months that have revived a debate about whether mothers have an absolute right to choose when, where and how they give birth — even if the health of their baby is at stake."

Some of the objections, however, are coming from those who believe that the main issue is a woman's control of her body, regardless of the baby's health. One such objection came from Lynn Paltrow, who according to the article said:

“My impression is that we have a political culture right now that falsely pits fetal rights against women’s rights, and that you are seeing a kind of snowballing effect,” said Lynn Paltrow, of the New York-based group National Advocates for Pregnant Women. “We’re at the point now where we’re talking about arresting pregnant women for making choices about their own bodies, and that’s not right.”

Of course, the body in question is technically NOT the mother's, its the baby's. The mother (and Father! The way some act you'd suppose such creatures didn't exist!) have responsibilities to provide the best for their unborn child, in their own opinion. And, as other news stories warn that "[w]omen are choosing to have potentially dangerous Caesarean births far too often", not wanting a c-section makes sense.

another interesting quote from the first article:
“There are 50 years of case law and bioethical writings that say that competent people can refuse care, and that includes pregnant women as well,” said Art Caplan, chairman of medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Warning! Warning!

Pun ahead!

Q: Why don't anteaters ever get sick?

A. Because they're full of anty-bodies.


Monday, April 26, 2004

My brothers were arguing the other night over whether the lyrics to Johnny Cash's rendition of the Tom Petty song were "I walk back down" or "I won't back down."
I sided with the second option, although the first one was rather funny.

"Well, I walk back down, no, I walk back down..."

Sunday, April 11, 2004

And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it.
His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.
And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.
"He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
"And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you."
So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.

(Matt. 28:2-8 NKJV)

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Well, I'm about to leave for a few days for our Church's Camp but I thought I'd pass on some interesting links for ladies--

I was looking around a few days ago and found Sabrina Nicole Design and ModestProm.Com.
I really liked the Modest Makeovers page in ModestProm-- most of my ball dresses have needed alterations, so I'm always on the look out for new ideas. :-)
Another interesting site is Great Lengths. While looking around there I found my dress from two years ago, although mine is forest green, which they do not have. They also have longer shorts and skirts. Interesting!

Saturday, March 20, 2004

I've saved up my pennies (& I'm trading painting/other labor for airfair)...
and I'm going to the Christian Worldview Student Conference, in Newport News, VA, July 5-10!
The speakers are George Grant, Steve Wilkins, Doug Wilson, Pete Hurst, James Nickel, and Herb Titus.
Anyone else planning on attending? :-)

Friday, March 19, 2004

"I'm always staying with you, and I'm never letting you go."
~my six year old brother, Joshua.

aww... :-)

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.
I bind this day to me for ever,
by power of faith, Christ's Incarnation;
his baptism in Jordan river;
his death on the cross for my salvation;
his bursting from the spicèd tomb;
his riding up the heavenly way;
his coming at the day of doom:
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
of the great love of cherubim;
the sweet "Well done" in judgment hour;
the service of the seraphim;
confessors' faith, apostles' word,
the patriarchs' prayers, the prophets' scrolls;
all good deeds done unto the Lord,
and purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the starlit heaven
the glorious sun's life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea,
around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
his eye to watch, his might to stay,
his ear to hearken, to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
his heavenly host to be my guard.

Christ be with me,
Christ within me,
Christ behind me,
Christ before me,
Christ beside me,
Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort
and restore me.
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of
all that love me,
Christ in mouth of
friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
praise to the Lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord.

Words: attributed to St. Patrick (372-466);
trans. Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895), 1889
Music: St. Patrick's Breastplate and Gartan (verse 6)

Meter: LMD

(I really love this, but no, I didn't type it all out myself. I copied it from Whirlwind, link to the left on the sidebar.)

Sunday, March 07, 2004

O Lord, My God, Most Earnestly
Psalm 63

Thomas Tallis, 1567.
From the Cantus Christi.

