Archive for Child-rearing

Momma style

First skirt

My fashion album includes photos of many lovely pieces I have seen in magazine layouts and would love to one day add to my own wardrobe.  This skirt is similar to one of them.  I think it turned out pretty well being that I didn’t have a pattern.  I have been learning how to visualize a piece of fabric and all its folds and turn it  into a piece that resembles something wearable.  The drape of this skirt is not as smooth as I would have liked.  I look forward to the day I have a mannequin to “play dress up with” as my husband would say.  I can imagine it would be simply wonderful to be able to fasten my prickly pinned fabric to a mannequin instead of me!

I’ll wrap up this post with a photo of one of my favorite pairs of shoes.  When I went to take the snapshot, I realized that the floor was covered with alphabet blocks and thought to myself, “Doesn’t that just speak truth in a million different ways.”  I’m sure all you mothers out there understand the rare days you get to put on a pair of heels and trip over toys!

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Philip Pullman speaks for himself

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I’ve come across some other very interesting sites regarding Philip Pullman since I first wrote this entry and I would love to share them with you. While this does not change my opinion as a parent, it does bring a sense of urgency to my spirit as a believer. Here are a few interesting tidbits from some of his interviews. These are really petitions to pray him, as are all evidences of Satan’s confusion and corruption. I feel a great burden for souls of this nature because their conflicts are valid in light of the darkness in which they unknowingly reside. My father may very well answer questions of this nature in the very same way, so my compassion is inevitable. The interview can be read in full here.

What were the values that were instilled into you?

 

The conventional middle-class ones of the time. My grandfather was a clergyman and so every Sunday I went to Sunday school and church. I was confirmed, I was a member of the choir, all that sort of stuff.

 

We still had the Authorised Version of the Bible, and the Book of Common Prayer and Hymns Ancient and Modern – all those old forms of worship that had given comfort and joy to generations were still there for me to enjoy. Nowadays it’s all been swept away, and if ever I go into a church and look at the dreadful, barren language that disfigures the forms of service they have now, I am very thankful that I grew up at a time when it was possible for me to go to Matins and sing the Psalms in the old versions.

A lot of Christians are nonplussed by the picture you present of the church in His Dark Materials, which is unrelievedly cruel and oppressive. It doesn’t sound like the church you grew up in.

 

No. Grandpa was a very kind man – though a man of his own age, mind you: he was a Victorian, born in 1890 or so in a little Devon village, the sixth son and 13th child of a poor farmer, and unquestioningly both conservative and Conservative. His values were already beginning to look a bit dated by the middle of the century. For example, as the chaplain of Norwich prison it was his job from time to time to attend executions, to be with the condemned man for the last hour of his life and give him Holy Communion and go to the scaffold with him. It caused him a great deal of anguish, but he didn’t question it or rebel against it.

 

But he was a very good man who was full of love for me and my brother. He was a wonderful teller of stories, from the Bible and from his own experience – here, I’ll give you an example.

 

When the First World War came, he joined his local regiment, along with a friend from the village called Fred Austin, a big, powerful man and a wonderful horseman. Fred Austin didn’t have any leave for 18 months or so, and when eventually he came home his little daughter didn’t know who this frightening man was and she fled from him. But he was very gentle with her and he didn’t force the issue, he just spoke quietly; and after a few days the little girl came to him and let him pick her up.

 

And Grandpa used to say that this was like God. We’re frightened of God at first, but God is gentle with us and he loves us and wants us to come to him, so he doesn’t force himself on us but he waits until we’re ready to come to him. And that was the sort of values Grandpa would try to put across.

You’re not really giving us any clues to the source of the extreme antipathy to the Church in your books.

 

Well, all right, it comes from history. It comes from the record of the Inquisition, persecuting heretics and torturing Jews and all that sort of stuff; and it comes from the other side, too, from the Protestants burning the Catholics. It comes from the insensate pursuit of innocent and crazy old women, and from the Puritans in America burning and hanging the witches – and it comes not only from the Christian church but also from the Taliban.

 

Every single religion that has a monotheistic god ends up by persecuting other people and killing them because they don’t accept him. Wherever you look in history, you find that. It’s still going on.

 

I was going to say that its logical conclusion seems to be nihilism.

