Sunday, September 28, 2014

It's that Birthday time of year!


Kyle, Levi, and Hiyab turn one year older. 

The annual birthday party (kept it small this year with relatives only - sorry friends!)

Hiyab got this beautiful princess dress from Grandpa and Grandma Mary.
And she got this awesome girlie bike with a seat for baby Sally.  She had the training wheels off after 10 min. (Thanks to Wyatt- "Come on Hiyab, you don't need those!")
Her dinner choice: chicken legs, corn and "sweet" beans.  A five year olds dream meal I guess. Mmm mmm. 
Levi's "party birthday" (In Royal language this means: not your real birthDAY, but your PARTY birthday) 
And his REAL birthday.  Welcome to the real world honey. 
My sweet little boy is now 15.  He's golden. I love him. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I'm a Liberal

Harrison was asked to take an on-line quiz for his civics class to give him an idea of his stance on politics and the government.  I LOVE taking those kinds of quizzes so I did and the results left me wondering.  According to the quiz, I'm a Solid Liberal. Like, as liberal as can be.  As far as I can tell though, by talking to neighbors, listening to the news, and just living in Seattle, there are people who are MUCH more liberal than I am.

How can it be that a Christian, homeschooling, stay-at-home mom of six is "liberal"? I took the test a second time skipping the questions that didn't match my beliefs.  This time I got, "Family and Faith Left." Yep, still Liberal.  So, for my own personal soul searching I've gone through each category to explain how and why this may be.

Government: I believe the government's job is to look out for the American People.  A country is healthier and happier if the people are healthy, educated, fed, and have a place to live.  Am I talking about communism? No. We are a democratic country.  We should vote for what we think would make this country the best country to live in.  Is it right for some people to live in mansions while others live in cardboard boxes? Is it right for grocery stores to throw away ugly apples while kids go hungry? Is it?

Deut. 15:7. If there is a poor man among you, one of your brothers, in any of the towns of the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand to your poor brother; but you shall freely open your hand to him, and generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks. 

Government Regulations: Should the government regulate large corporations?  Let me ask you this, Should large corporations make a billion dollars profit and send it off to foreign banks in order to avoid paying taxes? Uh- NO! My answer is yes to the question of regulating corporations, because many corporations have millions of extra dollars and are too greedy to pay their taxes (and do other things that are good for society as a whole). 

Luke 20:25, "Well then," he said, "give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God."

World Affairs: I don't have a strong (or clear) opinion on this.  I do like that Canada minds it's own business- it seems like a peaceful way to exist.  BUT, I don't think genocide and human torture in foreign countries should be ignored either.  I hate war, I prefer diplomacy. So I will say my stance is: War only when necessary.  And as far as trade goes? Ug- so complicated.  I've heard of the sweat shops, child labor, and destruction of the rain forests and it all sounds evil.  I like buying foreign goods though.  I think if we buy from other countries it's our obligation to make sure its a positive thing for that country and we aren't adding to anyone's suffering. 

Romans 15:1+2. We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 

Immigration: Can we all be honest here? We all have grandparents and/or friends who came from another country.  My grandmother is from Iceland, two of my children are from Ethiopia, and my sister-in-law is from Uruguay.  Harrison has kids at his school from Iraq, Korea, Japan, China, Thailand, Canada, Australia, Ethiopia and more.  Are they ruining our culture? No.  Our culture is a blend of MANY cultures.  Which brings me to the "can we all be honest" part.  We (as in middle/upper class America) all like one kind of immigrant but not another.  Those people throwing their kids over the boarder hoping they have a better life are desperate.  NOBODY would send their kid into the unknown if they didn't believe it was the best thing to do.  It's true that we can't take every down-and-out person in the world and help them- that is not a viable solution. But let's not be cold and heartless when we talk about other human beings. 

Philipians 2:4. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Environmentalism (or Stewardship): Imagine this.  The sun is out, you're hiking at Mount Rainier, the air is crisp and smells of the sweetness of flowers, leaves, and dirt.  You can hear birds chirping, you feel strong and healthy as you ponder the beauty of nature around you. You're thirsty so you make your way to the babbling brook you heard in the distance. When you bend down to get a drink you notice that a plastic bag with garbage is in the water upstream and then you see an oily film on top of the water.  How do you feel about drinking that water now? (If you prefer urban settings, would you rather hang out at Stanley Park or the city dump?)

We live on a beautiful, complex planet.  Everything works together in a way that, to me, makes it impossible to deny the Creator.  I believe that God put us and our world together with a plan and purpose.  I see nothing random about nature.  But that isn't what this post is about.  All I'm saying is, if someone I loved dearly came into my home and peed on my rug, or threw trash on the floor, or threw rocks through my windows and said, "Oh it doesn't matter! This world is temporary. I live for the eternal spiritual world!" I would be dumbfounded. Because that would be rude and disrespectful.  I invited them into my home and, for that reason, I think protecting our environment with regulations is important.  This world may not be here forever, but let's keep it clean while we can.  Let's be good stewards.

