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Archive for June, 2010

I’m thankful for those who have a two free days (or more) to spend on a fun project that entertains me for a 1 minute break in a busy day.

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Watch the whole clip before pouncing.

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Starting when we had three very little kids we noticed the looks. It increased quite a bit with four boys and so did the many opportunities to talk to people. Now that there is a girl in the mix, too, it’s even greater. When my family goes in public, we get stares, we get people visibly counting our kids with their lips, we are a conversation starter of our own. We get to talk to lots of people about it. Sometimes their looks even warrant me starting the conversation with something like: “Yes, we have a lot of fun; Yes, we’re really tired.”

We don’t experience contempt like this story below accounts, and I think he is too harsh. But we do cause people to wonder and stare, usually in happy awe, usually with compliments.

But still, much of this article below is too true…deplorably so. God didn’t dictate a universally-applicable number of children each family should have. But the proud desire for more ease , the condition of the world, and even probably finances are not reasons to stop having kids.

How strange to live in a world where loving children casts one in infamy. Having a family with many children implies a backwardness and primitivism that is deemed unbecoming in the developed countries of the West. Large families, it is thought, exist only among religious weirdoes or the teeming hovels of the Third World.

Read the whole article: The Contempt Shown to Parents of Large Families

HT: Dennis and Mistin Wilkinson

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Two in one week! Here is my favorite car commercial I posted a couple of days ago, and then I saw this one today that’s in second place.

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Advice on keeping a personal history of thoughts, input, output and plans: Advice From a Mentor

I especially enjoyed the last point.

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Choose your own city. It’s fun.

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From all that I have read of history of government, of human life, and manners, I [have] drawn this conclusion, tha the manners of women [are] the most infallible barometer, to ascertain the degree of morality and virtue in a nation. All that I have since read and all the observation I have made in different nations, have confirmed me in this opinion. The manners of women, are the surest criterion by which to determine whether a republican government is practicable, in a nation or not. The Jews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Swiss, the Dutch, all lost their public spirit, their republican principles and habits when they lost the modest and domestic virtues of their women…

The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families. In vain are schools, academies and universities instituted if loose principles and licentious habits are impressed upon children in their earliest years. The mothers are the earliest and most important instructors of youth.

– John Adams (from Bringing Up Girls, p. 38, James Dobson)

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Sobering Enough?

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He sold something like 4 gagillion books, but this is the first James Dobson book I have ever read. Bringing Up Girls is probably exactly what I was expecting, and maybe more so in some ways. Let me summarize my reading in two points.

First, this is an excellent book and treatment of the topic of girls. Over and over again, I found myself needing to be reminded, reassured and encouraged by the things that were being taught. The science, the research, the surveys, the interviews were full and informative, probing and insightful. This book’s style changes rapidly from instruction, to interview, to transcript, to science and back repeatedly. This kept the pace going for me, and I was encouraged throughout. It was full of important things that I need to be readying–and steadying–myself for. I believe that parents of girls need to be reading books like this, in heaps.

Secondly, this book was exceptionally discouraging. There was a lot of doom-and-gloom-speak pointing to the realities of what the modern, current American girl looks like on the inside and outside. That wasn’t big news though. The highly disappointing thing is that Dobson gave almost no hope to the dilemma. It’s not that he didn’t have solutions, but his solutions were advice-oriented. The glorious Gospel of grace was almost entirely missing. There was a little bit of Bible-speak in the last chapter (The Last Word), but it really should have been used in heaps to offset the misery that a portion of the chapters spoke to. It should have been used liberally throughout to be the harbinger of hope.

Dobson takes lots of opportunities to sit down and talk-it-out with kids on rough matters. He consoles them with soft speech, polished words and affirmations of their value. This direction is an immense disservice to them and the readers, though they may feel better…and more books will be sold. Dobson teaches very specifically that satisfaction begins with self-worth/self-esteem. This is not the Gospel. This is another Gospel.

Dr. Dobson has done the world a lot of good over the years, I’m sure. But speaking only from the reading of this book, his approach is psychological (as he was trained) almost to the exemption of the biblical. That’s not where I am headed or want my baby girl to head.

There is stuff to learn, and I am thankful for the opportunity Tyndale afforded me to review this book. I would read more Dobson and take the encouragements I receive, but I would be/will be wary. Because my focus isn’t first on my family.

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Bouncing Bridges

This was in May on an 8 month old bridge across the Volga in Russia. It’s Europe’s longest span.

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They are prepping for a big dig.

Rachel Maddow and the NYC Subway

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I Love Niche Marketing

This guy is the go-to source for specialty soda and a posterboy for small business.

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Marisys

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