 

Can I elucidate my own position as far as atheism is concerned? I don’t know whether I’m an atheist or an agnostic. I’m both, depending on where the standpoint is.

 

The totality of what I know is no more than the tiniest pinprick of light in an enormous encircling darkness of all the things I don’t know – which includes the number of atoms in the Atlantic Ocean, the thoughts going through the mind of my next-door neighbour at this moment and what is happening two miles above the surface of the planet Mars. In this illimitable darkness there may be God and I don’t know, because I don’t know.

 

But if we look at this pinprick of light and come closer to it, like a camera zooming in, so that it gradually expands until here we are, sitting in this room, surrounded by all the things we do know – such as what the time is and how to drive to London and all the other things that we know, what we’ve read about history and what we can find out about science – nowhere in this knowledge that’s available to me do I see the slightest evidence for God.

 

So, within this tiny circle of light I’m a convinced atheist; but when I step back I can see that the totality of what I know is very small compared to the totality of what I don’t know. So, that’s my position.

 

Throughout His Dark Materials there’s a strong sense of ‘ought’. All the most attractive characters – Lyra and Will, Lee Scoresby, Iorek Byrnison, Mary Malone – are driven in the end by a sense of duty, at least to their loved ones if not to the world. Where in a world without God does that sense of ‘ought’ come from?

 

I’m amazed by the gall of Christians. You think that nobody can possibly be decent unless they’ve got the idea from God or something. Absolute bloody rubbish! Isn’t it your experience that there are plenty of people in the world who don’t believe who are very good, decent people?

Yes. I’m just curious to know where it comes from.

 

For goodness’ sake! It comes from ordinary human decency. It comes from accumulated human wisdom – which includes the wisdom of such figures as Jesus Christ. Jesus, like many of the founders of great religions, was a moral genius, and he set out a number of things very clearly in the Gospels which if we all lived by them we’d all do much better. What a pity the Church doesn’t listen to him!

 

And you can find more here.

 


 * poiccard – 04:06pm Jan 22, 2002 GMT (9.) Do you believe in God?


n PhilipPullman – 01:44pm Feb 18, 2002 GMT (9.1) I see no evidence for his existence, but of course that’s not to say that he doesn’t exist; I simply haven come across any yet. Furthermore, in my view, belief in God seems to be a very good excuse, on the part of those who claim to believe, for doing many wicked things that they wouldn’t feel justified in doing without such a belief.

 

[deleted user] – 09:41pm Jan 23, 2002 GMT (27.) I work in a bookshop and constantly recommend your books to children. I try to explain why I enjoy the books, but that’s not always adequate. If you were recommending your books to a child, what would you tell him or her ?

 


n PhilipPullman – 01:55pm Feb 18, 2002 GMT (27.1) I’d say: “You are forbidden to read these books. They’re too old for you, and they’re full of things you shouldn’t experience yet, like sex and violence and dangerous ideas about religion. I’m putting them up here, on this shelf, and I’m going out for an hour or so. You’re not to touch them.”

And his official website.

 

His Dark Materials seems to be against organised religion. Do you believe in God?

 

I don’t know whether there’s a God or not. Nobody does, no matter what they say. I think it’s perfectly possible to explain how the universe came about without bringing God into it, but I don’t know everything, and there may well be a God somewhere, hiding away.

 

Actually, if he is keeping out of sight, it’s because he’s ashamed of his followers and all the cruelty and ignorance they’re responsible for promoting in his name. If I were him, I’d want nothing to do with them.

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The Golden Compass – what is it really about?

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Many of you may have seen this poster in the theatre or seen an advertisement on television. If you are anything like me, I was drawn immediately to the film for its artistic rendering. The work is beautiful. The storyline, as revealed, intriguing; much like sin. It is so attractive, so alluring, and so seemingly harmless and rewarding. However, this evening I received the following email:


THE GOLDEN COMPASS, a new movie targeted at children, will be released December 7, 2007. This movie is based on a the first book of a trilogy by atheist Philip Pullman. In the final book a boy and girl kill God so they can do as they please. Pullman left little doubt about his intentions when he said in a 2003 interview that “My books are about killing God.”

