Decorating the Tree and Grandbabies

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The HM puts up the tree.

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The Dread Pirate waits patiently.

 

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The Bumblebee investigates.

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I asked the ladybug what they are doing in this picture. She said she didn’t know, and then she said, ‘This,’ and made the same face again.

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Nod enjoys cocoa and birdwatching by the fireDSC_0401

 

Ladybug is skeptical about something.

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Winter Wonderland

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Uncle Boy  and StriderlingDSC_0385

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Aunt FYG (also known as Aunt YayYay) Striderling and Princess Peach
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Striderling

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A Junk Food History in Two Magazine Excerpts

1. From Dr. Wiley’s Question Box This is from a column written by a doctor in a 1922 Good Housekeeping:
“A Long While Since We Have Mentioned It:”

Question: “what is the real harm in drinking coca cola? If a person drank three to four bottles per day for three or four years what would be the effect on that person? Is there anything except will power that will break this habit? Two years ago coca cola could not be purchased at any drug store that I know of in Columbus Ohio, but now I believe it can he purchased at almost any drug store, certainly at all places where soft drinks are served ”

Answer: “The real harm in drinking coca cola is due to its composition. In the first place it is very sweet and we have entirely too much sugar normally in the diet of this country. In the second place it contains the residue soluble in alcohol of the coca leaves from which the cocaine has been removed. In the third place it contains added caffeine in the pure form which is much more active on an empty stomach than the caffeine which is present in coffee and tea.

No one can foretell the effect of a drug on any particular person. Every person has his own specific resistance to the inroads of drugs. I should say that the final effect on the normal person of drinking three or four bottles of coca cola per day for a number of years would be very serious. In the case of a growing child, it would probably ruin his health for life.

A strict enforcement of the Pure Food and Drugs Act would do much to break the cocacola habit. A famous case against coca cola in the trial at Chattanooga dragged its weary length along through all the courts and was finally decided by the Supreme Court. The case was remanded for a new trial at Chattanooga. When the new trial was called, the Coca Cola Company decided not to contest it. Accordingly,  the Court declared that coca cola was an adulterated and misbranded article. In spite of this action,, in so far as I know the Department of Agriculture has taken no steps whatever to enforce this decision, and coca cola passes without hindrance from one state to another.

The old company has sold out its business,  I believe to a New York corporation.  Cocacola is now listed regularly on the New York Stock Exchange and the shares are bought and sold like those of ethical corporations.  As coca cola has been declared both misbranded and adulterated I am rather surprised to find that it has been admitted to the Stock Exchange. I hope in the interests of the health of our country and especially of our children that a new activity may some day be developed in the Department of Agriculture which will help protect the people both north and south from acquiring the coca cola habit.”

By the sixties and seventies, it had acquired the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval and was featured in ads like this one:

cococola

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Econ Prof Antony Davies on Minimum Wage

“Economics professor Antony Davies explains that this view of the minimum wage overlooks an important detail: The minimum wage does not force employers to pay a particular wage to every worker; it forces employers to pay a particular wage to every worker they choose to keep. While the minimum wage may be well-intentioned public policy, it often huts the very workers most in need of our help.”

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News and Views Here and There

Within educational research, a number of longitudinal studies have demonstrated superior academic, motivational and well-being outcomes for children who had attended child-initiated, play-based pre-school programmes. – See more at: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/discussion/school-starting-age-the-evidence#sthash.z37pwpCl.dpuf

Another word for this type of program is…. Home.

 

Beautifully fascinating: 

Scientists have discovered a second code hiding within DNA. This second code contains information that changes how scientists read the instructions contained in DNA and interpret mutations to make sense of health and disease.

“For over 40 years we have assumed that DNA changes affecting the genetic code solely impact how proteins are made,” said Stamatoyannopoulos. “Now we know that this basic assumption about reading the human genome missed half of the picture. These new findings highlight that DNA is an incredibly powerful information storage device, which nature has fully exploited in unexpected ways.”

The genetic code uses a 64-letter alphabet called codons. The UW team discovered that some codons, which they called duons, can have two meanings, one related to protein sequence, and one related to gene control. These two meanings seem to have evolved in concert with each other. The gene control instructions appear to help stabilize certain beneficial features of proteins and how they are made.

 

The Democrats made use of their newly voted on nuclear option for a dead of night confirmation of a Judge who actually ruled that the Lutheran church has no right to determine who is and who is not a Lutheran pastor:

“It is hard to see the Supreme Court deciding that that is what the First Amendment law requires,” Pillard added. A few months later, all nine Supreme Court justices ruled in favor of the Lutheran Church.

