Thursday, June 29, 2006

What Were They Thinking?

I cannot imagine how the situation with this girl got to the point it did. You know what? I hate to judge people, because there's been too many times where people have judged me without knowing all the circumstances, or when it was really none of their business anyway. But I imagine this kind of story causes a lot of parents to think about what their own children might do. And you better not just say "Not my kid" without having an idea why it would not be "your kid."

First of all, I came to the conclusion that both of the girl's parents probably work full-time. What else would a 14-year-old need her own cell phone for? And then how could she get her own prepaid cell phone without her parents knowing? And then, if you have already found your daughter communicating with a strange guy she met online, why wasn't a parent there to pick her up after school? Was someone supposed to pick her up? After already finding her communicating with this guy, someone should have been keeping an eye on her.

I'd also bet she doesn't have a close relationship with her father. This girl sounds like a textbook case of needing male approval. You really, truly make a difference, all you fathers out there. You really, truly do play a big part in your daughter's future relationships with males. I know this for a fact.

Lastly, need for male approval aside, what could a girl like this be thinking? Did she not know this was a stupid idea, or did desperation to fill her needs outweigh everything else? The 19-year-old male, to me it just seems like a simple case of him using someone to get what he wanted. His parents have obviously dropped the ball too. He had to know he was breaking the law, and it's just not healthy to use people. Basically, he's a creep. I do hope the law comes down hard on him, and I hope federal charges are brought as well.

O - H - I - O!

Okay, so living in Columbus for several years, I did grow heartily sick of Ohio State Football. I mean, the quarterback of the football team couldn't get a hangnail without it being on the front page of the paper and the feature story on the six o'clock news. But there is such a thing as state pride, and especially when we play Michigan, I root for the Bucks all the way!

While searching for something else, I found the humorous House Concurrent Resolution No. 16 to make "Hang On Sloopy" the official rock song of Ohio (you have to scroll down.) I hope you get a chuckle out of it like I did.

And by the way, "Hang On Sloopy" is also the theme song of the Ohio State football team, maybe the entire The Ohio State University(TM). Thus my train of thought above.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

At Long Last!

I can post pictures from the Cleveland Confessional Lutheran Blogger's Ice Cream Ministry!

Here we have Mr. Theological Universe, looking as though he is pondering an especially deep theological issue. Or something. And Theological Universe, Jr. whose deepest concern was whether he could have some pop.

Next, we have the lovely Mrs. Schreiben von Schreiber, enjoying her ice cream. Then we have the Schreiblings: LegoBoy, Blondie, Princess and Little Guy. Little Guy made sure he got his share of ice cream, believe me! Mr. Schreiben von Schreiber and Die-Hard Equestrian preferred to stay home.

Lastly, we have Wildchild. For some reason, I neglected to get a picture of the Scientist. The Future Confessional Lutheran Bloggers (or whatever technology we've come up with by that time) enjoyed their ice cream, and all the adults did too!

Monday, June 26, 2006

So Many Idiots, So Few Clues

Here to share my thoughts on a well-deserved fisking at the International Women's Forum of the comments by a harried and hen-pecked husband of a militant feminist.

First of all, the guy has the cojones to say "We work long hours, longer than any previous generation of fathers." Um, has this guy studied any history? Read any books? Sure, maybe those upwardly-mobile fighting-to-make-partner types work 70 to 80 hours per week. Are you telling me that all those long-ago generations of men who worked the land with simple tools to feed their families worked less? Or the men who worked 15 hours a day in factories, when Sunday was your only day off? For generations of men (and women and children!), life was nothing but work, meals and some sleep. Besides, although today in many fields the strict 40-hour work week is long gone ("This project is going live tomorrow; you need to fix it tonight!"), I still don't think the average office-working man puts in more than 45 to 50 hours a week. A lot? Yes. Longer than any previous generation of fathers? Pleeeease.

