Wednesday, February 28, 2007

COH - Week 61

Too Funny To Correct

Did your kid ever say something improperly, but you didn't correct him right away because his mis-speak was just too, stinkin' entertaining? That's what's happening to poor Quarto. He is the only kid on the planet that thinks those big, yellow machines that push dirt around on construction sites is called a butt-dozer.

We'll correct him eventually (we've actually tried, but for some reason he doesn't take us seriously when we try to correct him while laughing hysterically)... for now, we are just going to enjoy the free entertainment.

I hate being sick...

... it messes up my schedule!

At the end of January, Primo asked me to get up earlier so that she could do school when she was awake. Seemed like a sensible request. Although I had to put my foot down at the suggestion of a 6am wake-up time... she can watch a movie... I am not getting up before 7:15. That extra 15 minutes is imperative. I am by no means a morning person, so I need the psychological boost that comes from getting up at 7:15 rather than 7:00. (If you are a morning person, I know that this makes no sense to you, but trust me, it is a big deal to us night owls.) It was actually going very well. We still saved science, history and Latin to work on with Secondo, but Primo had all of her other work done (spelling, handwriting, math, grammar, writing, music) by 10:30! The rest was done by lunchtime. Primo had plenty of time to read or work on craft or art projects (which she loves) or (gasp) work ahead in something. I was free to put a lot of focused time into Secondo and Terzo's schooling. And Quarto had someone available to play with all the time. Life was good!

As you can see by the timing of this post, I am no where near being on the right track to get up at 7:15 am. That is because at the beginning of February, "the sickness" invaded. You know... the flu/ cold-from-Satan-himself virus that's been going around. We knew it was going to be bad when Primo was flat on the sofa for three days. She never gets sick. Once, she was spending the evening at a friend's house so Frodo and I could have a date night. She was about 5 years old. About an hour into the evening, she ran up to the dad of the house and said, "I'm gonna throw up" and promptly threw up all over their kitchen floor. Within seconds, she was asking to play outside and running around like a mad woman. This is her usual MO when sick, so to be down for three days was bordering on being an emergency. Actually, Terzo did end up in the ER his first day sick with the cold-from-Satan-himself because of a dangerously bad case of croup. Everyone became sick. Frodo and I had it the worst. I was sick for just shy of two weeks... then the real fun began. A terrible hacking cough that kept everyone awake. My chest was killing me from all the coughing. I am better now... except I think I cracked a rib coughing then aggravated it by chopping ice for two days (I think I need more calcium).

Anyway, all this to say that our schedule is in a sad state after all of the sick days that everyone racked up... okay, that I racked up... over the last three weeks. School got done during that time... in bits and pieces. Lots of videos and worksheets. Although I do see Saturday school in our future. (Ssshhh!) And now that everyone is feeling better, my night-owl tendencies have come back, and I have lost all of the ground that I had gained training myself to get up earlier.
Ugh. Guess I'd better go grab my ice pack, set a really loud alarm clock for 7:15 and try to get some sleep.

Filling in the Gaps

I was a pretty good student in school, and although my interests were mainly in the scientific realm, I enjoyed learning about history... especially American history. All these years later, I would say that I have a fairly good grasp of American history and a basic grasp of world history. However, when I began teaching my own children history, I was amazed at what I didn't know. I knew the history of various places (American history, European history, Asian history, etc), but I couldn't tell you what was happening in Japan while Europe was in the throws of the Thirty-Years War. I couldn't tell you what was happening in Babylon while the Egyptians were building the pyramids. I couldn't tell you what was happening in South America while the Thirteen Colonies were declaring independence from Great Britain. I had a basic knowledge of history, but it had no context. As I began teaching my children sequential world history using the four-volume Story of the World curriculum, all the pieces began to fall into place and world history began to make much more sense to me.

Now that I have a taste for contextual world history, I want more than can be provided through a grammar-stage level curriculum. I want to move on to the logic stage. Fortunately, the author of the Story of the World curriculum that I am
using with my kids, Susan Wise Bauer, has just come out with the first of a four-volume world history series for adults. I just ordered my copy of The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Account to the Fall of Rome and can't wait until it arrives and I can delve in and enter the next level of understanding of sequential world history. Care to join me?