It’s kind of hard not to giggle over this one:

NY Times: With Affordable Care Act, Canceled Policies for New York Professionals
“Many in New York’s professional and cultural elite have long supported President Obama’s health care plan. But now, to their surprise, thousands of writers, opera singers, music teachers, photographers, doctors, lawyers and others are learning that their health insurance plans are being canceled and they may have to pay more to get comparable coverage, if they can find it.”

 

China, Japan, South Korea and US in dispute over borders and boundaries. Not pretty. http://ace.mu.nu/archives/345691.php

Politifact spent the last four years as Obama’s personal propaganda agency, continually ‘reporting’ on Obama’s promise that we could keep our health care plans as though it were a fact, even though the very opposite was written into the bill. Now it’s their lie of the year.   It is that, but the problem is, it wasn’t just Obama’s lie. It was the media’s lie, too.

The corporate funders of the far left

Utah Judge strikes down significant portions of Utah’s anti-polygamy laws.

The stunning execution of Kim Jong Un’s powerful uncle strips China of its most important link to North Korea’s leadership and deepens concerns over how the unruly neighbor will proceed on Beijing‘s key issues of nuclear disarmament and economic reform.  Read more

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K-Drama Review: Ugly Alert

Ugly Alert oppa eoja dongsaeng Ugly Alert: The title is explained midway through- the grand-daughter tells her grandfather that she will give him a warning when there is more ugliness ahead.

It’s a daily drama, so that means what first feels like a draggy story, convoluted interruptions, lots of angsty misunderstandings and heart-ache and frustration for the viewers who are used to 16 episode dramas.  But it stars Im Joo-hwan (What’s Up lead), Choi Tae-joon (the surprise son in Padam Padam, a bully in Adolescent Medley),  Kang Byul and Kim Seol-hyun as four siblings with a complicated relationship, and mainly, Im Joo Huwan- I liked both his acting and his character the best from the start, but the others all grew on me over time.  And, the story is not all that draggy after all, the misunderstandings are largely cut short, and there’s ample amount of sweet to make up for the heart-ache.

The writer to this drama is the same man who wrote the drama Stars Falling from the Sky, and it shows.  All the stuff I love so much about that is here, too, plus more.

Im Joo-hwan’s character is the oppa/hyung. His father is a petty criminal, a bit of a ne’er do well, so the son has had to fend for himself and make his own way in the world. Fortunately, his bright, sunny optimism, excellent memory, gifted social skills, bright mind, and incredible work ethic help him along. He’s the stereotypical ‘Candy’ character of K-dramas, except male.  At first it bothered me how over the top perfect he was, but it helped that pretty much every other character is bothered by the same thing- and gradually you see his sunny disposition hides some of his other character flaws, and some of his seeming perfections are also character flaws (many a man has made shipwreck of his life through the character traits he thought were virtues, to paraphrase Charlotte Mason).

His father marries the widowed mother of the next two children, and the fourth child is the one they have together.  Jun Soo loves his new mother and she adores him and gives him all the mother-love he’s been craving, he loves having a home and a family, he is thrilled to have dongsaengs, and there’s nothing he won’t do for all of them.  The two step-siblings are obnoxious, petty, materialistic brats and I had a hard time feeling any sympathy for them at all- I get that it’s hard for them to accept the new step father and his criminal record and lower social ranking (he didn’t finish school, their late father was a doctor), but they were just too over the top for me.  However, I love what happens after they all grow up, and while I still think they were over the top, the drama does give a few more character reveals that don’t excuse their obnoxiousness, but do explain it a bit.ugly alert more oppa piggy backing

Naturally, this being a daily drama, the spite feels like it goes on forever, Jin soo just keeps on loving them all, no matter what, both parents die in separate accidents, etc, etc. That aspect of the story kind of reminds me of the stories I wrote in junior high.  But…. Im Joo-Hwan and his character are both so endearing.   He quits school at 14 and works part-time jobs, often carrying his littlest sister on his back, in order to continue to support his step siblings so they can go to school. They are not remotely grateful, and refuse to call him oppa/hyung, the snots.  Just about the time he’s almost gotten his little brother to admit he loves him after all, little bro gets in a fist fight with a bully (and the son of a politician), and unbeknownst to him, he kills the other boy.  Jun Soo, racing to stop the fight, comes on the scene as little bro is walking off, and he finds the dead boy and realizes his brother doesn’t even know he killed him, so, of course, he takes the blame, goes to jail for ten years while the step brother, resentful of his brother becoming a murderer, becomes a prosecutor who specializes in…. murder cases.