O Lord, my God, most earnestly
I seek Your holy face,
Within Your house again to see
the glories of your grace.
Apart from You I long and thirst
and naught can satisfy,
I wander in a desert land
where all the streams are dry.

The lovingkindness of my God
is more than life to me,
So I will praise You all my days
and pray continually.
In you my soul is satisfied,
my darkness turns to light,
and joyful meditations fill
the watches of the night.

Beneath the shadow of Your wings
I sing my joy and praise.
Your right hand is my strong support
through troubled nights and days.
All those who seek my life will fall;
my life is in Your hand.
God's king and people will rejoice;
in vict'ry they will stand.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

"I thought it might be appropriate and helpful to briefly explicate the position our family is taking on The Passion, a film in which a bold actor attempts a very difficult part, the role of God incarnate.

We strive in our family to be committed first of all to obedience to the word of God, in this case particularly the Second Commandment. We feel that the older understanding of the meaning and implications of the commandment (historic protestant iconoclasm) is being abandoned without much serious reflection.

While some have told us they think our objections to this movie are somehow a denial of the incarnation, we think that the making of this film is in fact a denial of the nature of the incarnation. We recognize the real humanity of Christ, without sin. Jesus came in the appearance of man (Phil 2:8) but He did not appear as a sinful man. Furthermore men are not now able to know Christ in His incarnate form (2 Cor 5:16), although we believe that after His glorification He remains incarnate. Thus, while He is eternally incarnate, the time in which sinful men could so know Him was intentionally temporary.

We think that it has been for our own safety that Christ left us no pictures, for it is in our basic nature to worship idols. If idolatry were not a constant danger to us, the Lord would not have repeated His warnings against it so often. The Roman Catholic church corrupted its worship by the introduction of images and relics into the pure worship of God, and continues to worship and pray to much that is not God. Those Christians err who pray to images in the church or in their imaginations. Screwtape approves of this error, encouraging young Wormwood to have the patient pray through an object of reverence, that might be "up and to the left at the corner of the bedroom, or inside his own head, or in a crucifix on the wall." He is to encourage the patient to work at correcting and improving this image. (C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, Ch IV). Gibson's movie will likely constitute a potent tool of temptation, and the excellence of the images will only make it worse.

Jesus says, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father;" Jesus "is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature." Can an actor really presume to portray this? Will we have seen the Father when we have seen Jim Caveziel on the big screen? I think all will answer in the negative to this question, but what we forget is that God has given us a word in which, as we "see" Christ in it, we also again see the Father. That Word is perfect and this film is not. That word is the way that God has given us to know Him and to make him known. We argue therefore that any insistence that Christians have a duty to view this film is completely unwarranted, for the word of God is sufficient for all our needs and cannot be improved upon.

Supposing we were to view it, we would not see film of the sinless Son of God being executed. We would see pictures of a sinner hanging on a cross, a god small enough to be portrayed accurately by a sinful man. The incarnation is about God becoming a man, but this film is essentially a man pretending to be God. Jesus is, after all, being played by the same guy who played the Count of Monte Cristo. This will result in a profound demystification of the incarnation, and demystification feels good to people who suppose they have apprehended something that has been eluding them. Jesus will be trivialized when Jim Caveziel takes his next role (what will he be, a bank robber, a cowboy, a spy, who knows?). "Hey, isn't that the dude who played God incarnate in his last movie?"

This film will not prove a panacea for our evangelistic ineffectiveness. I find it ironic that the angry Zionist critics of this film have not been just as vehemently criticizing the Bible and the church for all the same things they are angry with the film about. Why is this? Is it because we are so impotent in our proclamation of the word of God, and so weak in our worship of Him, that we are not a threat to them? I don't think this film represents any solution to our problem, or any serious threat to Gibson's Zionist opponents. I find it equally ironic that Christians are hailing this film as the next best thing to the second coming. Why is this? Perhaps childish impatience and curiosity. For my part I will wait to gaze upon my Saviour until that time that He has determined to show himself to me. He will, no doubt in many ways, be other than what I have expected, due to my own sins, distortions, and ignorance; but at least I won't be surprised that He doesn' t look like Jim Caveziel."