He also claims he is more "involved" with his kids' lives "than any previous generation of men", because he goes to their sporting events. Yet two paragraphs later he mentions how many nights he's come home past dinnertime and his kids are in bed. Sorry, bub, standing on the sidelines cheering for your little superstar is not the same thing as eating meals with them and reading them a story before bed. When my mother was a little girl, my grandfather worked nights. It was the Depression, and he was blessed to have a job at all, but it meant he was either at work or sleeping most of the time his children were at home. So he and my grandmother would drive up to the grade school, and eat lunch with my mother and my two uncles. Then they would sit and watch their children play. Hey, a previous generation where a man was "involved" with his children's lives!

One woman's responses is rather enlightening too. She scolds him for daring to want some appreciation for what he does. I bet she is the same type of woman who whines about hard she has it because she has chosen to have a full-time job, and then she has to come home and cook dinner every night! Horror of horrors! And sure, certain things come with the territory of being a husband and father. But we all like to be noticed and appreciated for what we do.

Now while I do think men should do some of the things that need to be done around the house, it does sound like he has gotten stuck with all the hard and "unfun" stuff: fixing things that break around their old house, cleaning out the litter box, and hauling mounds of trash. He frames his idea of appreciation as "a doggy treat" though, so I wonder if his wife doesn't have him pretty well trained. My husband sees himself as a partner in maintaining our home, not a dog looking for a pat on the head. We both have some chores that are unpleasant, but we do them because they need to be done, and we appreciate each other's work.

I do admit that older people have been impressed with some of the things my husband is willing to do with our children. Once we were staying at a bed and breakfast when our children were very little. He took the Scientist down to breakfast while I nursed Wildchild and then fed her her baby cereal. When I came down, the older woman who ran the bed and breakfast commented that her husband would never have supervised their children at mealtime like that! My husband has also been commended by his mother and grandmother for helping our girls brush their teeth, and fixing their hair. (Then again, the Scientist's hair is a lot more like his, so he's had over thirty years of experience in dealing with it!) Is that just a generational anomaly? I don't know. I am glad that my husband has done the "mundane" with our children, not just the obvious things like attending events.

In short, it appears that not only has the feminist movement produced a bunch of women whiners, but some men whiners too. Me, I'd rather try to be happy with where I am and what I have. It's not always easy, but I'll get a lot more out of my marriage by being my husband's helpmate and encouragement than complaining about how hard I have it, or what he doesn't do. Like The Quipper and his wife, my husband and I have grown together in miraculous ways. Although I am far from always happy, I'd be stupid not to know how good I have it.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

I am Pwincess Buttercwup


Which Princess Bride Character are You?
this quiz was made by mysti

H/t to Kate5kiwis for the quiz link.

Hmm. I'm getting a taste for brats.... :)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Summertime...and the livin' is boring

Well, okay, not exactly boring, but there's definitely not much going on here at the homestead of the Evil Genius. We took Mr. Pistol Packin' Presbytera out for dinner last night, as his wife has been taking off on him and leaving him home alone the last couple of weeks. I guess he's the Pistol Packin' Presbyter. He had a good solid protein-packed dinner so all was well. Unfortunately I did not think to get any pictures. A hug picture would have been great, huh?

I've been selling and buying a few things on eBay. I love being able to buy things from all over the world, and having people from all over the world be able to look at my junk, I mean stuff.

Trying to make a few plans for the upcoming weeks, but nothing else interesting going on right now. Have to get the house clean and the pool up for Fourth of July! :O

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Just Checking In

I've been wanting to post pictures from the Blogger's Ice Cream Ministry over the weekend, but the pictures aren't online yet, so I'll just give you a random thought or two to tide you over. :)

Okay, the Indians lost to the Cubs last night. I haven't heard anyone else's take on it, but for me? The season is Officially Over. It's hard to pin down what went wrong though. We have several quality players. Grady Sizemore rocks, Travis Hafner is an excellent DH and I don't think he was that horrible at his stint at first base. Victor went through a slump, but every player does. I'll agree Peralta hasn't been the best shortstop he could be, and Jason Johnson needs to get on the first bus for Triple A, period.

