Monday, October 26, 2009

Dishin' out the candy!

As the days grow shorter, the nights grow colder, the leaves begin to turn, our minds start to fill with excitement of upcoming birthdays, family celebrations, dare we mention Christmas....lots to make a girl smile!

With all of these thrills that we've come to expect, so does the question, "So, little girl, what are you going to be for Halloween?" My girls used to respond to the staring gaze of a stranger...with a staring glaze, then when they grew older they'd say, "I don't like's scary!" And now, our little Cricket has overtaken all of the answering for everyone; she'll say (with great enthusiasm!), "I'm going to be a cowgirl!" (every year!)

In the past, we have either just taken the girls (dressed up, if they wished) to the homes of a few of our closest friends, out to dinner, or out for ice-cream and fun with other friends, etc., and we've not really made that big of a deal of Halloween. My girls naturally turn their heads from "yucky" billboards, TV ads, etc., and we've openly discussed our viewpoints on Halloween, but this last year we decided that we'd take back the holiday and embrace it as a Christian holiday, which is how it began.

So as Ricci and I age and mature (I'd like to think), our viewpoints naturally age and mature along with us. So as the little girl that was out tricker-treating with her daddy and terrified by a neighbor, Suzy Johnson to name, I'm now proud to say that I'm over it (not really!) and am ready to arm myself with candy to give and to receive.

Our little Lovey will be our darling Eloise, proudly living at the Plaza!

Our spunky, little guessed it...a cute, little cowgirl!

And our sweet AngelWings is planning to be our effervescent Vitameatavegamin Girl.

I love Lucy Vitameatavegamin 10 min -

So after answering a fellow homeschooler on this same topic, I thought I'd also post my response here, including a blog posting written by Doug Wilson:


This blog posting by Doug Wilson was very encouraging, and I thought you might appreciate it as well.

Wilson is a CREC (Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches) pastor in Idaho, and he is also well-known for his numerous books, particularly on classical Christian education, courtship, and marriage.
Anyway, on this Halloween blog posting, I especially liked his point about how Christians should be more giving (i.e., candy), for recently our pastor (Pastor Jeremy Jones) recently spoke to us on how Christians should be seen as bigger-givers than stingy-keepers (my simple words not his which were much more eloquent!) to show that we more fully appreciate all that Christ has given us.

Doug Wilson's blog posting: Halloween
Here is a brief something I sent out to our church a few years ago. Some of you all might find it helpful. I forget if I have posted it before.

- Halloween -
As another Halloween approaches, and as many of us are working on building alternatives, I wanted to take the opportunity to offer a few thoughts and pastoral suggestions.

Here is the background. First, November 1 is All Saints Day. The All Saints festival was first established during the times of persecution in the early church when the number of martyrs accumulated to the point where it was no longer possible to commemorate them all. In the time of John Chrysostom, all the martyrs were remembered on the first Sunday after Pentecost. In 608 A.D., the Pantheon, a former pagan temple to all the gods, was dedicated in Rome as a Christian church. The date of that dedication (May 13) became the day of "all saints." The day was moved to November 1 in 741 A.D. with the dedication of the Chapel of All Saints.

Second, in the British Isles, the day was known as All Hallows Day. The "eve" of that day, the night before, was known as Hallowe’en. In the minds of simple people, the night before the day of the holy ones was thought to be a last ditch party on the part of unholy ones — devils, witches, fairies, imps and so forth. With this kind of superstition, of course, we have nothing to do. Obviously, the custom of kids dressing up in order to play trick or treat did descend from this view, but the thing that is objectionable here is not the dressing up in itself, or the consumption of candy, but rather the dressing up as wicked creatures.

Third, Reformation Day is on October 31 and commemorates the posting of Luther’s famous theses, which is usually regarded as the inauguration of the Reformation. It is frequently honored by churches on the last Sunday of October. As it happens, Reformation Day is also Halloween.

Fourth, and the bottom line for us, is that both of these two days belong to the Christian church, and not to the pagans. And the days have been ours for many centuries, despite certain pagan encroachments of late. We should keep the days, and fight off the encroachments. And so . . .
Here are a few things to do: We are encouraging parishes to hold Reformation Day/All Saints Day parties and gatherings. The mood should be festive and filled with rejoicing — an exhibition of our gratitude for the faithfulness of the martyrs of the early church and the martyrs of the Reformation. This obviously can (and should) include kids dressing up and getting boatloads of candy, but I would strongly urge that no one have their kids dress up as members of the other team — witches, ghosts, devils, imps, or congressmen. We do want to urge a high level of celebration, but we don’t want to take our cues from the surrounding culture. So if you take your kid around to grandma’s house dressed up like a red M & M, or like Theodore Beza, don’t have them say trick or treat the same way some ghost or witch would. Of course, repent or perish or sola fide probably wouldn’t work either. Let’s do this differently, and intelligently, and still have fun. So have them say trick or treat the way a cute M & M would.

What to avoid. We want parish parties, not pious parties. So when neighborhood trick or treaters come to your door, I would encourage you to give them more candy than unbelievers give, as opposed to a glare and/or a tract about the fires of hell. We want to behave during this time in such a way that their celebrations are revealed as far more anemic than ours (not to mention twisted and gross). We do not want our parish parties to be a cheesy alternative, a sort of faux-Halloween. It should be a true All Hallow’s Eve, a true Reformation Day blow-out.

