Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More Things That Shouldn't Be

Something just doesn't seem quite right here...

At a place where I can fill up my tank...

and get the van washed...

I can also use my food stamps. (Well, if I had food stamps, that is...)

Yeah, plenty of great healthy food at this place!! (I'm warning ya...do NOT get me started on making me pay for my neighbor's pop and potato chips! It won't be pretty, and at the very least, the innocent clerk at the grocery store should get the striped shirt for free if she has to play referee!)

But first, I'd like to suggest a consultation with a marketing professional, or maybe hiring someone slightly skilled in creating coherent signage.

Am I getting the special of the day, a good car wash? (Why would I want a bad one?)
Is gas only $2.00? Is that per gallon or per tank?
Are the cigarettes the deal, or are we playing some kind of 3-pack card game?
Is there a qualification process for the free lighter?

Am I the only one around here that thinks this is a little wacked?!?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Why You Should Choose Your TV Shows Carefully

We absolutely LOVE the Carol Burnett show. There was a 48 hour marathon on a few years ago, and we recorded a large portion of it. We've watched it over and over. Yeah, there's some scenes that are most assuredly NOT child-friendly...that's what they put a fast-forward button on the remote.

Savannah can do a pretty darn good Carol impression, and it cracks us up every time. In one of the episodes, Carol and Harvey Korman are sitting in a diner, and he has just been released from prison. Carol is portraying some loud-mouthed, gum-cracking floosie girlfriend and Harvey is nervous about attracting attention to himself. Seated at a table behind them is a biker guy. Carol raises her voice and sarcastically drawls something about "motahcycles and moooorons, moooorons and motahcycles". When Savannah repeats this, she gets the voice inflections PERFECTLY and we simply double over laughing.

Tonight, Tom and I were out walking with Tiffany and Dylan. The kids were happily riding in their little trailer while we strolled through our small town. Well, actually Dylan kept asking to go home, and I have no clue what was up with THAT, but we just kept telling him to shush it or we'd walk all night. The one police officer on duty passed us no fewer than 3 times. He waved each time, I think. See, they do like us!

Almost done with our walk, after a good hour of exercise, Tiffany was torturing Dylan with hair pulls, so Tom helped Dylan out of the trailer and he walked the remainder of the way home. Our house is on the same street as one of the two bars in town. This bar just so happens to be the tavern where bikers routinely hang out...LOTS of bikers. As we rounded the corner and the bar came into view, Dylan noticed a lone motorcycle parked outside the door of the fine drinking establishment. What didn't phase him was that there were three men standing within ten feet of the door.

"Motowcycwes and mowons...mowons and motowcyces...Dat what Sissy say!!!"


We were not within earshot of these guys, but they're probably wondering why I was attempting to contain my grin when we walked by and said "Hi". My voice was only slightly squeaky.

Did I mention I was headed to Stuffmart to buy Zips, per Dylan's request a few days ago??? (Apparently when I tell him to "zip it" he thinks that's a possibility.)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Real Thing

If Reality TV, and specifically Contest-Type Reality TV, has it's way with America, soon there will be no free time to leave the 63-inch HD set and go to the bathroom. The recent season premieres of several popular shows proves my point. "Tune in to watch the 3-night season premiere of Dancing With The Stars!"

Wow! 3 nights to view the return of a show, followed by the mind-numbing, butt-widening 2-3 nights weekly of the same show, for the next several months.

It's entirely possible, especially with the magic of DVR, to watch reality TV 24 hours a day, on any possible topic your mind could conjure. I'm pretty sure I know some people who are testing that theory, give or take a few side-trips to McDonalds and StuffMart!

We started watching American Idol during the CLAY SHOULD HAVE WON 2nd season. Due to moves and various other activities, we missed episodes and, some years, entire seasons, but still managed to mostly stay in the loop through relatives and entertainment news. We saw Daughtry get booted when he shouldn't have. Tom accurately predicted during auditions that Taylor Hicks would land the top spot. For the life of me, I couldn't tell you the current Idol.

A friend told us about Dancing With The Stars, so we tuned in to that midway through the 2nd season. Waaaay cool, Savannah and I both loved it. It didn't take long, though, for me to start pondering the whole concept of DWTS. Yes, it's a competition, albeit with a cheesy trophy for the winner. Yes, it's fun. Yes, it's beautiful. But many of the other things that it is go directly against who I am as a Christian wife and mother.

If it's true that people are influenced by what they see on TV, (we are - bought anything you've seen advertised on TV lately?) then it stands to reason that might include negative influence. Call me crazy, but it doesn't seem logical to teach my daughter to be ladylike, and then let her watch Cheryl and Drew grind all over each other to "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy". It doesn't make much sense to talk to my boys about respecting women, when the TV set is showing Edyta and Karina's attempts to recover from their costume malfunction.

