Monthly Archives: January 2008

If you can’t find me here…

…try looking over here.

oc-christmas-025_crop2.jpgA couple of weeks ago the “powers that be” (her and her) asked me if I’d consider joining the new Editorial Board for Music City Bloggers as the Family and Parenting Editor. Now, before you get too impressed, this is a volunteer gig. Nonetheless, I was honored that they wanted me “on board”. They’ve requested at least five posts a week about all things family and parenting related. My personal goal is to put up at least one post a day during the weekdays and possibly one post over the weekend.

This means I’ve been beefing up my feed reader with blogs that I didn’t already read and blogs that I read from time to time when I’d see a link to them. I’m mainly supposed to keep my links on the site to Mid Tennessee & Tennessee bloggers but I’ve added feeds for some “out of towners” for variety and perspective. All this and also trying to not let it affect the home life too much has been quite a challenge. But I’m having fun and I like the opportunity to do more writing, so we’ll go with it!

For my “out of town” readers who may not be familiar with the Music City Bloggers site, here are my latest contributions:

This Just May Make You Rethink Your Short Bus Jokes
Quarter ‘Til Three
Blogging From Birth
Love in Percentages
Ah, nostalgia
The family is the country of the heart

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Filed under by Malia, I blog they blog wouldn't you like to be a blogger too?

Color in the Sky

oc-christmas-025_crop2.jpgLast night as I was trying to get dinner finished up and was way too distracted by Twitter conversations, the GMan bursts out with, “Look! Look! Look at the sky!” I glanced out the window and observed a fairly nice sunset in the works. On the scale of sunsets, it was probably only in the mid-range of spectacularness and breathtaking. But to our three-year-old, it was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen. “Look Mommy! It’s pink! The sky is pink! Look at all the colors! Oh! Look over there!” And then the best thing of all, “Who put the colors there Mommy?” Y’all, I about choked up. “God did. God put the colors there!” “He did?” “Yes, He did!”

What a grand thing to be able to tell him that.  What a precious moment to stand there with him and JBelle and DB and watch the lights fading rays turn the sky pink and purple and orange. Intangible, fleeting moments that hold so much promise and hope.

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Filed under by Malia, The GMan

All Skate

oc-christmas-025_crop2.jpgJBelle went to her first skating party on Saturday. She’s never skated before. Ever. Well…sort of. She has a pair of in-line skates that were handed down to her from one of her cousins. She shuffles around in them in the house and a little bit outside. I don’t let her go on the wood floors, not really because of her safety but because I don’t want deep gouges in the floors from her shuffling back and forth!

So…back to the party. At the skate center you get regular ole roller skates. I’d explained the concept of them to her beforehand. Y’all, she was mess! And I felt so guilty! Why had I not given her a pair of skates two years ago and taught her how to rollerskate? By the time I was her age, I was a roller skating fiend! (Well, in that I could hold my own on a pair of skates and skate around the rink with everyone else. I never got into doing tricks or fancy footwork.) And skating parties were “all the rage” when I was kid. Everyone had skating parties.

Again, I digress. I told JBelle not to be afraid of falling. You’re going to fall, it’s OK. Look, lots of other kids are falling. I helped her out onto the rink. She fell. She didn’t cry, though. At least, not the first time. She shuffled her feet back and forth, didn’t get too far, fell down. By about the third or fourth fall she started to get frustrated and was crying. She even ended up falling in such a way, one time, that one of her skates hit her in the face just under her eye. Later that night she looked like she’d been in a fist fight!

I ended up staying the entire time with her. Walking the rink with her, helping her up when she fell. She was a lot more confident by the end of our time there. She was still shuffling, I never could get her to really lift her feet off the floor and glide. But she wasn’t falling as much and she could get herself up when she fell.

As a result, I’ve promised myself that she will learn to skate. I’m going to take her skating in the next several months and by her birthday…that new pair of skates she’s going to get will be put to good use!

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Filed under by Malia, JBelle

“I am determined to take the gospel seriously”

180px-opus_blue.jpgHopefully this post makes sense.

There are times I allow myself to contemplate what the “gospel of Christ” fully means.  In general, I find the topic to be rather scary because it illuminates how deficient I am as a “Christian”.  Sure it is easy to rationalize and even talk about certain seasons in life when “worldly” matters must take priority over the full discipleship that a Christian is called to.  But, it is easiest just to not think about it and keep those rationalizations as a hedge against any stray thoughts.

The title of this post is in quotes because it is from the “Beyond Vietnam” speech that Martin Luther King, Jr. gave in 1967.  More specifically, he said it near the end of the introduction to explain the reason for being involved in pursuing peace and justice and opposing the Vietnam War.  Most remember Dr. King with the label “civil rights leader”.  I think that title diminishes what he was trying to do in “taking the gospel seriously” throughout his life.   He felt compelled to involve himself in pursuing justice for the poor no matter where they lived and opposed the policies of the United States government and the people of the United States that used their position of power to exploit and oppress rather than administer justice and peace.

When I see the lengths to which Dr. King went to take the gospel seriously, even to his death, I am humbled and compelled to evaluate my own dedication and commitment to the gospel of Christ that teaches the way of peace and pursuit of justice even in the face of oppression and persecution.  It reminds me that the way of human power is temporary and will always eventually be brought down by the ways of justice and peace.  If you don’t believe me, then ask yourself who currently cares anything about the spread of communism via the domino theory?