Friday, February 23, 2007


Heather at Stepping Heavenward linked to the results of a Modesty Survey on the Well-Trained Mind Message Boards today. A wonderful 'virtual discussion' arose as a result, and one woman's series of posts particularly struck me. I thought I would share my response to her here. (Apparently, this is my day for writing. I am sure that it has everything to so with sore muscles that have kept me cuddling my heating pad on the sofa for the majority of the day. I promise I will post the final Women in the Church post soon. Honest. In the meantime, read this. Think. Respond.)


I was particularly struck by your posts in response to the modesty study .

To be completely honest, I did not read the study results. I’ve been a teenage girl who dated teenage boys and I married a healthy, heterose*ual male who has eyes and natural inclinations and is very open talking with me about them. I’ve walked through the local mall and along American beaches. I watch TV. I have observed and experienced what men/ teenage boys find attractive, distracting, etc.

I first read your response stating that you wanted to do a word study in Scripture on the word “lust”. That would be a very interesting study! I am sure it would lead to exaggerated desires of all kinds and not just s*x. What struck me about that post was your statement “I just can’t conceive of a God who would both create a visually stimulated gender and also set His creation up for sin by making lust sin.”

I completely agree with you that our passions are given to us by God and that the male body was created with woman’s pleasure in mind and visa versa (this is evident in Song of Solomon). However, I don’t believe that we were “set up” by God. We were given desire and passion as a gift. Lust is the perversion of that passion. If God created everything and without sin, then sin must be perversions of things that were created… evil is a perversion of good, lust is a perversion of se*ual desire, obesity/ gluttony is a perversion of sustenance/ feasting, etc. God’s plan was for man to desire his wife (I am assuming that all this is visa versa for wives to husbands, but I don’t want to type it every time, so just work with me… *grin*). Obviously, part of man’s choice of a wife will be driven, in part, by who he is attracted to but that attraction has an ultimate goal… to physically join with and have a family with a woman. Ogling models, cheerleaders, or the neighbor’s wife does not further this goal. Will the eyes be drawn in these instances? Probably. Will thoughts fly through the mind? Probably. It is the nature of sin. We are sinners. We can’t help but sin (Romans 5:19-21). However, we do have a choice as to how we respond to our sin. We have a responsibility to confess and repent of it (Ezekiel 18:29-32). As C.S. Lewis more eloquently put it:

You can get a large audience together for a strip-tease act -- that is, to watch a girl undress on the stage. Now suppose you came to a country where you could fill a theater by simply bringing a covered plate onto the stage and then slowly lifting the cover so as to let everyone see, just before the lights went out, that it contained a mutton chop or a bit of bacon, would you not think that in that country something had gone wrong with the appetite for food? And would not anyone who had grown up in a different world think there was something equally queer about the state of the sex instinct among us.

Another comment in that post (“What I usually read in these threads is *extra* Biblical.”), didn’t strike me as much until I read:

I believe, from my own life experience and observation, if acting immorally or in sin is an issue in a person's life, it's between that person and God to change.

I don't believe that a person ready and wanting to change asks *us* to change for them. At least not normal, regular things such as fashionable dress. Or drinking normally. Or normal, healthy use of credit cards. Or using prescription drugs according to doctor's orders.

I completely agree with you that, as Christians, we must analyze these things in the light of Scripture and not in the light of personal experience. Thus, I found it ironic that you chose to argue this next point in light of your personal experience. I, too, have the tendency to pepper my arguments with personal anecdotes. However, when discussing matters of Scriptural obedience, Scripture alone should be argued.

