Saturday, September 25, 2010

That's Effective Parenting

Four-year-old, out of the blue: "I won't ever say that bad word to Nana again."

Mom, clueless: "Um...That's good, honey. What bad word was that?"

Child with sheepish grin, shrugged shoulders, blushing face: "..."

Wise mom, leans over to hear terrible secret: "Want to tell me in my ear so no one else has to hear it?"

Child, nodding eagerly, whispers loudly: "I...can't....remember!"

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Husbandly Hero

When I was young and stupid(er) and dating, I wasn't thinking about marriage. I wasn't thinking about the characteristics of an admirable man who could be the father of my children. In fact, thinking didn't really factor into the process. I dated by chance whomever came along. Discernment never went much beyond registering a gut level attraction. In light of that I'm pretty lucky to be married to the man I married because the men I dated, with very few exceptions, would have turned that car the other way...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Eye candy...

Can you imagine reading in a library this beautiful? Yeah, me neither. I don't even know if I'd be able to remember to ever try.
El Escorial Library, San Lorenzo, Spain
Strahov Philosophical Hall
Real Gabinete Portugues De Leitura Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Abbey Library St. Gallen, Switzerland

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Foster. Care.

As a run of the mill mom who really is nothing special but who is also a foster mom, I hear versions of this a lot: You are so special! I couldn't be a foster parent. I would just be too sad when the child went away.

I'm never sure how to respond to this.

Here are some possibilities I've considered:
  • "Yeah, you'd actually care about the child. That's too hard. Foster care is best left to those who are only intersted in the stipends."
  • "It helps if you have a heart-ectomy before you start. Wanna see my scar?"
  • "Oh, I agree. It takes a special person and you just don't seem to have that special specialness it takes to be special."
I don't think that would actually help matters. Sarcasm never solves social problems.

In 2008 there were an estimated 463,000 children in foster care. Over half of them were in foster homes like mine. Only a quarter of them were in placements with relatives. That's only 3/4 of the kids. Want to take a moment to guess where the other kids go?  The next largest chunk (about 10%) will be in "institutions." This can mean an orphanage type setting, like Boys' Town and Girls' Town, or more sadly, in a semi-permanent placement at a temporary facility. Then there are neighborhood group homes and supervised independent living arrangements. About 9,000 of those kids ran away and lived on city streets somewhere. Ever wonder about some of those young, homeless kids you've seen?

Foster Mom
Chances are you will meet with someone from the foster system. People involved in foster care don't have any visible signs that set us apart from other mere mortals. In fact we all look like ordinary people. I'm a foster parent and I look about as ordinary as you can get. 

A little more handsome than the run of the mill,
but you can see my point.
You might also meet our local news anchor, a Boys' Town graduate. Gosh, we kinda look just like ordinary people. That's the thing. We are ordinary. Just like you. There's nothing special about being a fostered child--it just happens. There's nothing special about being a foster parent either--my husband and I just decided to do it.

Maybe you or someone you know can make a decision like that. Or you might wind up meeting someone like this girl, someone who maybe could have used a safe place to go a few years back.

How can we make the list of foster parents waiting for children longer than the list of foster kids waiting for homes? Maybe we should make tours of the places kids go to wait for foster placement as common as bus tours. Think that would help matters?

I don't know the answer. You tell me. What would it take to get YOU to consider fostering?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Dude, you have no Quran"

Yes, some "pastor" in Amarillo caught a Fire Bug from that Floridian fame-hound. "Look at all the news vans!" thought he, "Maybe if I lit a match, I could get my picture tooken, too!"

Things didn't quite work out as planned for the Amarillo "pastor." No one is taking his picture this week (poor guy). Instead, they are taking pictures of this skateboarder.

Steven Spillman, a sensible dude
Spillman heard about the planned burning of the Quran and took care of business in a typical Texan manner (with a Californian twist). While the "pastor" gathered a crowd in a local park, put the Quran on a grill and drew out the moment dramatically, Spillman skated up and swiped the book. What makes this story even better, he skated over to the local Islamic Center and handed it over.

Here's the full story...

Proof positive that God has a sense of humor.

Saturday, September 11, 2010 never know when you may need one

This is a rerun in honor of all those men and women who answered the call nine years ago today. Thank you.

Something for Saturday

This is for my mother, who would rather send an armadillo to the store than my father. It is also for all my friends who are not from the South, so you can understand why, exactly, we hang our heads.

Thank you, Paula, for finding this.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Misguided guiding the misguided....

Two stories struck me today. Both are advocating essentially the same thing: less human filth. Both of these men have a similar philosophical outlook on human life. Let me just state for the record: humans




...not even these two fine specimens.

Story one (full text):
LONDON, August 30, 2010 ( – The mentally and morally “unfit” should be sterilized, Professor David Marsland, a sociologist and health expert, said this weekend. The professor made the remarks on the BBC radio program Iconoclasts, which advertises itself as the place to “think the unthinkable.”

Pro-life advocates and disability rights campaigners have responded by saying that Marsland’s proposed system is a straightforward throwback to the coercive eugenics practices of the past.

(to continue story)
Story two (full text)
Discovery TV Gunman Demands Halt to 'Parasitic Human Infants,' Credits Al Gore with ‘Awakening’

By Kathleen Gilbert
SILVER SPRING, Maryland, September 1, 2010 ( - Chaos erupted after at least one hostage was taken at the Silver Spring headquarters of the Discovery Channel by what appears to be a crazed radical environmentalist.

The armed man has reportedly demanded that Discovery Channel executives run programming geared toward stopping the propagation of "parasitic human infants" in order to save the planet from global

(to continue story)
See much difference between the ideals of the man advocating "sterilizing the unfit" (Marshland) and the one taking insane actions to "discourage overpopulation and the 'human filth' of new children" (Lee)? Me, neither. One will just advocate his ideals in a more "lawful" manner. And he'll be more convincing because of his doctorate.