Showing posts from February, 2013


11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. (Hebrews 12:11, KJV)

You learn something new every day.  Today I learned that there is a connotative difference between chastising and chastening.  Chastising is more punitive whereas chastening is more corrective in nature. I thought that chastisement was synonymous with discipline, but it is in fact more synonymous with punishment.

Chastening is on my mind because I've taken on more hours at school.  In addition to my previous duties as librarian and 8th grade project coordinator, I'm also now taking over morning homeroom and 8th grade Language Arts.  Alas, this means that hours I must spend chastening have increased significantly.  You see, there are quite a few students who--like typical middle schoolers--have a hard time motivating themselves to get work turned in on time and of a suitable …

The not-so-glamorous life (and just what I asked for)

The kitchen sink is full--and I mean FULL--of dishes waiting patiently but not very unobtrusively for me to wash them.   My son, who decided that one 45 minute nap was all he really cared to take today, is wailing in his bed in a room which only a few hours ago belonged to him and my husband and myself.  Now, after quite a bit of furniture shuffling, it is Ruby and Max's room.  How long it will stay that way depends on how long he keeps yowling like a cat that needs to get fixed. (That sounded ominous, but don't worry, his boy parts are not in danger of being removed.) Meanwhile, our new room (AKA Ruby's old room) is in no way organized. Everything was unceremoniously dumped into it, because it was more important to get the kids' room taken care of. The floors need to be swept and really could do with a good mopping. Max and Ruby's booster seats are like disgusting food-fossil digs and really need to be cleaned out.   There's laundry that needs to be folded and…

It can be done! Praise God!

...although I am not sure if Toyota would officially recommend it.  But today I fit three carseats in the backseat of our little Toyota Echo.

Have I ever mentioned my deep affection for that car?

Technically, it is not the first car I owned.  That honor goes to a venerable 1982 (I think) Saab, which I bought for the princely sum of $1 from a friend whose kids I was nannying.  The Saab was sitting in his driveway and had been for a long time, and after I admired it (having been car-less in Portland for a year or so) he offered to sell it for cheap.  In fact, he opined that I might even be making a profit if I combed through the seat cushions and under the floor mats for loose change.  The ol' Saab was a good little car for a while, but then a few months later it needed some costly repairs and I decided to let it go. After all, carpooling was working out well.

But then a situation arose in which I needed to get a car of my own, stat.  My usual carpool was downsizing from their mega…

Are you a pornographer?

Sorry, I couldn't resist a catchy title like that. 
I got Brian Doyle's book Grace Notes from the library recently, and all too soon it must be returned. Brian Doyle is a Portland area writer, a Catholic who writes much about the intersection of faith and life. Below is his short essay, "A Note on Pornography," which is thought-provoking to say the least (and actually doesn't have a great deal to do with anything XXX rated).

A Note On Pornography

You know what nobody ever talks about enough when we talk about pornography? How sad it is.  How sad everything about it is. How weary and dreary. How draining and unfruitful. How, simply, embarrassing.  How deflating and abasing.  How melancholy and grim.  How sad the users and the purchasers are, and how ashamed of themselves for using and purchasing and hiding what they have used and purchased; how sad the purveyors are, and how ashamed of themselves for manufacturing a product that has no substance, and how weary the…


Allen told me about an interaction he had with someone. It made me sad, and not just because I'm a teacher.

The song "All-Star" by SmashMouth came on the radio.
Guy: Hey, when you hear this song, don't you immediately think of "Shrek?"
Allen: Oh yeah, totally.
Guy: Yeah, that's how you know you're a parent.  You associate songs based on what kid movies they are in.
Allen: Well, I've seen Shrek, but my kids haven't seen it.
Guy (shocked): Seriously?
Allen: Yeah.  Ruby only watches about twenty minutes of Curious George before she gets tired of it.  Then she goes to read a book.  She actually likes reading books more than watching videos.
Guy:  Hmm.  You might want to get that checked out.  That's not normal.  Kids love TV.


Hey, nothing wrong with watching TV on occasion as a kid or a grown up.  And I'll be the first to admit that when life gets crazy, Ruby gets to watch a lot more videos.  Example: we just moved and …

A Truth to which I cling

The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
24 When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.
25 I have been young and now I am old,
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
Or his descendants begging bread.
26 All day long he is gracious and lends,
And hisdescendants are a blessing.

Psalm 37:23-26 (New American Standard Bible)