June 2010 in Review

1st – I love how John says, “I can’t like it.” or “I can’t want it.”

2nd – John found an ant in our house, got it on his hand and showed it to me. “An ant! Mommy.” “It is an ant! Will you put it in the trash please.” To which I received a very perplexed looked from John, although he walked away and towards the trash can. Then he came back and said, “Can I put it outside, mommy?” “Absolutely.” Poor kid, just couldn’t understand why mommy wanted an ant to go in the trash.

3rd – Lydia sits on the potty as though she were the Queen of England sitting on her throne.

5th – I was in and out of sleep this morning and dream that my husband and I were having a big discussion. Then Aaron, talking in his sleep, said, “It’s ok we’ll figure it out.

6th – Lydia has started calling John, “Yeeyee”

7th – John calls his bathing suit his “baby suit.”

9th – Lydia can find a writing utensil as easily as the early bird finds the worm!

12th – John gets WAY enthusiastic when he finds his name in his “Jesus Book,” a.k.a the Bible.

14th – Sitting on the couch next to Aaron, snuggling a was-asleep-but-now-awake little 2-year-old girl, hearing, “I yuv you mommy”… this is the good life.

18th – Lydia’s version of the Barney theme song. “I love you. I. hug. mwa!”

19th – I bought some ice cream for dessert for Father’s Day today. When I asked the kids, separately, if they wanted mac and cheese for dinner, they both said, “No. Ice cream.”

20th – We had ice cream outside. John was playing, Aaron, Ryan, and I were talking and I thought Lydia was being awfully quiet. I turned around to see her pulling a spoon our of the caramel jar and licking with caramel all over her face and the table.

22nd – I found John and Lydia painting the bird houses I had gotten for Aaron for Father’s Day on our living room floor.

25th – Joined Aaron in Manti and had an enjoyable time meeting all my brothers and sisters in Christ.

26th – Was so exhausted I washed my hands before I went to the bathroom.

28th – John and Lydia were watched by a mom in the church while I was at youth retreat. John returned home with a new way of playing in the sprinklers… by walking backward into it and “sitting” on the sprinkler, laughing and laughing.

29th – The house John and Lyddie were at today had a dog… by the end of the day if the dog was laying down, John would pet him! (To all who have seen his freak out around animals you know what a big deal this is.)

30th – Returned home from youth retreat amazed at how well John was talking, when I finally got home opened the fridge, only to discover absolutely no milk in the house with my children about to revolt due to lack of milk. “Crap!” I sighed. To which John replied, “Don’t say that mommy!” Oops….


Response to the Glorification of Childlessness

So, I found this blog, childfreedom, because of another blog and it’s (in one sense) response to the Top 10 Reasons Not to Have Kids. I was somewhat shocked and disgusted at the 100 reasons. At the same time, if you’d rather have breakable objects in your home than children, or are concerned about being able to eat what you want when you want, or that your tv viewing experience won’t be kid-oriented or kid-interrupted, etc. etc. etc. If all of these reasons resonate with you, then please don’t have children. Every single one of these reasons was a self-centered one, accept for possibly the one about the negative effect a new person adds on the environment. But, even then if you’re more concerned about landfills, than human life… well…

Anyhow, I read a few of the articles on the blog and I was simply shocked at the attitudes of the author and the commentators about children and the drain they were on society and the environment and how thoughtless and selfish those of us with children are.

The author seems to think that if you have children, than you didn’t give it any thought and you just did what society is telling you to do, ie have children, or you’re a selfish person wanting to have someone to love you or someone that you can vicariously live through. It doesn’t even enter into her thought paradigm that there are those of us who chose to have children because we felt like mothering was the highest, most honorable, important job that a woman can have and desiring to raise up a generation of children that can spread the gospel and glorify God. Well, of course that doesn’t enter her thoughts, since she is more than likely a postmodern agnostic/atheist realm.