The movie is a watered down version of the first book and is designed to be very attractive in the hope unsuspecting parents will take their children to see the the movie and that the children will want the books for Christmas.
The movie has a well known cast, including Nicole Kidman, Kevin Bacon, and Sam Elliott. It will probably be advertised extensively, so it is crucial that we get the word out to warn parents to avoid this movie.
You can research this for yourself. Start with this article on Snopes.com, then go to Google.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/compass.asp

So, I decided to check out the snopes link above which led me to further research the movie. I checked out the trailer and official movie website which can be linked by clicking on the image. Even while watching the trailer, I would have no inkling that the focus of the movie is to undermine Christianity and promote the pursuit of wordly pleasures because “all we have is the here and now.”

This will be a series of movies that will, I’m sure, mistakenly be associated with the likes of “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Chronicles of Narnia”. However, by reading the following article, you will see several references to the original series of books that will surely disturb most parents – Christian or otherwise.


An atheist’s ‘Narnia’ knockoff


Posted: October 26, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
On Dec. 7, 2007, the movie “The Golden Compass,” based on the first book in the fantasy trilogy entitled “His Dark Materials” by atheist Philip Pullman will be released in theaters throughout the world. Pullman wrote his fantasy trilogy because he was so upset by the Christian evangelism of C.S. Lewis in his wonderful series of Christian tales entitled “The Chronicles Of Narnia.” Pullman is an avowed atheist who has dedicated his life to undermining Christianity and the Church among young readers. The film’s release is only another example of a culture spiraling away from faith, a culture into which we must step in and declare truth. Pullman represents God as a decrepit and perverse angel in his novels, who captures the dead in a “prison camp” afterlife. As one fallen angel tells one of the novel’s young heroes:

The Authority, God, the Creator, the Lord, Yahweh, El, Adonai, the King, the Father, the Almighty – those were all names he gave himself. He was never the creator. He was an angel like ourselves – the first angel, true, the most powerful, but he was formed of Dust as we are, and Dust is only a name for what happens when matter begins to understand itself.

When the hero finally finds this “god,” he is ultimately described as a “demented and powerless” creature that “could only weep and mumble in fear and pain and misery.” The boy then kills this “god” by breaking him out of his crystal cell, thereby evaporating him. The only “god” in this universe is matter.

Meanwhile, the Church is depicted as an organization bent on power, control and the torture of children by cutting. One-character notes of the Church:

Killing is not difficult for them; Calvin himself ordered the deaths of children; they’d kill her with pomp and ceremony and prayers and lamentations and psalms and hymns, but they would kill her.

One heroine in the story who turns from the Church did so when she realized “there wasn’t any God at all and … the Christian religion is a very powerful and convincing mistake, that’s all.” Instead, the Church just kept her from finding love, thinking freely and pursuing bodily pleasures like sex. As she notes:

“I’d made myself believe that I was fine and happy and fulfilled on my own without the love of anyone else.” Later, she says, “I knew what I should think: it was whatever the Church taught me to think. … So I never had to think about [science] for myself.”

There is no heaven in this universe, just a dank and dreary “prison camp” afterlife. Pullman thought Christians’ positive view of the afterlife, like C.S. Lewis’, was a “celebration of death.” One of the characters the story’s exploring children run into in this hell pursued spiritual things while on Earth, and regrets it:

They said that heaven was a place of joy and glory and we would spend eternity in the company of saints and angels praising the almighty, in a state of bliss. … And that’s what led some of us to give our lives, and others to spend years in solitary prayer, while all the joy of life was going to waste around us, and we never knew.

The children in the story ultimately discover that true wisdom is doing what is right in their own eyes, becoming their own gods. As one of the heroes says:

“Don’t tell me. I shall decide what to do. If you say my work is fighting, or healing, or exploring, or whatever you might say, I’ll always be thinking about it. And if I do end up doing that, I’ll be resentful because it’ll feel as if I didn’t have a choice, and if I don’t do it, I’ll feel guilty because I should. Whatever I do, I will choose it, no one else.” “Then you have already taken the first steps towards wisdom,” said Xaphania.

The result of this “wisdom” is a focus on bodily pleasure over eternal truth. Although ambiguous as to what exactly happens, at the end of the novels the two children pleasure each other bodily and finally experience true joy.

