Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Last Snow

Today’s post is going to be several thousand words long, assuming I get to convert each photo into the standard word count.

We had our last big snowfall of the season this last weekend, so we took some photographs as it was picturesque.

Our backyard.

image of snow-covered trees in our back yard


Parenting Vs. Babysitting

This is not a discussion about how some people say thy are “babysitting” their kids whenever they have to stay home with them for some reason.

Rather, today I am asking the question “What is the difference between parenting and babysitting?”

I was thinking about it the other day, and the answer I came up with is purpose.

Other people may say things like love or pay or familial relationship, but those I think are incidental to the question.

The question is not “how do you tell the difference?” or “what are things that one done versus the other?” It’s hard to explain the question, so I’ll continue explaining the answer.

Some parents just babysit their kids, they don’t actually raise them because they as parents don’t have a purpose for their kids. Babysitters usually have a purpose, and that purpose is to keep the kids physically safe. That’s all anyone expects of babysitters. And that’s all some parents do. Which is better than nothing, I suppose. But let me encourage parents to aim higher than that.

As the saying goes, if you aim at nothing you’ll hit it every time. Unless you don’t pull the trigger. Plus how do you hit nothing? But I digress…

What is your aim for your kids? Maybe it’s college, maybe it’s starting pitcher, maybe it’s just to be happy.

If you don’t have a goal, a purpose, in raising your kids, then who knows how they’ll turn out? I say a parent should have goals. Plural. You’ll notice the examples I gave ranged from academic to physical to emotional. Think of those aspects, plus spiritual. Because if your kids are following God, the other things will be easier.

What if the kids don’t like your goals? Then discuss with them what they want as an alternative goal. Maybe start with vague goals and refine them as the kids grow. I think this is one of those areas where just about anything is better than nothing.

Pray for them. Pray for your children. And pray for yourself, to set the right goals and push your kids in the right direction.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Matthew 6:33

Deli Dilemma

Here is how it usually goes whenever I do the grocery shopping and getting some meat or cheese from the deli counter is on the list.

Deli Lady: How would you like that cut?
Me: Thin please.
(Deli Lady turns a dial to a random setting, cuts a sample slice, and holds it out for me to see.)
Deli Lady: How is that?
Me: That’s fine.

I don’t know if everyone’s definition of “thin slice” is different, or if she’s testing me, or if she doesn’t care about anything, but there seems to be no correlation between what I say and what I get.

And it doesn’t matter anyway, because no matter what she shows me, I’m going to say it’s fine. Because I don’t feel like interacting any more than necessary.

Which is also why I will accept her offer to eat the sample. Not because I actually want to, but because I know if I decline, there will be another round of interaction – something along the lines of “Are you sure?”

When he had cut the ram into its pieces, Moses offered up the head and the pieces and the suet in smoke.

Leviticus 8:20

A Plague on our House

At night, there are usually a number of moths and other bugs fluttering against the screens. And one of the windows might have a frog too.

photo of a frog climbing a window screen

For some reason, the frogs like climbing our windows. That photo was taken from the kitchen, which is on the ground level. But I have also seen them on the windows upstairs, which is fascinating.

photo of a frog climbing a window screen

I don’t know why they like to climb our house. I should look at the outside of our house at night to see if the frogs concentrate on the windows or if the windows are but a subset of the frogs climbing all over our house.

The Nile will swarm with frogs, which will come up and go into your house and into your bedroom and on your bed, and into the houses of your servants and on your people, and into your ovens and into your kneading bowls.

Exodus 8:3

Please Pay Before Paying

During some recent travels, I came across this sign, posted on a gas pump:

pre pay before

Here’s a close-up of the section of interest:

pre pay before

Isn’t that the point of pre-paying – that it’s beforehand?

Recommended signage: “Please pay before pumping” or “Pre-pay only”

This post was brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department

Before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor, came out with her jar on her shoulder.

Genesis 24:15

Not a Loud Siren

During some recent travels, I came across this sign, posted on the door of my hotel room:

fire alarm sounds like a loud siren

Here’s a close-up of the section of interest:

fire alarm sounds like a loud siren

Some thoughts that came to mind:
“I’m glad it’s not actually a siren – it only sounds like one.”
“But if it’s not a siren, what is it?”
“What application could have the sign ‘Loud siren sounds like a fire alarm’?”
“Why not just ‘Fire alarm is a loud siren’?”

Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.”

Revelation 19:6


I finally got to experience being asked about socialization for a homeschooled child!

I was aware that the non-homeschooling crowds were concerned that homeschoolers don’t get enough socialization. But I had never experienced it first hand.

I suppose that’s a good sign that they bring up socialization, right? That means they concede that homeschooling has superior academic results.

But it’s yet another myth that must be debunked.

What happened was I met a former co-worker out and about and we were asking each other about kids and school and stuff. I mentioned the youngest was starting kindergarten and we were going to homeschool him but he would be attending a nearby Christian school for their one-day-a-week homeschool enrichment program.

My co-worker asked very quickly, “Oh, for socialization?” To which I replied, “No, for the teaching of the non-core subjects like art, music, foreign language, etc.” And the conversation continued in an unremarkable manner.

I was thinking, during the conversation, “have you not read Lord of the Flies?” That right there is an argument against schools being useful for socialization. The main lesson I remember from that story is don’t trust crowds of children. Or rather, applied to the topic of raising kids: placing an immature child with other immature children does not cause him to mature well.

If you want your child to grow into something, you need to expose him to the expected result. If you want him to grow to be a well-mannered adult, you should place him with polite adults. Not with rude children.

There are many more articles and discussions about socialization available, so I’m not going to dwell on it further. In summary: no, I don’t care about socialization. But I feel I have now been inducted into the homeschooling community by having been asked about it.

When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations.

Deuteronomy 18:9