As to the point you make (“I don’t believe that a person ready and wanting to change…”), the Scripture is very clear on this point. Individuals are responsible for their own sin and cannot (and should not) pawn-off the culpability for their sinful actions onto others (it didn’t work for Adam or Eve in Genesis 3:12-19). However, Scripture is also clear that those who have been recipients of Grace have a responsibility to others. Romans 14 discusses principles of conscience. Although we have a great deal of latitude to judge certain issues for ourselves (often referred to as “Christian liberty”) and our thoughtful, Scriptural analysis and conclusion resulting in an act of faith on our part causes our action to not be considered sinful (within the parameters of God), we still have an obligation to the judgments and beliefs of others even if they may be in opposition to our views. Placing our opinion/ conviction second to the opinion/ conviction of a brother shows love and is commanded by God. I Corinthians 10:23-24 puts it more concisely:

All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.

As Americans, we tend to cling very tightly to our “rights.” No one else can tell us how to dress, what to eat, what music to listen to, who to be friends with, etc. This is a good policy for a government. However, the issue we are discussing is not one of American culture. We are discussing the issue of dress within the context of the Church. As followers of Christ, we have an obligation not to tempt another in their area of weakness. In the specific case of the survey, a group of Christian girls asked a group of Christian boys to express to them what forms of dress may tempt them. The boys obliged. The girls are now responsible to act accordingly with the information. Are they responsible if a boy lusts after them despite how they are dressed? No. Are they responsible to choose their clothes, speech and actions with the righteousness of their spiritual brothers in mind? Absolutely.

I will admit that the “stumbling block” passages have been twisted to support pharisaical behavior. This is another effect of sin. However, because someone misuses the command doesn’t mean that it doesn’t apply. We must remain obedient while at the same time protecting ourselves from pharisaism (Matthew 23:24-26).

This post is getting rather long, and my tired brain is losing track of all the points I was planning to make, so I will leave it at that. Thank you for reading this far and for sharing your opinions (this has been a great thread to read and has brought up great topics for analysis). Please forgive all my typos and weird perversions of grammar.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A Great Big THANK YOU...

... to everyone who sent cards, notes, and emails for the card party celebrating Frodo's graduation with an MA in American Studies. He received over 40, and more arrive every day (and more will be coming thanks to my big, fat goof... Frodo came home early one day when I was preparing some postcards announcing the party, so I quickly stashed them then forgot to mail them... all to family... ugh). He was taken completely by surprise and so touched by the great outpouring of love and support from everyone. Some of you asked for pictures, so here you go (because we were in the midst of the flu when this was scheduled, I took TJ's advice for close-up shots with close cropping):

He even received a card from a celebrity couple, and I thought that I would share some of it with you:

Dearest Frodo,
I learned that you graduated with an MA in American studies...
Bill and I congratulate you on your achievement. I am confident that you share our passion for education, and that you embrace the positive role that government can and does play in this process. I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to join our initiative to release teh states from the burdensome requirements of running their own education departments, and allow the country's best people to handle that in Washington.
After all, where would you be today if federal government had not been looking out for your well-being? Well, just a friendly reminder that we have a campaign ahead of us, and we need every academic to mobilize in order to restore our vision for America. I will be sure to attend the special ceremony in a few years when you receive your PhD and are magically transformed into a thrall of the Democratic Party.
Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.
Hillary & Bill Rodham

I will be collecting this and all the other cards and notes into a big scrapbook for Frodo to have as a reminder of this great achievement and to encourage him always.

Again, thank you all very much.

And congratulations, Frodo!

The Family That Tries Together, Drinks Chai Together

Last week, we were hammered with a snowstorm, followed by sleet, followed by more snow. This all resulted in about 6 inches of a packed ice/ snow combination that was impossible to dig out from (a strong, healthy person could uncover about 50 feet of sidewalk in just under 5 hours using a pick-axe and heavy-duty shovel, but that wasn't happening in our flu-ridden, partially-asthmatic household). Even the plows from the transportation department couldn't get the roads clear... as you all saw on the national news. Schools were out for three days.

Well, over the last couple of days, temperatures have been rising, so I have gone out with my garden edger and garden shovel trying to hammer a path to the driveway and dig-out Frodo's van. (We have a wonderful neighbor who dug out our driveway with his Bobcat the day after the storm, and our Suburban was able to muscle its way out of its parking place.) Primo volunteered to help me, and in an hour's worth of work, we got nowhere with the van and only succeeded in digging a treacherous 6" x 6" hole in front of our back steps.

