Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Have I reached my censorship line?

When Harry Potter came out and so many families deemed it unfit for their children, I was annoyed. I understand the point trying to be made regarding magic and all that, but goodness, should Emily not watch Cinderella? And yes, I read the 2006 Newberry award winner with the word scrotum on the first page, and I got over it. Not. A. Big. Deal. Both Harry Potter and The Higher Power of Lucky are sitting in my classroom.

I believe kids can be culturally aware without being consumed. Books with different ideas and messages birth conversations about beliefs that allow children to define themselves and their own beliefs... if parents are willing to allow that sort of independence. But it is this independence that grows a faith in oneself, grounded in the identity of the individual, not a reflection of a parental pair. Therefore, I have books in my classroom that reflect different viewpoints from what many hear at home, hear on the news, or even hear in other books. We read them, discuss them, and through much thinking, I believe kids in my class learn to develop their own beliefs regarding the material. Of course these beliefs are formed not just by the experience in our classroom, but I know the experience helped them own an idea that they might not have otherwise paid any attention. This makes them responsible thinkers who form opinions after reviewing different viewpoints.

However, there is a book that is getting a lot of attention lately because a movie coming out next week is based off of the trilogy. The movie is The Golden Compass, and the book trilogy begins with His Dark Materials, by Phillip Pullman. Now at first I got that simple comment from a friend about this book being "harmful to kids" and "it is against God" and such. And then I got the mass forwards talking about how irresponsible we would be to allow a child to watch the movie, or worse read the book. Honestly I thought this was another christian bandwagon to jump on, similar to Harry Potter. But I did some research and what I found was specific. Apparently this author wrote the series as a direct opposition to C.S. Lewis. The first was published in 1996 and the next two followed. In this book Pullman "kills God." Now I haven't read the book (though I think I will) but I read multiple reviews, and an article the BBC put out after interviewing Pullman. He says that he believes the world would be a better place without God, and that religious tyranny has caused much pain to the innocent. Yes, he is an atheist. It's not the beliefs that I have a problem with but it is that he says he needs a way to infiltrate the relationship between parent and child so that children won't be brainwashed into religion. Thus, the book. Hmmmm. Okay, so yes I have a problem with his motives, and of course I don't agree with his opinion of God or christians.

But here comes the hard part. Would I keep this book out of my library? I'm not saying I was even thinking about buying it before the controversy came about, because I had never heard of it. But would I make the choice to keep it out, or do I include it to offer an opposing viewpoint, similar to the books I have on both sides of other issues? And if I do keep it out is it because I would not be allowed, if the situation arose, to have a conversation with a child reading this book regarding religious beliefs as per the law regarding such? Or would I be keeping it out because it conflicted with my own personal beliefs about God? I ask because I seriously don't know. If my reasoning is because of separation between church and state, well then fine. I know I couldn't sit and chit chat with a student about religious beliefs. But if my reasoning is because it just makes me uncomfortable, well then I am not comfortable with that either.

Anyhow, it's been on my mind for a bit. Just curious as to your thoughts while I am trying to sort through my own.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Home body

This evening when I got home from work all I wanted to do was stay home. I think maybe because it was raining? Sometimes I turn into the biggest home body, and it seems more often than not when it is rainy. Not because I don't like to drive in the rain, or anything, but rather because I think rain is my symbol of relaxation and comfort. I put on a pot of chili beans, and while they stewed on the stove Emily and I played and read books. The t.v. stayed off (an indication of a good evening) and we made a huge mess out of her toys. After dinner Scott bathed Em, and Linda and I cleaned up the kitchen. Now Em is in bed, the rain has stopped, and I am enjoying the house aired out with the windows open.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Pictures As Promised

Emily playing ball in the backyard with Dakota

Singing and dancing in full dress-up costume

Me and Em playing "we're asleep" to Scott

Emily sitting in my vinca.

Fair Highlights

Some of you probably know that I am not the best at being still for long periods of time (I know, shocking isn't it?) which makes me not the best person to go to a concert. However, I can handle a fair concert which lasts only ninety minutes or so. By the time the did their couple of encore songs, I was ready. Don't get me wrong, I like Third Day a lot, and was enjoying it, but the length was perfect for my short attention span.

Of course we ate way too much food last night. There was great greasy food everywhere. I have to chuckle at the person from the Pepto Bismol advertising department who decided it was a good idea to pass out free samples in the middle of Food Row. Nice. Scott made sure to pick up plenty. We had corn dogs, fries, lemonade, and funnel cakes. Yum! I love funnel cakes. Now I am not the type that likes that canned fruit compote garbage on top. Just the word "compote" sounds nasty. Too close to "compost." Maybe the same idea. Just some powdered sugar and cinnamon for me please.