Ugly Alert oppa piggybacking donsaeng

Why am I watching this?  Because in spite of all of the above, it’s really a terrific drama.  The story just gets better and better, and there are some very interesting resolutions, twists and turns.  Spoilers (the above isn’t really as spoiler, it’s in the show description):

Also,  Besides Im Joo-Hwan, there’s the family thing and restoration of sibling relationships I see coming, as dysfunctional as this family is (when Jun Soo goes to jail, the siblings put their youngest half sister in an orphanage for a few years, so they can finish school. They do go back to get her, and she’s back with the family when Jun Soo is released, but… she knows, and makes it clear to them that she knows, her Kun-Oppa (oldest brother) would never have done that to her.

The materialistic, spiteful sister, Jin Ju, falls in love with the spoiled only son of a selfish widow who treats her in all the ways she treated her older brother, and who is as materialistic as Jin Ju ever was.  All the things her mother tried to tell her come back in spades.
The cold, introverted younger brother, Hyeon Seok, begins to fall in love with somebody who will never love him back, and he learns to make the kinds of sacrifices his older brother always made for him.  And then… but I’ll keep that to myself.
The oldest boy learns that sometimes the self sacrifices he has always made are selfish, and burdensome to those for whom you play the martyr.
There are some of the funniest side characters I’ve ever met in a K-Drama, most of them fascinating and very well fleshed out, and definitely interesting.
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There’s a lot to love about this drama after all, and if the 120 episodes puts you off, keep in mind that because it is a daily, the episodes are shorter than the usual drama- only half an hour, in fact.
ugly alert kang sora cheek squashIt’s one drama that just got better and better along the way, and some parts of it were so funny that I showed them to my non-drama loving family, and they laughed along with me and suggested I share them with other non-drama loving family members (there is a childbirth scene that is just to die for, it is so hilarious).
This isn’t necessarily one for your teen-age boy, who probably wouldn’t like it anyway.  But I would definitely watch it with my daughters.  The clothes for one character alone would be a fascinating study, but there’s a lot more to this than the clothes.
I really enjoyed this, a lot.
DISIGNER kIM CLOTHING COLLECTION
You may also enjoy:

Shows I am currently watching but haven’t finished yet are described here.

Dramas I’ve completed, recommend, and reviewed: see here.

K-Dramas I almost liked- most of these are just darker than I usually prefer. Some are just flawed.

Things to know when watching a K-drama

More Things To Know

Addiction, and why I like K-dramas

You might be watching a K-Drama if….

Where to get your fix: Sites where you can find subtitled K-dramas (and dramas from other countries, as well. I’ve watched a handful of J-dramas (Japanese) and TW (Taiwanese) dramas.

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K-Drama Review: Heirs

Heirs: I think almost all K-drama fans are watching this one, or at least following recaps. It stars Lee Min Ho (Boys Over Flowers, City Hunter, Faith); Kim Woo Bin (School, Gentleman’s Dignity); Park Shin Hye (You’re Beautiful, Flower Boy Next Door), and a host of other idols and actors too numerous too mention.  And this will not be a review, just a sort of breezy drive through of some of my impressions.

I enjoyed watching this, but…. you need to know some things.

My expectations were low. Lee Min Ho is too old to play a high schooler.  Still, I think he might have just managed it, looks-wise, if they hadn’t worn him out during shooting. I read that he and Park Shin Hye were down to one hour of sleep a day with this.

I have watched enough K-dramas to know that no matter how evil the father is, he will be redeemed by the end of the show and his relationship with his sons would be somewhat restored.

It was probably four episodes too long. There was too much breaking up and making up for no reason at all.

I thought the show had a sense of humour about itself, and within the limitations of its genre and the censorship it was under and the loaded for bear with idols format, it kept that sense of humor and made some good points.

Kim Tan’s suits are, I firmly believe, part of that sense of humour.

So is the pretty, wrapped up ending (SPOILER)  which, hilariously to me, anyway, Kim Tan clearly explains is his own wished for imagining of where they will all be ten years from now.  It’s exactly how a teen-ager would imagine those things.

I loved the little meta poking fun at itself bits- like where one unlikely possible romance pairing says to the other, “I don’t see us as a couple. After all, we’re not in some teen-aged romance drama.”  Heh.

heirs young doKim Woo Bin is an incredible actor.  It’s impossible not to watch him on screen.  It was impossible to watch him and not want to bring his Young Do character home and feed him a home-cooked meal and tell him it was all going to be okay and he could start making the right choices and living right now.

