Archive for August, 2013


28 August, 2013

I’ve been reading the Book of Romans recently. I’ve forgotten how wonderful it is.

  • Justification by faith – Romans 4
  • Romans 7:15-19, we want to do good, but we don’t
  • Romans 8:31 “if God is for us, who can be against us”
  • Romans 8:38-39 nothing can separate us from God’s love
  • Romans 12 we different spiritual gifts (which I charted out, and for better or worse as a kid decided my gift was giving.)
  • Obey the government – Romans 13 (which seems to go against the American Revolution being a Christian act)
  • Individuality in honoring God – Romans 14 (which I can read as “don’t ask don’t tell” )

sometime in Jr. high School, our preacher offered an in-depth study on Romans, and said he was teaching it like a college class. Every week there was a test on what we had studied, memory verses, theology points. I never got higher than a C on those tests. I think it was great that they let me sit in on the class that was designed for adults. I felt cool to be there.

What other organized extra-circular actives did I have as a kid?

For starters, we went to Church. Bible class & worship Sunday mornings. Often a potluck after. Sunday night worship. Wednesday night service.

Jr High
The above mentioned Romans class, Saturday morning for a couple of months.

For a while there was a Tuesday night small group thing for our church in various homes.
7th grade, Autumn, “manager” for the football team.
7th – 9th grade, after school chess club.
9th grade, student government rep.
9th grade Spring, track.
In the summers I had a babysitting gig.

High school
At some point I was involved in a Tuesday night Bible study for teens.
Many Sunday afternoons, or Sunday nights would have youth group fellowship through Church.
10th – 12th grade, Spring, track
11th & 12th grade, Autumn, cross country
11th & 12th grade, Tuesdays after school, music theory
11th grade summer, job at car wash
12th grade, Saturday mornings, Tacoma Youth Symphony
12th grade, Winter, I was in pit orchestra for musical
12th grade summer, job a burger joint

So, lots of Church.
Jr high a lot of chess.
High school running in circles and some music.

And my childrens today?
We are starting the crazy of extra-curricular activities. This summer, MsSqueaky had swim lessons Saturday morning, MrGrunty had baseball on Wednesday nights, and both were in a Saturday afternoon soccer class. This fall, they will both be on different soccer teams. (We hope to get MrCudldles in swimming.) If I was more organized, I might feel better, but I worry that other important things may get skipped, forgotten, delayed. Things like Bible study, chores, music lessons, family time, quiet time, Spanish lessons, swimming, art projects, hiking, home maintenance & improvement,…oh yeah and good nutrition and consistent sleep schedules.

I guess that’s the way it is, never enough time. I guess that’s why they call it making priorities.

June stories part 1

22 August, 2013

MrGrunty was invited to a bounce house birthday party, for one of his friends who is moving back East. MsSqueaky was a bit jealous, even after we reminded her that she went solo to a party the previous week.

So…as luck would have it, there is another set of twins at MrGunty and MsSqueaky’s kindergarten classes, and they have mid-June birthday also. We were approached, and heartily agreed with the idea of a joint twins birthday bash. All the kindergartners were invited, and it was at a pool.

After cake, we had a bit of time to play before our pool reservation. Yes, we fed them cake before tossing them into the water. Outside, before our pool reservation, I foolishly challenged them to a game of freeze tag. When we were agreeing to the rules they were talking about bases, I said “No bases. If you get tired, rest when you are frozen.” Well, as suspected, I didn’t do very good solo against a dozen kids. I enlisted MissEllie, one of my third grade students from Bible Class to help me. We could tag a few more, but the kindergartners were clever enough to use distracts and diversion to unfreeze each other. Also, they discovered that ten of them screeching at top volume makes me cover my ears and run away. They found it hilarious when I covered my ears and ran, but seriously, it was loud and painful.

The pool. My childrens mostly stayed in the shallow end. MsSqueaky had a meltdown when water got on her swim goggles. I did take MsS over to the deep end and put her on a raft and pushed her around. She liked that as long as I stayed close. MrG was playing catch with his friends.

I thought the party a success. Lots of kids, got to see lots of parents. Since not at our house, not a mess. ( In the week after at school, a lot of parents told me it was a good party.)

The following Tuesday, June 18th…MsSqueaky was going on a field trip to the beach, and I got to be a chaperon. I was impressed watching the teacher be in control of the class, have them listen, getting them to line up and stay organized. Wow. It was just play at the beach time, I was assigned MsS and two of her friends, friend-J and friend-C. It was perfect weather. The children played in the sand, making sand castles and sand-soup, climbed over logs…they even set up a teeter-toter using drift wood. (MsS fell off.) It was a lot of fun, MsS was very happy that I was there. She was practically glowing with her smile at me. I loved it. I must do it more next year.