While a once-in-a-while viewing most likely won't corrupt the kids' minds, a steady diet of skimpy clothing and often overtly sexual dance acts does not reinforce our values, and does nothing to honor God. So, where do I draw the line? What is ok to watch, what is questionable and why, what is a possible learning experience, and what is definitely off limits? It isn't just my kids that need the limits, either. I, like my children, am vulnerable to letting something ungodly impact my life, and therefore affect my relationships. Can I continually watch DWTS, where the women are all put together, have gorgeous bodies, and can turn a man on with their dancing, and not compare myself to that? Probably not. In my head, I KNOW my value is not based on how I look, but society tells me otherwise, and I sometimes fall for that lie.

I do not attempt to shelter my children from all situations that could be construed as negative influence. Children need opportunities to make choices, right or wrong, when consequences are small, to help prepare them for making (hopefully) right decisions when the stakes are higher. I don't tell my children "we shouldn't do THAT" without giving them explanations WHY we shouldn't do whatever it is we're discussing.

I don't think dancing is evil. (If you know how I was raised, you'll find that comical.) Actually, one of my secret (until now!) fantasies has, for years, been for Tom and I to take ballroom dancing lessons. It is beautiful, and extremely sexy. If I could convince him to accompany me, I would put myself through the pain and torture. Not to be on display for other people, but simply for us.

Over the past 2 years, changes in our family lifestyle and budgeting issues have forced us to be out of the house during Primetime Television on many nights. What I've discovered - well, it hasn't been so much of a discovery as it has been a confirmation - is that we're just plain not missing all that much.

So while I appreciate the offer, ABC, I'm going to have to pass on this "Television Event of the Season". Your reality is just So. Not. Mine.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

These Things Ought Not To Be

Going through my boys' psychology book with them...it reads "Psychology is more than just lying on a therapist's couch discussing why you hate your mother." They bust up laughing.

One child thought he would escape Logic homework by declaring that it was too confusing. Maybe by class completion, his excuse repertoire will have expanded.

Perusing the shelves at Barnes and Noble yesterday, I noticed that the MENSA crossword puzzles were in the same section as the Rubik's Cube, which included a How-to-Solve DVD.

That's how my week is going. How's yours? ;-)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What Will $568 Get You?

In America, five hundred bucks will pay for a couple of annual trips to the vet for your dog, complete with vaccinations, heart worm pills, and flea medicine. If you're lucky.

In America, five hundred bucks will cover two nights and a tasty dinner on a romantic getaway trip in gorgeous Hocking Hills, Ohio.

In America, five hundred bucks will let you walk out of a chain-store with a pretty decent television set during Black Friday sales.

In America, five hundred bucks will buy you a really cute handbag. The matching cell phone cover and wallet will run you another couple hundred each.

In India...

Five hundred bucks will buy a surgical procedure so that a gorgeous little boy named Justin can walk.

Can you help? Do you know someone who can?

Sarah has links in her sidebar with information on donating (resources, funds or services) to her ministry. Prayer is always especially appreciated!

Thank you! ;-)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Hallmark, Please Take Notice or You're Fired!

My Circle of Friends includes many families who have adopted, or plan to adopt, one or more children. This is a BIG DEAL. Promise!!

So when I went looking for an Adoption card at my local Stuffmart the other day, I was more than a little perturbed that not ONE card celebrating one of the most momentous occasions in family life was available.

I found plenty of the general run of the mill cards...
Birthdays, anniversaries, marriage, baby showers, engagement announcements...

There were other celebrated events represented...
Bar Mitzvahs (obviously being mailed out of our county - our Jewish population isn't huge here)
New homes (yeah, THOSE cards are flying right off the shelves these days!)
Moving away (Think my neighbors would get the hint, if I sent one to them?)
Moving back (Apparently some people LIKE their in-laws)
New job (Ha! Unemployment rate in our county is the state's highest, at 17.5%)

You can also find some great cards for your pets to send to each other, your friend's mother's brother's uncle who treated you like one of the family, coming out of the closet, and having your gall bladder xrayed prior to surgery to remove your heart of stone, and apparently these occasions are all MORE IMPORTANT THAN ADOPTION! More power to ya! I just want a dang adoption celebration card. Guess I'll make my own! It'll be prettier, anyway.

We didn't know it, but my sister and two of my nieces were waiting outside the courtroom when we finalized our adoptions last week. When we exited the door, there they were with balloons and stuffed animals for Dylan and Tiffany, and Hershey's Bars for the rest of us. Had my younger sister been closer than 1200 miles, she would have been there, too. They both had pictures of my kids on their Facebook pages within hours. Now THAT's what I'm talking about! It's a big deal!