~My father, in a recent email.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Books I came home with from the history conference:
Kitty, My Rib, by E. Jane Mall
from the Curriculum Connection table, I think.

Dubliners, by James Joyce
from Ball and Cross Books

Gulliver's Travels, A Tale of a Tub, Satires, and Personal Writings, by Jonathan Swift, a two book set
from Ball and Cross Books

Put Out More Flags, by Evelyn Waugh
My dad bought this one for me, I'm not sure which table.

A Bob Dylan record.
from Ball and Cross Books.

And I bought my dad Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies, also from Ball and Cross Books.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Well, for those of you who were not at this last week's Credenda Agenda History Conference, you can go read Dr. Grant's blog, where he posted entries matching very closely to what he spoke.

You will also get a taste for Dr. Grant's talents in writing/speaking, for example:

"A distant gleaming skyline soars up from the fruited plains through plump cumulous clouds to sleek zeppelin docks and mad neon spires. Roads of crystal unfold between the towers like an origami trick. They are crossed and recrossed by thousands of satiny silver vehicles like choreographed beads of running mercury. The air above the city crackles with remote radio-laser signals. It is simultaneously thick with ships: giant delta wing-liners, dragonfly-like gyro-copters, electro-magneto aerial cars, and vast hovering helium blimps. Searchlights sweep surreally across the horizon illuminating streamlined buildings ringed with bright radiator flanges."

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Mandarin Design Gallery!

"All Mandarin images and pictures in the Gallery may be used without permission. Copy and paste images or use the copy-and-paste code to insert an image in your Blog or Web page."

Thank you to
Summer and to Shimmer for referring to Mandarin Designs so that I found it.
I was at the Center for Cultural Leadership page this morning, and noticed a link that read:
Response to Doug Phillips' Diatribe. I followed it to see what he would say, and found this, dated Wednesday, January 28, 2004 -

"I won’t be responding publicly to Doug Phillips’s blog diatribe against CCL and me. However, if you are a friend or sympathetic to CCL, please e-mail me...and I’ll send my private response. It is for private consumption only and may not be forwarded or otherwise publicly disclosed."

The reason I was at the CCL site was because of a link to this article-

"The support some have of President Bush is not about rejecting those babies lost in the 1% of abortions performed; it is a pragmatic decision to support the candidate who more supports life over death than the other one."
~Monday, January 26, 2004
Repentance and Politics
David Bahnsen, A Response to RC Sproul, Jr.

Here is a quote by Carmon Friedrich, on another election, which I thought summed up my thoughts pretty well-
"We hear the mantra of pragmatism in every election: "Don't split the for the lesser of two evils." Tell me, what business does a Christian have voting for any kind of evil? There is a God, and He is pleased to bless His people when they obey Him. We can follow godly principles and vote for the righteous man, trusting God for the result. Trusting God is the pragmatic as well as the principled approach."

(later in the same post) "[W]eigh all things in the balance of godly principle, not the false scale of pragmatism. Don't ask, "Will it work?" Ask, rather, "Is it right?" Let God worry about the results...He never breaks His campaign promises (II Cor. 1:20)."

(2 Cor 1:20 NKJV) "For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us."

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Watch the movie. The Meatrix.

Fight the Meatrix. (Factory farms.)
Well, my cape is in the home stretch. I think. The liner is all sewn together, the black outer is all sewn together, now we just need to sew the lining to the outer and hem it up and we'll be done.

Then we need to shorten the lavender dress that I'm planning on wearing in February, and finish up the blue dress I'm wearing this Saturday.

Tonight we're having a ball practice. It should be a lot of fun. I'm planning on taking a bottle of sparkling cider left over from New Years.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

'Midway this way of life we're bound upon,
I woke to find myself in a dark wood,
Where the right road was wholly lost and gone.'

~Dante, The Divine Comedy, part one- Hell, Canto I

I just started The Divine Comedy for the first time.