Hebrews 1:10. He also says, "In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands."

Who are we to ruin the works of His hands? 

Social Topics: I will not talk about abortion and homosexuality because then I'd also have to talk about divorce, gluttony, child abuse, laziness, drug addiction, pre-marital sex, lying, cheating, stealing, murder, jealousy, coveting your neighbors stuff, etc.  If you can say that you haven't partaken in one of the things listed then you're lying. And now you have (partaken).

In my perfect world everyone would fall madly in love with one person who loves them equally. The two of them would have babies, and live happily every after.  But we live in a fallen world and everyone who has done something terrible has a story.  The End.  

Romans 5:8. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

There you have it.  I'm a Liberal. 

I love this beautiful beach and my little brown girl from a foreign country.

Friday, September 5, 2014

And They're Off! (to school)

     Back to school Day One was full of excitement and conflict and all before 9am.  Harrison and Levi were heavily lectured the night before, "You need to be IN the kitchen by 6:30 am, dressed and ready for breakfast. You need to make your own lunch and be walking out the door at 7!"  This did happen as planned but they walked up and down the stairs about 35 times each.  All the while I whisper-yelled, "Shhhhh!!! Don't let the dog out of the kitchen! Stop stomping/slamming doors/creaking steps!" This was all code for, "DON'T WAKE UP ROYAL!"
     Next up, Royal was given his magic potion around 7:15.  He was in true agro form.  I knew it was due to the anticipation of the first day of school, but I struggle epically with this "special" attitude.  He was let out of his room 30 minutes later and I spent the next 45 minutes feeding, packing, and referee-ing. He got to school in time to meet his new teacher.
     Once back home, Hiyab was clingy, crabby, and demanding to "have (com)puter time," ( is her "school" when needed.  She thinks it's he god-given right!).  Wyatt was obviously glum and also a bit grouchy.  Both of them missed their sidekicks (Royal and Levi).  They didn't know what to do with their emotions.  Wyatt wanted to do school too.  Unfortunately for them, their teacher is still denying the fact that she's their teacher and hadn't even ordered school books yet.  She took care of that later in the day.

     Day Two was about the same but with more drama.  Levi was in the kitchen at 6 am organizing papers, filling out worksheets, making his lunch, and wearing the same shirt he wore to school yesterday. "Levi, you've got to change your shirt." "Why?" "Well, kids who go to school have an unspoken rule about cloths.  You can't wear the same shirt more than once a week." "Why?" "I don't know! That's just the way it works.  Homeschooled kids never learn this because their mom encourages wearing the same thing for days to save on laundry."  "But I wore a sweatshirt yesterday.  No one even saw my shirt."  My theory was blown when Harrison came down in the same shirt he wore the day before. "Harrison! You wore that shirt yesterday." "So, I was wearing a sweatshirt."

     So.... Maybe that's a girl vs. boy thing and has nothing to do with homeschool?  FYI Royal ALSO had yesterday's shirt on when he came down... Bah!

     When Levi came home he told me that he was supposed to hand in a paper that day that he didn't know about (it was assigned at the beginning of the summer).  He was remorseful.  It's now 9:30 pm and he's still doing homework.  He's done more homework today then he's ever done in his life (like more than an entire day of homeschooling).  I told him how proud I am of him for working so hard. "Really? You are?" "Yes Levi.  It will get easier with time.  Stick with it."
     It occurred to me just now that Levi is like Dr. Brown in Back to the Future- quirky, curious, and thinks outside the box.  He's the super genius that nobody sees coming.  I adore him to the core of his being.  Classical Education will be hard on him.
     Tonight Royal also told me his woe's.  He was put in a 2/3 split class.  Suddenly he isn't the oldest/smartest/best in his class.  His ego is suffering.  I assured him that he must have been chosen for the split class because they know he can handle it.  He's smart.  He works hard.  He can do this thing!

I agreed to buy Slurpees on the last day of summer.  Someone was excited.
Levi going to "real" school for the first time. (I love how Bentley is looking at Harrison).

The Royal one.  He's so darn good lookin!!
These three were all out of whack with the other three away.  They suddenly didn't know how to function and wanted to start school.  Teacher said, "Heck no.  Lets go on a walk and eat ice cream!"
And, I noticed that Kyle isn't as tall as he used to be.

And now, lets talk about my hair.  For months I've been ready to cut off my long hair.  I had this mental block that I couldn't do it when I was forty.  I was worried I would suddenly look old - like people would think I'd chosen to cut it off and have the same hair until I die.  I thought about getting it frosted, permed and set each week like my grandma.  I think she was forty when she started...



And, right. 
And there you have it.