7QT: What I’m Into (August Edition)

 1. This survey, which you should answer if you were homeschooled for a combined total of seven years or more, in a Christian environment (“Christian” being widely defined).  It closes September 15.  It’s done by a group called Homeschoolers Anonymous, which, um . . . has an axe to grind.  Some of their questions reflect that, but they’ve had over two thousand people answer it thus far.  The results should be interesting.

2. On the blog:

 80s Movies

Survey says Better Off Dead should be next on my list.

Also, Weight Watchers  <sigh>

Four days into it, I’m liking the Simple Start program.  I doubt I’ll lose weight on it though, because I eat a LOT of those Power Foods.

 3. Heather King: I don’t follow her blog (for now).  I usually don’t have the attention span to read long, deep blog posts.  But I did enjoy this one about avoiding both the Catholic Right and the Catholic Left.

The Catholic Right are like, my people–well, except the far far right and even then that’s subjective isn’t it– but I’m feeling a need to distance myself these days.  Not from individual people but from knee-jerk responses, slogans, untested presuppositions.  But then the Catholic Left (or the Left in general) still makes my stomach clench and my blood pressure rise.  So there.  I’m a rugged individualist.  *snort*

But back to Heather: I came across this piece of hers in Magnificat

The Good News . . . [is w]ishing people well in our hearts, especially people who have hurt us. Letting people off the hook. Saying, “I’m sorry”; when appropriate, saying, “No,” saying, “Come higher, friend.” Transforming our anger, rather than transmitting it. Praying to be relieved of the desire to be the favorite, to be consulted. Refusing to respond to violence, whether physical, psychological, or spiritual, with more violence. [emphasis added]

I think about that a lot: “the desire to be the favorite, to be consulted.”  Why do I blog again??

Also, I’m reading King’s Shirt of Flame, as a follow up to St. Therese of Lisieux’s  Story of A Soul, which I just finished.

4. In addition to Shirt of Flame, I’m reading . . .

What Alice Forgot (re-reading this for book club)

Hemingway’s Old Man & the Sea: I wanted to give Hemingway another try (especially after his character made me laugh as portrayed in Midnight In Paris).  Oh my, the story is not gripping me at all.

Seven Principles That Make Marriage Work: This is insightful but I can’t seem to make myself keep reading.  I think I’m burned out with self-help type books for the moment.

Not too long ago I read Curly Girl and started the author’s protocol for wavy hair.  According to her generous definition, my head of “texture” and frizz is wavy hair.  So I’m washing once a week, towel-drying very gently, and using curl cream.  It’s nice having a way to do my hair other than (a) taking a long time blow drying or (b) just wearing it up.  I like the way it looks for the first few hours.

A good wavy-hair day

A good wavy-hair day

But then the wave seems to fall out, leaving my hair looking just messy.  But my hair’s gotten dry and damaged over the last year or so, so maybe it will take some time and a few haircuts?

5. Staying at home: The last half of the summer has been pretty quiet for us.  The girls play nicely together and I’m enjoying our peaceful days at home.  Girl 1, perhaps, feels like Rapunzel locked up in a tower?

6. Beauty rituals: I paint the girls’ fingernails and toenails every Saturday.  They resist having their nails clipped less that way, and we all enjoy our little mani/ pedi date.  I usually wash and comb out their hair Saturday evenings, too.  (Often at other points during the week, but I make a point to do it at least every Saturday.)  I usually paint my nails too, and sometimes I even hand wash my bras in the sink.  Maintaining any sort of routine usually eludes me, so I’m enjoying having these simple pleasures on the reg.

 7. Quiet time: Speaking of simple pleasures–or not so simple–on the reg: the girls are each taking a nap or quiet time every day!

This is huge huge for me.  Girl 1 gave up her nap around age 3, right at the time Girl 2 was born.  I could not get Girl 1 to take a quiet time for the life of me.  If I made her stay in her bed, she pitched such a fit that it was useless trying to get Girl 2 to nap.  I tried quiet time activities, busy boxes, all to no avail.  So I let her stay up and watch shows or something, but she never left me alone for long.

And, from an early early age, Girl 2 sensed that Girl 1 was up having fun.  So she resisted her naps mightily, very early on.