I'm not a pastor, so I can say that I am so tired of the antics of particular members of the Missouri Synod. The Synod has been compared to the Titanic, and from that point of view, I see myself sitting in a lifeboat, staring at how low the large vessel is in the water, and hoping and praying more people can get off before she cracks in half and goes down. I'm such a cynic, or as I prefer to call it, a realist, that I guess something like this was inevitable. Human institutions can never last. All the more reason to hold to what will, the Cross of Christ. Only the death and resurrection of my Lord and Savior will keep me safe.

I'm glad to see so many of the fathers out there had a good Father's Day. On the other hand, it's sad to discover more families have experienced brokenness over the years. But as a pastor put it to me, Christ can make all things new, and He keeps guiding my little family into loving fellowship. Thank God for all the understanding people He has brought into our lives. May He bring human fellowship and comfort to everyone who needs it.

Friday, June 16, 2006

And now:

Barb the Evil Genius presents: Real Men of Genius
(real men of genius)
Today we salute you, Mr. Ice Cream Inventor.
(Mr. Ice Cream Inventor)
You took some flavored beans and some cow's milk and turned it into a culinary delight
(It's healthy; it's dairy!)

Pushing dessert innovation to its limits, there's now four billion flavors to choose from, although I'll still take chocolate, or chocolate-chocolate-chip
(A brown mustache!)

With sugar cones, waffle cones, waffle cones dipped in chocolate and waffle cones dipped in chocolate with sprinkles, I could have a different one every day
(So many choices!)
So have two scoops on me, Ice Cream dude. You make summer more bearable for all of us.
(Mr. Ice Cream Inventor)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Unexpected Reward

Lutheran Lucy recently blogged about unexpected rewards. Well, nine years ago today this little ball of black and white fur was an unexpected reward in our life. We found his mother wandering the garden center of a home improvement store, and I was too soft-hearted to leave her there where she could be run over by a car or who knows what else, so she came home with us. I honestly planned to find a home for her, until we found out...she was pregnant! Not a big suprise for a stray female cat, really. Too bad you can't tell whether they are spayed or unspayed just by looking.

The poor little guy ended up being an only child. His brother and two sisters (I guessed this based on their coloring) did not survive birth. He received his name at the vet's office that night, where after 8 hours or so after the birth of the first kitten, Mama still had two kittens to deliver. We had to take Baby with us, of course. Our beloved vet took one look at our little guy and said, "Hey there, Champ!"

Since the Scientist was only a year old at the time of Champ's birth, you might say the two of them were babies together.

However, being a cat, Champ of course reached adulthood far sooner. He even learned to drive a car. From the look in his eyes, I'd say he's facing rush hour traffic. In Chicago.

Not only is Champ a valued addition to our feline household, being affectionate and loving and a buddy to our other cats, he helped us deal with the passing of another cat, my beloved Hobbes. However, I'll discuss Hobbes another time, as he deserves his own post. Catblogging is a time-honored tradition, and I'm surprised I'm just starting it now! :) Anyway, Champ can be goofy at times, but we still love him!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


I had an unsatisfactory shopping experience today that I'd like to rant about. The Scientist needed some sandals, and I was also going to pick up a pair for Wildchild, if we saw something nice and not too expensive. Well, it was hard enough finding sandals for the Scientist. We ended up empty-handed for Wildchild. :( All the nice sandals in Wildchild's size are also lots of money. We couldn't even find inexpensive sandals for Wildchild, only flip-flops or espadrilles with big wedge heels and glitter that I think would look more appropriate on a hooker. Aren't girls Wildchild's age supposed to be going out to play and run? How can they run wearing shoes that have to be gripped by their toes, with heels no less? Not only that, but I guess Wildchild is supposed to have completely outgrown an interest in Dora the Explorer, Strawberry Shortcake and even the Disney Princesses, since all the cute character sandals stop at the size below hers. She's only seven years old! Shouldn't she still love fairy tales and dolls and cute childhood friends? In my world, she should, and in our house, she does!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Thinking About Schools