Thursday, June 20th was MrGrunty’s class was having a moving up ceremony. They were also having a “camp out” in their classroom. All the desks and chairs were pushed to the back of the room. They brought sleeping bags, stuffed animals, and spread out their sleeping bags on the floor around a “camp fire” made of Xmas lights. I joined them for lunch in the lunchroom, MrG was proud giving me instructions on what to do, and where to go. (I also got a big smile and wave from MsS from her table.).

Recess, was crazy. The girls ran off to monkey bars, the boys ran off to kickball. There was no ref, it was chaotic, arguing about rules, switching teams, switching positions…there was one boy, better than the rest, who would be called a ball hog. ( I’m told this is normal at this age, they are focusing on skill learning, self-centered…they seldom even think about sharing the ball. They’re just not at that developmental level yet.). I did a bit of pitching for kickball. Now MsS’s friend-C wanted to play. But was not assertive enuff to get her turn. After a few minutes, she and I went a few feet away so she could practice kicking. I did that for a few minutes, and then went to see MsS for a few minutes. (After recess, Friend-C scolded me for wasting time and not playing ball with her.)

The moving on up ceremony… MyBetterHalf joined us, sitting on his sleeping bag while eating hotdogs from the “camp out”. Some of the parents had an idea since it was MsNelson’s last year. Each child had a rose, and in single file line, and were instructed to say something they liked about her, to MsNelson. MrG started getting upset because he didn’t know what to say. He was almost in tears when it was his turn, we told him he could just give her the rose.

The next day was the last day of school, we went for donuts for breakfast. The kindergartners only had a half day, then for after school care, they went bowling.

Song of the now

19 August, 2013

My current song of the now is
by Lorde.

King County Council

11 August, 2013

It’s funny, isn’t it? How we will spend hours researching and debating who is better for US President, where we have very little sway. And yet, for local office, where our vote matters more, where local events will affect us more.

I must confess, like most folks, I am a horribly uneducated local voter.

Recently, our home received a glossy, full page, double sided, color flier from Rod Dembowski.

“Selling socks with my father at the swap meet taught me the values I still hold today. Work hard. Play by the rules. Help others move up the ladder of opportunity. I’m working hard to ensure that everyone in King County has the opportunity to succeed.”

That’s cute. But not at all helpful.
Whatcha gonna do, Rod?

Bus service reduces congestion, but King Co Metro is losing money and can not afford the routes it currently has. Whatcha gonna do, Rod?

Your website claims ”

King County can and should play a leading role in promoting and facilitating a strong and growing regional economy.


Rod’s website mentions protecting streams, but we need affordable housing, and also building up urban centers. The only way to do all three, is to have lots of small-apartment (cheap rent), high rises (high density) and a ban on rural development.

I am getting sick of platitudes. Why can’t a candidate offer ideas? Then, we voters could judge them by their ideas, and not by their fairy-tale back story.

Edmonds beach

10 August, 2013

We brought Cousin-Mo back home with us. It’s been great. CoMo gets to be a big sister, MsSqueaky gets to have a big sister. MrCuddles absolutely loves her. And she likes to play UNO with MrGrunty.

After the childrens go to sleep, CoMo and I would either play some UNO or make music with GarageBand on my iPad.

The other evening, I took the four kids to Edmonds beach. It was wonderful. And, as the sun was setting, the kids faces, (and the driftwood logs, too) were illuminated and glowing. I wonder if heaven will look that nice?

Day at the park

4 August, 2013

Beautiful day.
We went to park with my sis in law and her children.
CousinMo and MsSqueaky were with each other the whole time, mostly playing in the water park.
CousinCo and MrGrunty and I played a lot of baseball catch. I got a bruised right palm, MrG got a bruised lip.
MrCuddles spent lots of time with Uncle-Ry-Ry.

And, this morning I decided to volunteer to be coach for MrGrunty’s team.


2 August, 2013

At rest stop I wanted the childrens to stretch out their legs. MrCuddles and MrGrunty were up for a race. MsSqueaky was ignoring us, and crawling around in the grass. She was chasing butterflies, and playing catch and release. She showed me two. Yes, I’m proud of my little lepidopterist.

Wish me luck, I’m sharing a twin bed with the boys tonight.

The Aztecs: A Very Short Introduction – Paperback – David Carrasco – Oxford University Press

1 August, 2013

The Aztecs: A Very Short Introduction – Paperback – David Carrasco – Oxford University Press.

A quick good read. I recommend it. I love the “Very Short Introduction” series from Oxford U Press. Written to my level, and only about 100 pages. I look forward to reading more of these.

So, reading the classic “Guns, Germs & Steel” you get the impression that the Spanish had overwhelming technology, germs, and fear on their side. Yes, germs did a lot of damage. But Carrasco points out it wasn’t just Spain vs Aztecs, it was a civil war. The Spanish had lots of help from those trying to break free from Aztec rule. I wonder if Cortes read any Machiavelli?

In the short intro I was very impressed with Aztec urban design, and I want to learn more of sculpture. I learned that giving birth was just as honored as being a warrior. And my favorite phrase is “precious necklace”, used to describe children as they are held arms around the neck.