Girl 2’s theme song is Aerosmith’s  one and only #1 hit:  “I don’t want to close my eyes/ I don’t want to fall asleep, cause I’d miss you [sister]/ and I don’t wanna miss a thing.”

By 26 months or so, Girl 2 was gave up naps altogether and I threw in the towel and didn’t force her to take them.

After a few weeks of that, however, I had a minor meltdown.  It is not sustainable to spend 12-14 hours a day in the company of young children with no reprieve!!!

So I tried again and made both girls stay in their bed for an hour.  There was much crying and wailing but they got used to it within a few days.  I think Girl 1 is just finally at a stage where she’s capable of quiet time.

Girl 2 sleeps for 45-60 minutes.  Girl 1 usually doesn’t sleep, but she lies there, kicking her wall.  It doesn’t bother Girl 2, though.

As long as she knows Big Sister is confined, too–not having fun without her–she sleeps!

8. Oh, did I mention I’m on Facebook?


Linking up with Leigh for What I’m Into and with Jen for 7 Quick Takes.  Have a good weekend everyone!



26 thoughts on “7QT: What I’m Into (August Edition)

  1. I’m Protestant, but I try to keep up with things going on in the Catholic world, and that Heather King piece seems really helpful (I skimmed through it) – very insightful.

  2. The Heather King piece had some good points, but I have to quarrel with her implication that the Christians fighting against, to use one of her examples, abortion in the health care bill, are not motivated by true faith but by something else. The implicit suggestion in the article is that Christians should distance themselves from politics while focusing on personal faith and personal conversion. No quarrel with the personal conversion aspect, but I would like to suggest that the two are not mutually exclusive, and that perhaps personal conversion might actually lead one to see an increased responsibility to engage in the fight to protect innocent human life, to name one example. No one gets more annoyed than I about certain aspects and tactics of the far right, but she is working off a caricature of pro-lifers, and others. Attend the March for Life, and pictures of aborted fetuses are extremely few and far between. Positive messages, offers of help and support, and prayer are the order of the day. So much of pro-life work today is focused on providing support of every kind to women in need. Second, while slogans and one-upping inevitably go along with politics, there are very serious reasons that Christians should see themselves as obligated to be involved in the political realm. It’s hard to defend a position that suggests Christians shouldn’t take a public role in fighting gravely unjust laws. Finally, at one point she says, “But the reason abortion is wrong is that it’s a failure of love, and if you’re not converted by the sight of an actual child, you’re certainly not going to be converted by seeing an aborted fetus; just as, if you’re not converted by Christ’s person, teachings and life, you’re not going to be converted by watching a fetishistically violent film of his crucifixion.” That is simply not true. I’m no fan of using pictures of aborted fetuses — in fact, I strongly oppose them at venues such as the March for Life, although I do think they have a place in the right context with projects like the GAP Project — nor was I a big fan of Passion of the Christ (to which I presume she’s referring), but to say that people have never been converted by these means is false. It’s interesting — and humbling — to realize that people have been converted by all sorts of means, including ways I would dismiss as unproductive. That’s not to say that there aren’t better and worse ways of evangelizing — you’re never going to find me suggesting that telling people they’re going to go to hell is a productive way of evangelizing! — but even that method has reached some people. God uses all sorts of ways, and people are reached in all sorts of ways. What might move me would leave someone else unmoved, and the reverse. Anyway, like you, I have problems with Left and Right (though, as with you, my peeps in many ways are the right), and I think that reminders to focus on personal conversion, consider one’s tone, ensure that one is being motivated by the right things, etc. are all lessons well-learned. HOWEVER, when that’s spun out to suggest that anyone passionately involved in politics is somehow un-Christlike, or that involvement in politics is not what Christ would do or support — well, then I start to have a problem. Far from being a political game, or a pet cause, the question of whether or not abortion should be included in the health law was of fundamental consequence. For Catholics and the Church to stay silent was to suggest that it mattered little to us whether or not the government was going to spend our money to kill unborn children. That would have been a disservice to the unborn, who would die as a result, and to the born, who would learn that abortion was a matter of little consequence, and that the Church had more important things to focus on than defending babies. Jesus confronted those in authority and cast the money-changers out of the Temple. I think he might support public political stands against injustice.