The world of Pullman’s series mechanically mirrors that of C.S. Lewis. While “The Chronicles Of Narnia” starts with Lucy going into the wardrobe to get to Narnia, Pullman has Lyra going into a wardrobe. But, what Lyra finds is not the supernatural world, nor a world where God rescues His creation, like Narnia, but rather a world that ends in dust, where the highest meaning can be found in pleasuring each other, and God is just a sniveling old man who doesn’t know what he’s doing.

Pullman’s world is a sad, animalistic universe. Since this is the only world there is, the trilogy ends in hopelessness. Love is not selfless giving, because that would be useless in a materialistic world. Love instead is the lust of pleasuring each other. In Pullman’s world, there’s no hope of eternal life where the lame and the blind and the deaf and dumb can walk and see and hear and talk, where the old are made youthful. There’s no heavenly banquet, there’s no loving God, there’s no order, and there’s no peace.

The logical consequences of Pullman’s atheism can be found in the lives of the leading atheists of the 20th century – Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot – men who killed millions of their own people and had no respect for justice or love. Ultimately, it is a road that only leads to meaninglessness and murder.

We urge people of faith and values not to corrupt their children with the odious atheistic worldview of “The Golden Compass.” Instead, there are plenty of good movies this Christmas, such as “Enchanted,” that will build and not destroy values.

A society shaped by the materialist and godless ethic promoted by films like “The Golden Compass” is a society without hope. If there is no God and no eternity, if all that exists is matter, human life loses all value. Sex becomes the ultimate form of pleasure we can achieve, and unlimited autonomy from other people while being our own gods becomes the goal. A society like this will destroy itself.

And if you still haven’t had your fill of information regarding the movie, Wiki the movie and the author to read some quotes from the director and those who revered the original storyline:

Weitz said that New Line Cinema had feared the story’s perceived anti-religious themes would make the film financially unviable in the US, and so religion and God will not be referenced directly. Attempting to reassure fans of the novels, Weitz said that religion would instead appear in euphemistic terms, yet the decision has been attacked by some fans,[32] anti-censorship groups, and the National Secular Society (of which Pullman is an honorary associate), which said ” they are taking the heart out of it, losing the point of it, castrating it”,[33] “this is part of a long-term problem over freedom of speech.”

Pullman is an atheist and his objective is to promote atheism. Pullman has made remarks that he wants to kill God in the minds of children, and that’s what his books are all about. He despises C.S. Lewis and Narnia, etc. An article written about him said “this is the most dangerous author in Britain” and that Pullman would be the writer “the atheists would be praying for, if atheists prayed.” Pullman said he doesn’t think it is possible that there is a God and he has great difficulty understanding the words “spiritual” and “spirituality.”

I am a researcher. The last thing I want to do is express a strong conviction without having the knowledge to defend it. I encourage you to investigate this film and its origins. More importantly, I encourage you to protect your children from the all-too-attractive package in which this “magical” world is wrapped. It really is a beautiful banner, a beautiful cast, a beautiful use of artistic imagination. Remember, Lucifer was the most beautiful angel:

Isaiah 14:12-15 (King James Version)

12How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

13For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

15Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Doesn’t that sound familiar? I will attempt to become God, and in doing so I will discover that life is hell. Well, I suppose that’s one truth Philip Pullman managed to incorporate in his writings.

Learn more about Pullman here.

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Vintage children’s book’s illustrations

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Who’s up for a little baby slingin’?

I had NO IDEA how many options there are out there for baby slingsring slings or maya wraps, pouch slings, happypouch, mei tai, padded, unpadded, rebozo, reversible, moby wrap, Storchenwiege, ergo, solarveil; not to mention all the different fabrics – oh fabrics you will be the ruin of me!

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I love the ring styles with pockets in them. They are quite handy for if you want to put a pacifier, burp cloth, or diaper and wipes if you are going for a hike. The other great thing about the ring slings is that the extra fabric can be used to pull up over baby as a more discreet way of nursing.

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While there are many other sling styles than those I’ve posted here, I believe these offer the greatest variety of carrying styles. I think that is very important because as baby changes, so does the most comfortable way to carry her.