Friday, January 16, 2004

I was on the couch about twenty minutes ago finishing up Cur Deus Homo, when I noticed that my cat, Oreo, was glaring at me in an attempt to force me to feed her. I didn’t want to, though, because I was the only person awake in the house, my mother replenishing our grocery supply, and I’ve watched too many movies about Things that Jump from Behind Bushes and Things that Lurk in Shadows. I have no idea why an assassin would be lurking in my backyard, but I would rather not risk it. You never know.

Therefore, I ignored the cat and resumed my reading.
Now, I ought to explain that in her kittenhood my kitty developed a hatred of waving feet. This was due to the fact that my father would wave his feet, she would attack, and he, due to the protection of socks, would invariably win. Therefore, she hates all evil waving feet. So, I put my foot over the back of the couch and waved it gently too and fro, wondering whether she would come around the couch and attack. She did not. Instead, she startled me by racing up the back of the couch and shooting my foot a malevolent glare before sparing me and gracefully leaping off again.

Thereupon duly humbled, I resumed my reading. It would be hard to beat a cat for putting people in their place.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

' “Normal” is a setting found on washing machines. Anyone who tells you different is a manipulator. '
~ Laurence Windham

An interesting website:
From the description- "...apricotpie is a gathering of creative writers and thoughtful writing, a place giving homeschool students and graduates together the opportunity to have a voice".

I just discovered that Carmon Friedrich has a Poetry page.

A man wearing a chicken suit robbed a Kroger grocery store last week in Columbus, Ohio.
When I left this browser window open, my dad announced later "Tommy Lee Jones has been arrested for armed robbery." He had me for a second there... :-)
(Allusion to U.S. Marshals, I think...although I suppose I might be mixed up and it could be The Fugitive. One of those, anyway, the one where Tommy Lee Jones' character wears the chicken suit disguise.)
(Thanks to Aggressive Driver for the link.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Tennis this morning. Not playing over Christmas didn't help my overall level of play, but hopefully I'll get back into the swing of things again soon.

I finished my drawstring shirt. Yay! My second wearable garment ever. I even made a matching hairtie.
Next in line: the cape. I bought the pattern and the fabric. Now all I have to do is make it!

I picked up the violin a few nights ago for the first time in quite a while. Mom got her cello out and we played 'Rise Again, Ye Lion-Hearted' and some Psalms, including 40 E. It went surprisingly well, but my tone is still very uneven.

I've had the 'Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World' soundtrack since Christmas, and I have enjoyed it very much.

Someone also loaned me 'Appalachia Waltz' with Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, and Mark O'Connor, a while ago, and it was very nice.
I have a gift card to a bookstore/music store someone gave me, so sometime soon maybe I'll be able to go and see if they have it, since they didn't when I went right before Christmas.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Sewing Update

I've always wanted a cape. When I was little I'd put an afghan over my shoulders and pretend it was a flowing cloak. Unfitted sheets work much better for make-believe capes.
To come to my stated subject... today I bought Simplicity pattern 5794, which has three different capes.
I think that a lined cape might be an overly ambitious beginners project, but my dear friend Kit is making one, as are her two sisters and another friend, so I should be able to pick their brains and beg for help when the sewing machine tries to kill me.
The occasion for the capes is a ball in January, although I might wear it (if it works;-) in February.

In other sewing news~
~My drawneck shirt is, I estimate, half done. I need to put the sleeves on. That sounds intimidating, but I tell myself I can always rip out the seam and start over.
~I began a skirt, but I haven't sewn anything yet, just cut out the pattern.

Hopefully today I'll be able to go to the big, dusty, discount fabric store (which is quite an adventure and sells some fabrics by weight) and find cape fabric. The pattern says to use Velvet, Velveteen, Shantung, or Tweeds for the outside, and Satin or Taffeta for the lining. The current plan is to use black Satin for the outside, and polarfleece (colors different for each person) for the inside. This should be interesting.... ;-)