    • No, I’m happy to read your thoughts MK! I didn’t even remember her addressing the issue of abortion coverage. It’s just something I’m thinking a lot about personally–how much of what I do is really based on my faith in Jesus and how much is a party line or what have you. I’m going to re-read her post for sure.

      Sent from my iPhone

  3. Thanks for sharing that survey! I’ve heard of this organization and their “axe” so I would never have thought to take whatever survey they put out, but I’m glad they got at least one response from someone who had a normal/good homeschooling experience. Some of those questions were heartbreaking, but unfortunately understandable.

  4. Hi there! I was so excited to find your lovely blog through Leigh Kramer’s What I’m Into link-up! 🙂 I have wavy/curly hair, too. Have you ever tried towel-drying your hair with a t-shirt or pillowcase? I bought a turkish towel this summer (it feels like a sheet) and my curls love not being smushed by regular towels. 🙂

    I loved the story of Saint Therese! I was someone who was homeschooled for at least 7 years – so I filled out the survey. I’m so glad someone warned me about the questions. They were pretty diverse! 🙂

    Wishing you a wonderful September!

    • Yeah there’s a lot of anger there and on EE’s blog. On the one hand the problems with extreme fundamentalist movement are really abhorrent. . . .but the HA writers seem to adopt the opposite extreme and i don’t want to go there either. I wasn’t crazy about my homeschooling experience but the survey questions make me appreciate how balanced my upbringing was! …I still think the survey results will be interesting. I hope they’re at least mostly representational of the larger homeschool population.

      Sent from my iPhone

  5. I liked Midnight in Paris & was surprised by Hemingway’s character in it b/c…I did not find Old Man & the Sea gripping, either. Not my kind of book (or author, I guess). And I’ll have to try the nail painting + clipping trick w/ my girls. Audrey especially resists every single time I try to clip her nails!

  6. How could you not wish to be consulted when you are so good at researching things and deciding what is probably “right”? And then when people do consult you and then do the opposite of what you told them…and it fails…? It’s hard not to utter that little phrase. (I feel the same way…work in progress.)

  7. I so relate to your thoughts about pulling away from the extremes–the Catholic right and Catholic left (though for me, it’s Evangelical). For some time, I have seen myself as politically independent, but because my views don’t fit into the box of the Evangelical Right (in which I grew up), many people label me as a “Liberal” or “Left Wing.” It’s frustrating to have assumptions made about myself, but I’m learning as I go.
    I struggle with not getting too caught up in the politics of things (especially the things I’m passionate about), but I love the way the author of that article brings it into perspective. I do think politics are important because it’s important to engage with the world around us, but I don’t want to get so caught up that I begin to vilify those who disagree, or that I argue points in order to win an argument.
    “…that is something, but it is not Christianity…to make a name for yourself, to cultivate a reputation, to strive for notoriety based not on your love, but on your ‘views.’ Both the right and the left are simply variations on ‘the world’ in which the goal is power, prestige, efficiency, triumph, and the goal is to shame or bully other people into changing without changing one iota yourself.”
    {visiting from Leigh Kramer’s linkup} 🙂

    • “I don’t want to get so caught up that I begin to vilify those who disagree, or that I argue points in order to win an argument.” Yes that’s it exactly. I agree w/ MK’s comment ^ that political action comes from genuine belief for many people. But for me (and I suspect for others) it becomes my side for the sake of it being my side, disconnected from my relationship with Jesus. Sounds corny but that’s what it comes down to.

  8. Oh, the curly hair topic! I’m a curly convert. I started the curly “rules” exactly three years ago. It does take time. Your hair needs full weaning from sulfate shampoos. It does need to be well-conditioned with the curl-friendly conditioner. I use the Deva holding gels. I thought I was just a wavy, but over three years, I’ve had ringlets come out of hiding! No wonder my bangs always stuck out straight – they were trying to corkscrew! Also, when I decided to stop coloring the grey, the natural color that started growing in has been curling quite a bit. My (Deva-trained) stylist tells me that dyes do effect the curl. So. Good luck! I’m pleased to have let it go natural. So much easier, now that the hair has found its groove.

  9. I enjoyed the Heather King article so many thanks for leading me to find her work. I’m probably more on the left than the right but am equally fed up with the divisions!

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