It’s incredible how he starts out as a total psycho (he said in an interview that his mother texted him and told him to stop being so mean), and you still can’t take your eyes off the screen, and his character shift is believable and lovable.  Also, watch how and when he touches his eyebrows and think about why.  Poor kid (Young Do, I mean).

won baffledWon- Kim Tan’s brother, was underutlized, it’s true, but man, I thought they did a great job with his character arc, and the relationship between the two brothers.  It hurt.  I was glad it wasn’t cotton candy.  I also think the fact that in order to be in the place he wanted to be, and needed to be, for his father and for Kim Tan as well, he actually did have to make the heart-breaking choice he had to make. Kim Tan could get away with making the different choice because Won was ahead of him, sacrificing himself.  Won always understand that.  No wonder he was so resentful for so long.

 

I don’t think it’s cyber-stalking when you point out to somebody that there are cameras at your front gate, tell that person that they are on all the time and somebody is always watching, and then use them to sometimes watch to see if that person is coming or going- and when the other party uses those same cams to send you encoded messages, well, double ix-nay on the cyber stalking call.  You know what I mean if you read the DB reviews.

I thought Kim Tan’s frequent telling Eun Sang to ‘go straight’ was a cute bit of inside, shared lingo between the two of them- a metaphor for their relationship. I thought this was all the way through and I think the ending showed I was right.

Bottom line- I liked it, but whether you will or not depends largely on why you watch K-Dramas and how high your expectations are. It does’nt pretend to be more than it is, but sometimes it manages to deliver some sweet notes anyway, and the last two episodes were baskets of cute leaving a sweet taste behind.

 

You may also enjoy:

Shows I am currently watching but haven’t finished yet are described here.

Dramas I’ve completed, recommend, and reviewed: see here.

K-Dramas I almost liked- most of these are just darker than I usually prefer. Some are just flawed.

Things to know when watching a K-drama

More Things To Know

Addiction, and why I like K-dramas

You might be watching a K-Drama if….

Where to get your fix: Sites where you can find subtitled K-dramas (and dramas from other countries, as well. I’ve watched a handful of J-dramas (Japanese) and TW (Taiwanese) dramas.

Posted in Movies | 3 Comments

Brainy Fridays: Scriptures for Busybrains and Briefly- Do YOU have a Hoarding Busybrain, Too?

This is likely to be the last Brainy Friday post until after the new year. This is The Equuschick and Shasta’s turn to go to his mom’s for Christmas and this always makes an already busy time of year even busier, so though she may be popping in throughout the holidays as inspiration does or does not strike, she won’t be committing to any scheduled posts. (Because otherwise, you know, The Equuschick is always so good at remembering every week. Buaha.) In the meantime, thank-you all for reading and commenting!

The Equuschick did a previous post on suggestions for how Bible studies can sometimes work for Busybrained littles here , but it is worth noting as well that the Bible is full of very specific statements in sometimes very clear language that can be marvelously applied to a little Busybrain if you’re diligent about bringing those passages to his attention and helping him remember to apply them to his life.

This can mean making them “memory verses”, but as a cautionary aside, there is a difference between sharing an applicable passage with a child and bringing it to their attention when necessary and having a a child memorize a verse or two and telling them it is “the” verse for this problem or that problem, and especially between doing the former and introducing them to a Biblical character or story and saying “The lesson of this story is *this*.”

It seems to The Equuschick that the effect of the latter is far more often to limit and restrict a child’s view of the power of God’s word, whereas just taking time throughout the day to point out relevant passages will encourage them (hopefully) to appreciate just the wide versatility of the word of God. Especially when it comes to sharing the stories themselves, simply sharing a story and saying “And this is the Application for this Story” (especially at a young age) can’t help but blunt a child’s sense of grandeur at the scope and the depth of the stories themselves. You may not be saying specifically “And this is the *only* application of this story,” but if a common application is oft repeated the child is going to make that assumption themselves, whether or not that was the intention of the parent.

But with these cautions in mind, here is a short list of passages that The Equuschick has shared with the Dread Pirate Grasshopper recently to aid him with his struggles.