The second article or rather the comments it received really offended me more than the first. She wrote a post Play Dates: Reason Enough Not to Have Kids. She began to describe this play group, apparently, and the politics of it. Nothing in the article was even remotely familiar in my life and our play dates. But even so, the childless commentators began to criticize those of us with children for over scheduling our children and wanting to do something fun for them, such as take them to a park to play with friends. I was kind of surprised how opinionated these childless people were about child rearing. I’m sorry, but you don’t get an opinion! Because trust me, having a child will change it. And what ever type of situation you’re speaking of with regards to play dates, that is not the reality for any parents I know.

The fact that the decision of having a child is boiled down to how much waste they will acquire through their lifetime, or not wanting to give up my “me” time, or wanting to be able to give your pets the love they desire, is sickening to me. Also, let me just say, pets are not children, they are not sons and daughters, they are not human beings and your pet is not as important as my child. Human beings trump animals and animals are not “people too.” Human beings are made in the image of God which, makes us more an important than the not-made-in-the-image-of-God animals.

My last thought to a childless person who wanders on here and notices the bird houses post from just days before. Let me assure you, that while I’m not ecstatic about getting paint on my carpet, and I’m not sure how long that paint will remain, I do know that those bird houses will be cherished for years to come, and I would MUCH rather have paint on my carpet and two beautiful, delightful, mischievous children, than a pristine house.

Childless by Choice vs. Childless by Choice After Two

Wow! I was reading a blog article that someone linked to on Facebook. (Article 1)

This article referred to another one on a different blog. She did not post the link but a quick search is all it takes to find it, and I was intrigued. (Article 2)

I am simply amazed. There are two sides to this coin and I’m just shocked at some of the things the childfree group says. I’m not so amazed at what the conservative Christians are saying because I’ve heard it and that’s the culture I belong to. Obviously I lean more to the second group.

So, first observations about the original article 1. The article refers to a list of the top 100 reasons NOT to have children. Which is filled with selfishness. It is completely a me-centered attitude. At the end the author basically puts forth the question, What’s the difference between childless by choice and childless by choice after two? (She was not being dogmatic about it, but simply putting it out there. The following “discussion” through comments I found very thought-provoking.

Here’s the thing, there are often times the conservative Christian side of the coin that says, you must be willing to have as many children as God wants you to have by not using any kind of birth control. You shouldn’t try to control the number of children or child spacing. Then there are other conservative Christians, who do use birth control and other methods to “control” the number of children and spacing in their home. (Control is in quotes because ultimately God is in control, no matter what, but we all know what I mean.) Anyhow, I guess what gets to me is those that don’t think limiting the number of children in your home is a valid option. It’s simply seen as selfish. I know myself, and I’m sure I’m not the only one, but while I love being a mother, it’s a hard job! I want to be wise with the limitations that God has given me physically, emotionally, and just personality-wise. Is that showing a lack of trust in God? I guess technically the answer is yes, that God knows my limitations even better than I do, but I don’t trust God perfectly with anything. And for people to critize with, “You trust God in everything else, why not children.” Is a little bit of a mute point. I struggle with trusting God with our finances, with healing, with time, and a multitude of other things. Is that an excuse? Probably not. At least not a good one, but there it is all the same.

So, originally all these comments had me thinking about all my selfish reasons for not adopting another child. (While I want to my husband is hesitant, which has made me hesitant. But even so, I’m at a place where I don’t really want more than 3 children right now and I have 2) Anyhow, then I started thinking, if God controls the number of children in a family simply through the opening and closing of a woman’s womb combined with the idea of “We’re not trying but we’re not preventing” lead me to wonder… God closed my womb, so was I being sinful by pursuing adoption. God knows me better than me, did he know that two would be too many children for me and one was enough? (I don’t really think this because I really do believe God brought Lydia to our family) But now I just have the question rolling around, if one can expand their family outside the womb, then why is one not allowed to constict the size of the family with the womb?