This morning, I woke up determined to get Frodo's van out and the path cleared before temperatures begin falling again. Again, Primo grabbed a coat, gloves and shovel and followed me outside. Because the ice had been melting on the bottom, we quickly discovered that we could use our tools to pry large chunks of snow and ice off of the driveway then pick them up and hurl them into the lawn and out from in front of Frodo's van. After about 45 minutes, we thought we had cleared enough to get the van out, so I climbed in and started it up. Primo ascended to a safe viewing spot atop the community snow fort at the end of our driveway. Her job was to let me know if the wheels were actually spinning (the tires were actually frozen to the driveway on our previous attempts to free the van).

I slowly press down on the gas and gently let up the clutch as Primo gives me a double thumbs up to let me know that the tires are spinning. Then, miracle of miracles, the van begins to crawl forward. Just when I think I've gotten the van free, it slips and gets wedged into a snowbank. Ugh! I now can't move the van forward or backward. I climb out of the van (which is now tilted slightly) and start to tell Primo to grab her shovel when it begins to downpour. Primo grabs all the tools, I navigate the ice on the driveway, and we head inside to work on spelling and lunch and wait for the rain to stop.

After lunch, the sun came out, so I decided to see if I could free the van... again. Fortunately, the rain had softened the snow, so I had the van dug out and pulled onto snow and ice free pavement within ten minutes. I decided to take advantage of my "success euphoria" and tackle the sidewalk. It was quickly apparent that it was going to take me a long time to uncover it by myself. I couldn't shovel it. I had to break off large chunks then put down the shovel and pick up the pieces by hand to move them then pick up the shovel and break off another section. I needed help. Since it was going to be rather difficult work and outside their normal duties, I went into the house and offered to hire two kids to help me with the sidewalk and one to watch Quarto. All jobs paid $2. Primo and Terzo offered to help me while Secondo offered to watch Quarto (she actually offered to help outside also, but quickly realized she could still earn the $2 and stay warm and dry and play with toys if she offered to babysit... smart kid). Primo and Terzo were real troopers. One of the chunks of ice took all three of us to lift. With lots of dedicated effort and sweat, we had that sidewalk cleared in 20 minutes.

Primo and I headed in to get the girls' grammar lesson finished, but Terzo wasn't satisfied with just getting the sidewalk cleared. He wanted to extend the path to the Suburban's parking space so that Frodo wouldn't have to walk in the snow when he got home. So he grabbed the shovel (which is about a foot taller than he is) and got to work:

It was amazing. He cleared a 2-shovel-width, 6-foot long section in about 15 minutes!

After everyone was back inside, we celebrated all of our hard work with steaming mugs of chai (vanilla ginger spice for Quarto and the girls, coconut for Terzo) then all went to take well-deserved naps... or write blog posts.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

We Found It! We Found It!

You know the car commercial with the happy family (stick with me... I know they all show happy families) and there is this wonderful, imaginative ukulele/ humming music in the background? It is such happily haunting music that sounds like children playing, fireflies dancing, and curtains blowing in a warm summer breeze. I have no idea what brand of car the commercial was for... I kept getting lost in the music. Almost a year ago now, we were driving in the car and listening to the radio, and we heard that familiar humming and felt our spirits being lifted away to that happy place where magic is real and elves paint freckles on children's cheeks (right, Sis?) and finally found out who the artist was and the name of the song. We've been looking to purchase it ever since. Last night, we were in Borders buying some new CDs at their "Buy 3, Get One Free" CD sale and just as we were walking up to the checkout, Frodo gasped and pointed at a small display near the register. There it was. Now we can journey to the land of fairies and warm summer showers whenever we want.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

COH - Week 59

Women in the Church: Addendum

Here are some articles/ books concerning various aspects of the role of women in the church that I have been reading to better prepare myself for the discussion in our Sunday School class that I thought you would enjoy reading for yourselves:

1. The Order of Creation by R.C. Sproul

2. Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood edited by (specifically Chapter 5: Head Coverings, Prophesies and the Trinity: I Corinthians 11:2-16 by Thomas R. Schreiner and Chapter 9:What Does It Mean Not to Teach or Have Authority Over Men?: I Timothy 2:11-15 by Douglas Moo)

3. An Examination of the Seven Pillars on Which the Case for the Permanent Subordination of Women Stands by Kevin Giles

4. “Because of the Angels”: Unveiling Paul’s Anthropology in I Corinthians 11 by Jason David BeDuhn (I was able to access this article via JStor which Frodo was able to access me through his grad school account; I have link to the abstract of the article here, but you may be able to access the article through your library’s online library access if they have a JStor account)

5. On Slippery Slopes, the Blogosphere, and (oh, yes) Women: The Place of Women in the Redemptive Community by Susan Wise Bauer (this is a review of John Stackhouse’s book Finally Feminist which I have not yet read but am looking forward to reading when I get the opportunity)

6. a ‘virtual discussion’ between Susan Wise Bauer and Rick Phillips in the form of a series of blog entries

a. Lecturing, paneling, and parties (SWB)

b. Ref21, Books & Culture, and the Feminist Slippery Slope (RP)

c. Susan Wise Bauer Guest Post (SWB)

7. Women Theologians: A Spiritual Goldmine for the Church by Carolyn Curtis James

8. The Westminster Confession of Faith (specifically Chapter I Section VI)

I hope to have this week's discussion installment up in the next day or two. In the meantime, happy reading!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

Literate Good Citizen

Book Snob

Fad Reader


What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

HT: Andie at Life on the Yellow Brick Road

Women in the Church: Part 2

Sorry to be posting this so late, but we have all had the flu, so I am behind in posting, laundry, washing dishes, etc. Hopefully, Frodo or I will be well enough to go to this week’s class (manned with my handy-dandy new MP3 player with voice recorder) which will be an in-depth discussion on I Timothy 2. As before, any text in italics is my thoughts and plain text is taken directly from the class.

Review from the previous class:

  1. Jesus was not constrained to cultural norms.
  2. Jesus chose 12 men as His apostles.

Was this strategic? If so, then why choose fishermen, misfits? Why not choose powerful men?

This class turned out to be another one in which many texts were thrown out with very little discussion. The purpose of this class was to examine how women served God, and in what roles, in the Old and New Testaments.

Should there be any restrictions at all on women in the church? This is the question that will be examined at the next class.

Egalitarianism – no distinction between men and women

There is a concern within the evangelical church that if women are accepted in more authoritative roles within the church that it will open the door to homosexuals being accepted into such roles as well since restrictions are placed on both women and homosexuals in Scripture. This stems from the fact that the language which women have used to try to expand their roles within the church was taken from the civil rights movement and this language is now being used by the homosexual community. This causes a slippery slope argument that focuses more on the language of the argument than an examination of Scripture.

This was the extent of the discussion on Egalitarianism. It was spurred by an article I emailed to the pastor in anticipation of this topic being discussed. The article was a review of John Stackhouse’s "Finally Feminist" by Susan Wise Bauer that appeared in Books and Culture. I recommend you read it for yourself since she gives a much better (and more thorough) overview of the egalitarian position than was given above. I have not yet read Stackhouse’s book, but I hope to in the near future and will share my thoughts on it once I have. Lucky you.

Focus on Scripture:

The Greek word “dialconid” is generally translated as either “service” or “ministry” as in Luke 8:1-3, I Peter 4:10 and I Corinthians 12:5

Here begins the tossing out of examples of the various roles of women in God’s service. There is very little discussion, but I have included it where it occurred. These passages were reviewed to show that women did indeed hold positions all along the scale of authority within Israel and the church and to set the stage for the class to follow which would seek to find whether there are differences between the roles that women held and those that men held.


I Samuel 2:5

Was Abigail going over her husband’s head and disobeying him? Nabal was a fool and what she did was good for him.