In my online reading, I've been looking over The American Enterprise, and their latest online issue features a story about
Education Myths. The article actually refers to myths pertaining to the public school system. Right now, some of my family's money is supporting the system, so anything to help change the idea that public schools are unassailable is useful to me, and I think there were some good points made, although I've seen a lot of them made before. I also agree with the article's endorsement of vouchers, especially if they are applied to homeschooling and we could keep our money to use for education at home. But there were some questions about the article that I'd like to share.

Myth: Teachers are underpaid. They give some pretty persuasive arguments against this but one statistic given was surprising to me. This was that the average teacher in a departmentalized school (where various instructors teach different subjects) teaches less than 3.9 hours per day and therefore has time to grade papers and plan lessons during the day as well. I have only my own experience to go by, but I was pretty sure my sister, who teaches middle school level art in a very large suburb of Cleveland, had classes all day. This past year, she was not only teaching all day, she was on the road all day, traveling from middle school to middle school, without a fixed classroom. She definitely didn't have time for planning lessons and grading during the day, and was she supposed to do them in her car? I didn't go to a public high school, but in my parochial high school, the teachers taught most of the day too, with maybe one study hall duty. Anyone else have a different story?

I'd also agree that it's a problem that teachers can be so hard to fire. I've read lots of horror stories about teachers who have assaulted students, etc, or those who are just poor teachers, receiving myriads of parents and student complaints, who cannot be fired because of the bureaucracy involved. However, teachers can still be let go if a school levy fails, and around here, it seems to be a constant threat, so there's not necessarily the unparalleled job security the article asserts.

Myth: Smaller class sizes are better. I agree it would be difficult to find the number of quality teachers needed, and that the cost required would be staggering and therefore impractical. But I think smaller classes can be more useful than they are made out to be here. One of the big reasons I homeschool is that frankly, the Scientist was always near the top of her class, but the class was taught to the level of the students near the bottom. Individual students have individual needs, and it is much easier to teach to different abilities and learning levels with a smaller class. The article questions studies of smaller versus larger classes, and only test scores are used as criteria anyway. Well, my daughter got excellent test scores, because she already knew much of the material. We still weren't happy with the level of education she received. Smaller class size still is probably unachievable due to the difficulties stated. Classes set up by ability rather than age might help, but are likely to traumatize too many parents and students to be implemented.

Myth: The idea that private schools have an unfair advantage over public schools because they are wealthy; therefore vouchers are unfair. The article points to the average amount of money spent in a year on a public school student, versus the significantly average lower tuition of a private school, even less for the average Catholic school, to say that private schools actually have less money to work with. However, I would imagine that some of the costs of running a parochial Catholic school are covered the same way the costs of running a Lutheran school are covered: through the donations of members of the church or churches associated with the school. Just using tuition to measure the cost to educate a private school student, then, is not necessarily accurate. Now if the general public will be contributing in taxes towards school vouchers instead of public schools, whether one agrees with this course or not, the difference currently made up by church members would probably be covered. What the actual costs per student will be is another question.

Now the essay in The American Enterprise is adapted, so some of the things I have questions about may be covered in more detail in the original work. But I still wanted to share my thoughts with you. I just don't see the demand for a centralised school where students are sent to learn going away any time soon, if ever, so I'd like to see those schools run as well and with as little of my money as possible.

Monday, June 12, 2006

13 Years Ago Today

my husband and I got married! It's been a typical journey since then, I suppose, full of ups and downs, but I'm still glad I started it with my darling husband, and glad to still be traveling together. God willing, we will have many more good years to enjoy ahead of us.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

It's Been a Bad Week

I don't know why, but I've been down, out of sorts, unhappy, slightly cranky for a number of days now. But my husband knows how to make me feel better.