I’m usually a middle ground type of person. If you want to leave your womb open for God to give you as many children as He desires, that’s fine, that’s your decision between your family and God. Although, with a family like the Duggars (on 18?) with doctor’s saying it’s unhealthy and dangerous for her to have more children, it might be getting to the irresponsible part. On the other side, if you want to limit your family size to 2, 3, 4, or more children who am I to say that is not the right decision for their family, I don’t know all of the surrounding circumstances. (And is a family that stops at 6 more godly than one that stops at 2? Is a family that has only been blessed with 2 even with a lack of birth control more godly that a family that decided to stop and use birth control after 6 kids?) I do know one thing, of the families that I know that have chosen to limit their family size, I don’t know a single one that would not be overjoyed and in love with their child once the accident shock of it wore off. God creating in them a capacity that they thought they didn’t think they had, but at the same time were trying to be responible and wise considering their family and the circumstances God has given them.

I could continue to think and ramble, but I think I’m just going to let this lie.

Bird Houses

For probably a couple months, definitely with onset of chirping birds and spring Aaron has excitedly talked about buying two  bird houses from Micheal’s and painting one after the fashion of McDonald’s and the other after In and Out Burgers. (For those who don’t know In and Out Burgers are THE California burger joint that has recently expanded into Utah. It was quite the rage, people waiting in line for 2 hours or more for their burgers. These lines lasting for not only weeks but months after first opening.) Aaron was to have a little experiment to see which bird house was the most frequently visited. 🙂

So, for Father’s Day I thought it would be a nice gesture to purchase the bird houses and the red, yellow, and white paint so that we could have a fun family activity. However, because Father’s Day is in between the two Manti weeks (the biggest Mormon evangelism weeks of the year) Aaron was too tired and we decided to wait and paint them another time.

Little did we know, that our children would decide that later time would be Tuesday at about 5:45 pm.

I was hanging out in my room finishing up some stuff before getting my house and dinner ready before my Bible study group showed up. I thought to myself Man, the kids sure are playing nicely together. Maybe they’re a little too quiet. That ALWAYS means trouble. Well, what’s the worst they could be doing, they have food that spilled on the floor and will need to be vacuumed? Sigh. The peace and ability to finish my task is too nice, I deal with the vacuuming consequence. Literally, about a minute later John comes to my door and says, “Look mommy I paint!”

What I found

Immediately, I’m seized with dread and run out to the living room and there’s Lydia covered in paint, sitting on a paint-covered carpet, with two finger-painted bird houses. “Bee how (bird house) mommy!” said Lyddie. There are certain things that children do that are just beyond punishment and this was one of them. I sighed and lead them to the bathroom to have them take a bath.

I then called Aaron, “I’m trying to stay calm but there is paint all over our carpet.” (We don’t have the money to replace our carpet.) Aaron, of course, found the humor in the situation and assured me it would be all right.

I hung up and looked at my children standing in the waterless bathtub covered in paint and decided, well, I might as well let them finish the paint job since they’re already covered in it and I’m going to have to scrub it off of them.

Finishing Up the Bird Houses

So, I had them get out of the tub, I carried the houses and the paint outside and they finished up the paint jobs.

In the end, I have to admit that I think they are pretty darn-cute bird houses… and pictures! 🙂

The Finished Product

A Summer Secret by Kathleen Fuller

A Summer Secret takes place in an Amish community in Middlefield, OH. Mary Beth and her twin brother, Johnny, soon discover a run away child staying in their secret hide out. The twins sneak him food and clothing keeping it a secret until they’re forced to tell their parents when their hideout catches on fire.

This is an enjoyable book that is a quick read and while a little slow to start has a great climax and finishes well. I do feel this book would be better received and enjoyed by young teens or preteens, but possibly a little long for non-avid readers of that age group. The message portrayed was an excellent one, especially for the younger crowd.

Bottom line: I highly recommend this book for younger audiences, but wouldn’t be my first recommendation to adult crowds.