We met some friends there to go to the concert, and the three wives went on some rides together. The husbands all made dumb comments about not wanting to go on the rides... something about not being bolted to the ground... meh, whatever. We did the twirling swings, the spinning cars that go round and round, the euro slide, and that ride that you lay down on and it makes you look like you're hang gliding. Fun fun fun. I seriously felt ten again.

After we looked at some exhibits, we decided to head out for a beer before going home. I had such a great time, and I think Scott did too. I haven't seen him that relaxed in months. The fair is always a good date.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

wednesday ramblings

This is what's on my mind about now:
* Going to the fair tomorrow. We're seeing Third Day, eating food, and hopefully going on the big people swings. I sure hope the huge thunder storms and possible "severe weather" doesn't ruin our fun. I have been looking forward to this date for weeks.

* Oh darn. I forgot to tape Grey's Anatomy. Shoot.

* I love my job. Have I said that lately? I love it, love it, love it. I had a fabulous day today.

* Emily went to bed so much better tonight. I tell ya, the kid hasn't been falling asleep until well after 9:30 this week. I can't deal. Finally today she went right in and read her books, I turned off the light, she fell asleep. Just as it should be. Thank goodness.

* I probably need to wash the car this weekend. Boy do I procrastinate with that. I hate washing the car. Anybody else want to do it for me?

* Only a few weeks until Becky and Jay get here, which is great because I am really having issues with missing my friends and family as of lately. Their visit is going to be so needed. I can't wait!

Sunday, October 07, 2007


This morning at 5 am, Emily and I dropped Scott off at the airport here in Columbia. He will fly to CA and meet up with his mom and they will drive back here. For those of you who don't know, Linda is moving to Columbia with us for awhile. The plan is she will find a job here and then find and buy a house. For the past year or two we have anticipated this happening. We knew that when David was gone there would really be no reason for Linda to stay in San Bernardino. (Seriously one of the ugliest cities I have ever visited, among other things.)

Now I have really been thinking about this, and gearing up for it since August. I joke around with friends about how miserable I am going to be, and how mother-in-laws should never move in no matter if they are nice or annoyingly awful. But really, Scott and I are thinking this will be okay. Linda really has no relationship with Emily, as they have never spent any length of time together. This will give them the opportunity to learn how to interact with each other. I know Scott likes the idea of being able to help her out, and we're both glad that she will finally be closer. (Though in another household is preferable of course.)

I know there will be rough times as we transition into the new addition to our home. I know that uncomfortable conversations about disagreements are things that come with the territory. But these conversations are quite necessary if we are ever going to spend more time together, same house or not, and I do want to get to know her better.

Above all, I am proud of myself for being the wife that says this is okay, I am proud of Scott for being such a loving son to his mom, and I am so thankful that God provided us with a house with an extra bedroom.

We're already off to a great start because she sold her house and it successfully closed escrow Friday, she bought a new car (something she completely deserves), and she is all packed up. Scott hopes to have the drive finished by Thursday. I will keep you updated.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Monkey Bread

I don't make it that often, but it goes great with a big cup of coffee and a newspaper.
3 (12 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9 or 10 inch tube pan.
Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Cut biscuits into quarters. Shake 6 to 8 biscuit pieces in the sugar cinnamon mix. Arrange pieces in the bottom of the prepared pan. Continue until all biscuits are coated and placed in pan. If using nuts and raisins, arrange them in and among the biscuit pieces as you go along.
In a small saucepan, melt the margarine with the brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the biscuits.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Do not cut! The bread just pulls apart.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The one and only Emily

A good friend of mine got these shoes for Emily when she was shopping for her own daughter. They were on the front step when Emily got home, and wow was she excited!

Now that a couple weeks have gone by, I thought that maybe the princess shoe fixation has worn off. But alas, this evening we found a new love for the shoes. Emily insisted on wearing them outside. She provided me with a lengthy explanation about how these fabulous shoes actually make her princess, and that she must wear them.

So out she goes. And what does she do? She found a snail, and two lizards. “Mommy, look! The lizard is just a baby, and he isn’t green!”

What I just love about her personality is she loves so many things. She isn’t just a tomboy, and she isn’t just a princess. She isn’t a drama queen, though she can throw a good fit. She will eat sushi, yet doesn’t care for ranch so much. She is so unpredictable, but yet so Emily. She’s not like anybody else, and that is probably my favorite thing about her.