On a related note, there is no way to do this without kirkers differing among themselves about what is appropriate. This is reasonable — up to a point. We know the general direction we want to go, and we want to get there together with unity of spirit. This means learning to lighten up on details. So don’t freak out and rebuke someone if their kid goes over to an aunt’s house dressed like John Knox, but he cackles evilly instead of saying soli Deo gloria. But feel free to be concerned if someone from the Night of the Living Dead shows up at the parish party.

All for now . . .Posted by Douglas Wilson - 10/2/2008

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Too many posts...too little time!

Fast-forward three months....

It seems that life has gotten so busy around her that something's gotta give...and sadly, it's been the blog...and laundry, but that's another topic!

I understand that seasons of life come and go, so for now... this season of life doesn't leave much time for too much bloggin'! I say this sadly, for I do so appreciate the archival aspect of blogging memories and photos, but I also understand that this season of life has brought more opportunities and more time/ability to seize those opportunities!

So until I find the time to post some pics and catch up a few postings from great memories we've made this summer, I think I'll post what I have for now and then hope that I can find time to do a monthly entry, but for now I'm going to have to forego the blog for a while, I think!

"I thought you were a professional!"

Growing up, my only experience with a library was the one that we owned and the little bus that came to park in the corner of the Handy-Andy every Monday morning. I still think it's amazing that this stranger (a librarian, I guess) would allow us to board her vehicle, which had its walls lined with books and then allow us to borrow as many books as we wanted! Thanks, Mom, for taking us!

Then my next memory was in high school going to the college library with the rest of my class. And I can now appreciate the looks from the "older kids" (college students) who were annoyed that our class was even there. We would go over to OW and have to walk through the metal detectors...I still have no idea why they're there in a library, nor do I like them to this day! We learned how to use the Dewey Decimal System, microfiche (which Chip Adams could still get me giggling when he asks 'where the aquarium is'), and supposedly work on our term papers. [;)] All of this to say, it was quite a production, and I still to this day do not like large college or downtown libraries! Boy-am-I-thankful for the use of google...and my little library that I use today!

We do have the quaintest, little, satellite library with the most reliable, wonderful, helpful "Mr. Greg" and "Miss Hallie." Honestly, it's not that much different from the library that I used when I was's just stationary, and it has TWO librarians! Yes, it's tiny; there's no metal detector, and it's always such a joy to walk in and be greeted by name. So today after running around town (and finally going to get an x-ray of my foot that's still bothering me), I quickly ran inside our little library to pick up some books that we had on hold.

As I picked up one of the books, I asked, "Hallie, have you read any of these books by this author?"

"No, I haven't. Have you?"

"No, not yet, but some of our curriculum calls for one of them, and the other book looked interesting as well."

"What grade do you teach again?"

"Actually, I teach all of them [the girls] together, so 2nd, 3rd, and 5th."

"Oh! That's right; you home school...I thought you were a professional!"

You've gotta love our little, quaint library and the blessed ones that run it!

We just had a good laugh about it! "Bless her heart!"

(By the way, Ricci did just tell me that they aren't "metal detectors" but that they are "scanners"! Same dif!)

My New BFF!

Written back in August....

Last Wednesday afternoon, when I spoke to Miss Craig, we postponed a busy, shopping trip that we gals were going to take, for she had lots to do as did we. Fast forward four hours, and our phone rang...she had fallen…backwards...4 feet off of the retaining wall around her garden! Oh, the horror!

Thankfully, that afternoon, her kids called to talk to her and noticed that she wasn't herself...then she admitted that she had fallen. So on another line, they called us, and we ran up there...she looked fine, but she was already getting dressed (to the 9's, of course!) to go on to the hospital...she knew she had to go. She had a huge knot on the back of her head, and it was bleeding.

Thankfully, she really did seem to be fine, but she was complaining about being sore and having lots of pain on her right side (apparently the side that took the brunt of her fall), so once we got to the E/R, I just grabbed the closest wheelchair to keep her from having to walk, and when we wheeled her in, I explained to the receptionist that she had fallen close to 5 hours ago...a friend had told me to make sure that they knew the they immediately came over to us to examine the back of her head while they handed me "the all-dreaded" clip-board and just told me to sign it for her. Of course, she hears EVERYthing that one says around her...can't see it, but she can hear it!

Craig said loudly enough for all to hear, "Sign your name and just write "BFF."

WHAT?!? I know she's "up with the times and all" but even I don't use that term...and last time I checked...neither of us text message anyone! (Well, maybe she does and we just don't see her do it!)

I, the receptionist, and the security guard were laughing hysterically! Later I asked her where she had heard that term, and she said, "I just made it up! You'll probably have to explain it to them."

I said, "No ma'am...I think they know."

She said, "How could they? I just made it up!"

As she was ambiguous young guy was walking by, so to prove to her that it's a popular term, I said, "Hey! What's BFF?" And without stopping he just said, "Best Friends Forever."

She was shocked...put her hand on her forehead (like she always does) and giggled to herself.

So we continued to sit there...chit-chat, giggle, doze off; chit-chat, giggle, doze off.... and after several CT scans and X-rays, they revealed that there were shockingly no broken bones (angels had to have helped her land!), but she did have a nice gash in the back of her head with a small (quarter-size) hemorrhage in the front of her brain. So after sitting there for hours in the E/R spening boughts of allowing her to rest, lots of phone calls, and laughing at this and that, she was finally admitted to a room so that she could be observed for a few days as well as continue to get CT scans to show improvement in the hemorrhage, Lord-willingly!