He assures me that I am a princess too, but the crown cookie went to HRH Princess Wildchild. The Scientist got the flowers. She likes flowers and butterflies.

This was my special cookie. I'm sure at least some of you will like it too. :)

And he also caved and gave me my anniversary gift early. We are terrible about giving each other our gifts early. We can't wait! Did anyone else love Holly Hobbie as a child? I never had the toys back then, but thanks to the miracle of eBay, I do now! Maybe sometime I'll share a pic. But this is modern Holly Hobbie, and her brother Robby. They're very cute.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Daddy's Little Girl

Earlier today I hear Wildchild laughing downstairs, so I IM my husband, who is in his den with her and the Scientist.

Me: What is Wildchild watching?
Husband: X-Men. (the cartoon series)
Me: I didn't know there were any funny parts in X-Men?
Husband: She always enjoys a good battle.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Those Who Love Darkness

This is a gruesome, horrible story. But we can't hide from it. I don't feel like writing much else and I'm in a dark mood anyway, so I will share it with you, at least to update you on the depravity of our times (like you needed another reminder.) If you don't want to be depressed for the rest of the week, don't read the above link. If you want to know about it anyway, you can just read this wonderful fisking by his Imperial Rottiness. Although he does use some, um, salty language. As I've said before, he's not afraid to call a spade a &#*@% spade.

As an aside, what can't George Bush do? Maybe we need to start a list of George Bush Facts. Did George Bush make Albert Pujols get hurt? George probably still roots for the Rangers, after all. Did George Bush cause the Titanic to sink? That kid with three arms in China? The earthquake in Indonesia? My mind boggles.

Oh, and while looking to make sure I spelled Albert Pujols correctly (so as not to offend Lutheran Lucy who probably bawled like Lucy when she heard he got hurt anyway), I saw another lovely piece of biased reporting, about the federal marriage amendment: Senate Takes Up Gay-Rights Ban Amid Criticism. Barf. Yuck. I feel a need to go wash my eyeballs. How can a right be banned when it never was a "right" anyway. Urgh. I can't even go on about this, and I'm not going to link to it either. If you feel a need to see it, you can find it among the Al-Reuters headlines. Nickname also borrowed from his Imperial Rottiness.

Friday, June 02, 2006


Wildchild loves princesses! She loves pretending to be a princess, and dressing up like a princess, and watching movies about her favorite Disney princesses and other princesses, like Princess Strawberella! But I didn't think she would be so fascinated by a book I recently purchased called To Be A Princess. It tells the stories of twelve princesses, from different time periods and all over the world. These are definitely not fairy tales! Not every princess' life ends happily, from the beheading of Marie Antoinette to the execution of the four Russian Grand Duchesses in the cellar. But Wildchild has been interested in all of them. I have only one more to read, and she has already picked out which story she would like to then hear again, the story of the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret.

I have to admit I bought this book mainly for myself. I have had an interest in the lives of royalty for a long time. I think it started out because I was interested in the Victorian and Edwardian eras, and so I learned a little about Victoria and her son, Edward VII. Then I branched out into wanting to learn more about Victoria's children and grandchildren, who ended up in just about every royal house in Europe, with sometimes disastrous results. As a person with an interest in fashion history, it's wonderful to see pictures of royalty, because of course they had to keep up with the latest fashion, and could afford to do so! Also, I am interested in history, and the stories of royalty are very much intertwined with the history of their countries. Just in the stories in the book I am reading to Wildchild, we get brief discussions of England's transition to Protestantism, the Elizabethan era, the French revolution, the Victorian era, Hawai'i becoming a state, the Russian revolution, India achieving independence, and World War II. This book is not a deep scholarly treatise, but it is fun to have, and it has nice pictures.

It is blessedly cool today, and I am wondering if we will get some rain. I know many of y'all have gotten good thunderstorms passing through, but where we are: nothin'.