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It’s a rarity that I see anyone carrying their child in the kangaroo style with a pouch sling, but I know it is possible. I wonder if it is simply that those that prefer this method lean more toward a ring sling or if it is that those that prefer the pouch sling simply prefer to hold their child inward. Our little one is so curious, that while I believe she would love the cradle carry or belly to belly when she is tired or snuggly, she loves to see what is going on around her most of the time.

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There is such a huge range of prices for slings; however, ring slings are definitely consistently more expensive. In light of this, I am thinking about making my own, but I don’t necessarily feel confident making something that may or may not hold my baby securely.

For those of you out there who sling your babes, what’s your opinion on all the different styles? Is there one you have found more beneficial than another, and why?

*Photos were taken from websites in order to share these products.  The companies are linked within the email message.  I did not take the above photos. 

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Infant Insurgence

Wowsers! – Did you just hear Inspector Gadget’s voice, too?

I cannot believe how long it has been since I last posted! It has been a decade since I have been the mother to a newborn baby girl and I have no ability to regain all this time seemingly lost in the course of days full of nursing, changing diapers, nursing, cuddling, nursing, comforting, nursing, cleaning up spit up, nursing, and adoring our newest addition. (Did I mention nursing?) The forgetfulness is surely all a part of God’s ultimate plan to lead us to believe, in spite of our firsthand experiences, that babies aren’t all that difficult and we should surely have more!

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Of course, these are the same moments that I wish I could remember of my first child; those that are brought to life only by the seemingly second-hand stories of photographs. How is it that I ever forgot? Well, it’s been said that a woman loses memory cells with each pregnancy and there has even been findings that baby girls cause more forgetfulness than baby boys – now that’s just what I needed to hear to make me feel better about my “dumb-mum syndrome”!

Amidst all the hustle and bustle of the last couple months, I have still managed to imagine what it would be like to write a blog entry. In fact, I have managed to take photos, attempt new skills about which I can blog (including learning how to use my camera’s manual features and crocheting), conjure up clever entry titles, and I’ve even found my mind making feeble attempts to piece together a few words here and there for when I do get a moment to blog. I mean, I have not even been blogging and it has consumed incredible amounts of my rapidly depleting mental resources!

Being a homeschool mom also takes up a large amount of time and mental resources in a day. I’m telling you, summer vacation is looking so GOOD at this point! Having more time to learn to sew, quilt, crochet, knit, photograph, paper craft and explore the art of pinhole photography in my made-by-hubby darkroom will be so refreshing. I also am looking forward to allowing the kids to just be kids without having to exercise teacher mode as well. That is one thing I have had difficulty with over the last couple years – finding the balance in my roles.

After a two-month-long silence, I have filled this entry with all the excuses as to why I haven’t been writing. All of this to say, “I really haven’t said much of anything!” I don’t dare say the coming entries will surely be more interesting, as I would certainly disappoint at least one of my two three total blog readers out there! However, I will leave you with a taste of the blog titles to come:

Promised Pain – the Eve of natural childbirth

Miracles Happen

Goodwill Hunting

Size Matters

Shrug? Bolero? Shoulderette?…in yellow

Flip Flop Foto

Cupid’s Conspirator

Busting at the Seams

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a mischievous little fairy

Yesterday thudding tumbles and shrills of laughter beckoned my husband up the stairs to find two silently stunned little girls staring at a shattered collection of pinks and blues, and one silent fairy. Now, I’m fully aware of Tinkerbell’s reputation and she is the only mute that I would confidently consider nothing less than loquacious! She never fails to escape harm and last night was no different. For the last year she has behaved quite properly by residing happily atop her delicate pink bulb. And while I still don’t know the truth behind yesterday’s demolition of her home, I am certain of one thing…she saw it coming because she escaped without so much as a scratch!

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Now when hubby brought her down the stairs and set her on the kitchen counter, I thought her waggery was complete. However, this morning our youngest was moving a dish from the sink, and though she has never broken a dish to date, the tell-tale chimes of shattering glass rang out. Of course Tinkerbell sat unassumingly in the corner and I can’t be certain whether the smirk of satisfaction adorning her face was an admission of involvement, so there she sits without consequence.

However, this evening she appeared quite pensive among her carnage…so we’ll permit her to stay another day.

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