Judges/ Prophetesses:

Miriam – Exodus 15:20-22 (Miriam gets leprosy and Aaron doesn’t)

Huldah – II Kings 22:14

Deborah – Judges 4:4

Ezekiel 13:17

What is a prophet? One who represented God’s word to the people; direct connection to God


What did Deborah do in her role as a judge? She judged men and exercised authority over them

What is unique about her time as a judge? She didn’t lead an army; she didn’t get the glory (Jael did – another woman); she didn’t rule in a public square (people came to her)

II Kings 22 and Exodus 15:20 show how women exercised authority while not in the public square or with only other women

Luke 2:36 – Anna; a prophetess

Acts 21:9 – Philip’s daughters

Joel 28:32

I Corinthians 11:5 – women prophesy with proper adornment

Acts 18:26 – Precilla and Aquilla correct Apollo’s teaching of the gospel and reteach him

Romans 16:3; I Corinthians 16:19 – Precilla and Aquilla seen as co-laborers with Paul

I Corinthians 12:28 &14:26; Titus 2:3 – what is the order of authority? Women given the gift to teach and to prophesy is the definitive word of God, therefore women should be able to teach God’s word in any context; is this true?

We should be subject to authority of laborers in the church, including women (see Philippians 4:2; I Corinthians 16:16; I Corinthians 4:12; I Corinthians 15:10; Galatians 4:11; Colossians 1:29; I Timothy 4:10)

Women as deacons:

I Timothy 3:11 - Paul introduces women as he did men by using the word “likewise”

Romans 16:1 – “deaconess” (same language as I Timothy 3:8); actually calls the women “deacons”

Women as Elders – II John 1:4

Women as Apostles – Romans 16:7 (Junius is a woman’s name)

I apologize for the disorganized feel of this post. There didn’t seem to be much of an outline to the material presented, so I tried to organize it as best I could. I also am not linking all of the Scripture references as I did last time because this cold/ flu thing has greatly shortened my ability to sit in front of the computer screen. If you want to look-up the passages in an online Bible, I highly recommend BibleGateway. You can search any version of the Bible you’d like. Our church uses the NIV for class and worship purposes, but I linked to the NASB in the last post. I’m looking for a meatier discussion for the next post. Keep your fingers crossed.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

You know why they call it "testosterone"?

Because it makes little boys want to test their parent's limits. It should really be renamed "Calvinerone" since it causes Calvin-like behavior. We are actually considering changing Quarto's name to Calvin. Let me explain.

Frodo had gone to the store to buy us an air mattress. When he came home, it was time for the boys to go to bed, so he got Quarto settled on the kid potty. He quickly realized that Quarto was going to be awhile, so he went upstairs to begin dismantling our bed and setting up the air mattress. During these activities, I was in the midst of temperature taking, dish washing, kitchen disinfecting and other "flu-survival" activities with the girls, so I wasn't aware that Quarto was still sitting on the potty until Frodo called down (about 10 minutes into Quarto's potty time) and asked me to check and see if Quarto was done.

I popped my head into the bathroom and asked, "Quarto, are you done?" "Not yet," he replied, casually. I told him that I would be back in two minutes to get him dressed and brush his teeth. As I turned to leave, Quarto said, "Look what I do, Mom." I look, expecting to see a toy car he has brought with him or a boat or other tub toy that he often plays with while he sits on the potty. It was a tub toy that I saw, but I was quickly snapped out of my casual attitude.

Quarto was sitting on his potty... peeing into the tiny little opening on a fish-shaped water gun then shooting urine around the bathroom. "Look! I go far!" Quarto boasts of his shooting ability. I leave the bathroom immediately since my first instinct is to begin laughing hysterically and inform him that, being a boy, he could do-away with the plastic, fish-shaped "middle-man". I decide that walking away and calling Frodo to observe his youngest son's ingenuity would be more mature.

Frodo looks, rolls his eyes, sighs something that sounds like "Calvin", and goes back to setting up the mattress. I attempt to sound serious (i.e. control my snickering) while lecturing our three-year-old about why we don't shoot pee out of water guns then have him help me clean up the mess... what I can find of it. It still smells a little like a latrine in there. Sigh.

How do they come up with this stuff? It's gotta be the Calvinerone.