There are many parallels to the current political climate.  But then again, I think there always will be pressing crises that garner our attention and are vitally important that we urgently face and solve them, whether it be a soft housing market, an “Islamic terrorist” threat, a pending recession, a pit bull ban, what have you.  From what I read and understand, a Christian is to live differently and unwaveringly by a different ethic that always points to justice and peace for all people no matter the current distracting crisis.  I admire that quality of Dr. King above all others.  May we all as a collective of humanity strive to live that way. 

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Filed under by DB, Politics, religion

The Things We Do For Our Kids

oc-christmas-025_crop2.jpg

“I’ve got my laptop, cell phone, some blankets, my hat…”

“Application?”

“Yes.”

“Check?”

“Check.”

“Well…you know you really don’t have to do this?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Okay then, just be careful…stay warm…please don’t get arrested!”

And out the door he went to brave the cold and dark. To secure his spot in line. To get our son into preschool next year.

Yes, we are those kind of parents. And yes, this preschool program is so worth it.

Some may wonder why we would be so crazy as to camp out just to turn in a preschool application. Some may think we’ve set the bar a little to high for future parents. Be that as it may, this program is our first choice. It’s where our daughter attended preschool and Kindergarten. It’s where we want to see our son go to school. Last year, we didn’t get in. And that was fine, it really was. But realizing later, that those who had arrived not too long before you had their child accepted, kind of makes you want to make sure you’re first in line the next time around.

This year? We were second in line. That’s right. We weren’t the only ones with the camp out idea.

(To our friends who who read this and who commented to us about this scenario on Sunday morning, we know you were joking. I just see some humor in this and wanted to share our little adventure.)

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Filed under by Malia, kids & family, parenting

Awww, shucks!

oc-christmas-025_crop2.jpgSo I had this little spa party last night at my place. Wine, chocolate, foot soaks, warm neck wraps, more wine, more chocolate, a bunch of products that smell divine and feel good, a little more wine, some cheese (really, really yummy cheese), a little more chocolate….you get the picture. It was indulgent and decadent which is exactly what I was supposed to be. My friend, Aunt B. was there, and she wrote a very nice and complimentary post about the evening. If I do say so myself, the chocolate cake is quite yummy!

And as I commented on her post, for me the indulgence and decadence of the evening wasn’t the spa treatments and the luscious food, it was the time spent with friends. For me, the absolute hardest thing about being a stay-at-home mom is the lack adult conversation and interactions. I try and seize every opportunity that comes my way to “pamper” myself with conversations that don’t include the phrases, “why do you smell like pee?” and “have you brushed your teeth yet?” and “stop pulling the dog’s tail!” and “no, you may not clean the bathroom with the toilet paper”. And to eat at restaurants that don’t serve plastic toys with their meals. And to not care about whether or not the kids like hummus or olive tapenade because I do and it’s my party and that’s what I’m serving!

Many thanks to my blogging friends (Aunt B., Shauna, Kathy T., Jag, Lesley, Jamie & Mari) and non-blogging friends who attended last night’s soirée. I had a fun, relaxing time and I hope you did, too!

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Filed under by Malia, I blog they blog wouldn't you like to be a blogger too?, life as a domestic goddess

Does voting for a third party mean a wasted vote?

180px-opus_blue.jpg Playing the “what if” game can never be done in a vacuum.  If you want to reconsider Ralph Nader’s candidacy as a spoiler for Al Gore in 2000, you must also reconsider all the other factors that led to the actual results.  Bear in mind the link above is from the California Green Party, so they are *wanting* to absolve Ralph Nader, but the link does point out many possibilities which could have changed such a close result.  This doesn’t even get into the fact that only 70% of eligible people are registered to vote and somewhere between 50-60% of those registered actually vote in a presidential election.
This article from just before the 2004 election tries to support the notion that a vote for a third party candidate is a wasted vote and likely to “help the candidate most dissimilar to how you would vote”.  It is a scare tactic to keep voters within the 2-party system….and it worked in 2004.  Minor-party candidates received many fewer votes, dropping from a total of 3.5% in 2000 to approximately one percent in 2004. As in 2000, Ralph Nader finished in third place, but his total declined from 2.9 million to 400,000, leaving him with fewer votes than Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan had received in finishing fourth in 2000. The combined minor-party total in 2004 was the lowest since 1988.  This is extremely short-sighted and doesn’t take into account the importance (historically) of third parties on shaping the political debate in the U.S.
It can be argued that the existence of the Libertarian Party led to the “smaller government” planks in the Republican platform during the Reagan and Bush Sr. days.  The existence of the Reform Party led to the campaign finance and reform laws in the Clinton era.  As icky as it is for me to say, the existence of the Socialist Party in the late 19th and early 20th centuries led to women’s suffrage, many of the labor laws we have, the 40-hour work week, and the progressive income tax.  The existence of the “Bull Moose” Progressive Party switched the Republican Party from the progressive, reform party of Abe Lincoln into the dominant conservative party we have today and helped make popular vote primaries the dominant method of determining presidential candidates for the Republican Party.
I say all of this to help you challenge the numb-brained myths such as Ralph Nader’s influence on the 2000 election and that a third party vote is “a wasted vote”.  Always vote your conscience, whether it be a major party candidate or minor.  Your voice and opinion will be heard eventually either way.

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Filed under by DB, Politics