1. James 1:19: “Brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. For man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”
2. Prov. 25:28: “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” Speaking of the stories of the Bible having a myriad of applications, this one has had the most effect on the DPG if told in conjunction with the fall of Jericho. “ When the walls fell down in Jericho, only then was Israel able to go in and conquer or take captive the city. When you have no self-control your walls are down, and ugly things can come in and take you captive, so you do things you don’t want to do.”
3.Prov. 25:11-12 ”A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man’s rebuke to a *listening* ear.”
4.Prov. 20:3 “It is a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.”
5 Prov. 15:18 “A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel.”
6.Prov. 14:29 “A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.”
7.Prov. 16:32 “Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.”
Fortress blog pic
8. Prov. 17:14 “Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.”
9.Ecc. 3: 1-8, yes- The famous “A Time for Everything” passage. The Equuschick actually only read this one to the DPG this morning and she has no idea if it was at all effective or not, but she was curious. The general context she shared it in was one of those conversations where she was trying to be sympathetic to his need to express his emotions in some way, but wanted to convey yet again that there is a proper time, place, and method for these things.
10.Lastly, do you have a Hoarding Busybrain? Because the DPG is a Hoarder who could make it on the Reality TV show by the same name, and the sad thing is he doesn’t even hoard his own stuff. He’s been known to pre-select his favorite toys at Grandma DHM’s house and hide them from the other grandchildren, just in case they might want to touch (and therefore) defile them. It is driving The Equuschick nuts. What do you do about it? She did just find in her reading this morning this passage and she might give it a try with him. Prov. 11:26: “People curse the man who hoards gain, but blessing crowns him who is willing to sell.”

Lastly, this is not a passage but a specific Bible study curriculum, and therefore requires double cautions, but for what is worth The Equuschick just recently through a great deal of How to Develop Attentiveness (Character Booklet 1) with the Dread Pirate Grasshopper. Nothing revolutionary occurred (she didn’t expect it too), but it did contain some helpful and very visual illustrations that were basic enough for him to grasp and move forward a bit with.

Happy Holidays!

Posted in Bible, Brainy Fridays, parenting | 3 Comments

Morning Schedule

vintage 1922 kitchen prep

In preparation for the New Year coming, I’ve been perusing sample morning schedules online and trying to think about how well they would have worked for me.  Not so great. So I put together the following compilation:

Morning Routine:

Get up before lunchtime.;-D

Fold your blankets down to air out the sheets OR air them outside over the clothesline (we have a second story deck and sometimes use the deck rails for this) Of course, when my children were small, there were usually some of them in my bed in the morning, so I couldn’t do anything with the blankets when I got up.

Start coffee, unless you have a coffee pot with a timer OR a child old enough to do this for you OR a husband who is able to take care of this for you in the morning.

Shower and/or grooming:  if you’re showering this morning, which, let’s face it, most of you reading this aren’t, so just do the best you can.  I found it best always to shower the night before myself.  But for the showering and grooming part of the day,  here are some tips:

For those moments when you *do* get to shower, follow the Church Mouse’s cleaning tip.  Only adapt it down a little more- instead of cleaning the whole shower, keep a scrub brush in the shower and scrub down one wall of the bathtub each time you shower.

If you aren’t a morning showerer, or you are but your children won’t let you be, keep a stack of washcloths near the sink, wipe your face and anywhere else that it is in desperate need of attention. If you’re fortunate, your toilet will be close enough to the sink that you can grab a quick dab anytime you have to run to the bathroom, so by the end of the day you might have washed at least your face and armpits.

Brush your teeth in the morning with just warm water (otherwise the coffee tastes funny), use toothpaste or coconut oil later. Get dressed if you can. Notice how this requires that you keep up with laundry?   Most of the online schedules I read suggest you wipe down the bathroom. Keep spray and rags or paper towels in the bathroom and wipe down surfaces, including the mirror, and toilet. Again, that’s what it says on many schedules I’ve seen. More realistic for me would have been to to wipe *a* surface whenever you have to run to the bathroom. This way, by the end of the day at least the sink will be clean.
Get breakfast and while you are in the kitchen think about lunch and set out something for dinner.
( Of course, if you are cooking something like muffins or an egg casserole in the oven for breakfast, it might make more sense to go straight to the kitchen, start breakfast, and then go through the above schedule while breakfast cooks.)

Get the kids up, if they aren’t up already, and get them dressed, wash their faces, put little girls’ hair back quickly in a pony tail, get their bedding airing.
Safety pin or tie towels around the messiest eaters instead of using puny little bibs. Eat breakfast together. This is a good time to review memory verses and to chat a little about the day.

Clear away the dishes, wash them and tidy the kitchen.

Start a load of laundry.  What’s in it? Towels, washcloths, dirty clothes gathered from the bed-making, towels used to wipe up breakfast spills.

Make beds, if that’s important to you. Try it for a few weeks to see if it really makes a difference to you psychologically. For some people, it really does.  Me? I don’t think made beds are that important.

 

Tips for implementation:

To figure out a schedule that works for you, determine whether you are a messie or a cleany, a morning or a night person.

For the above schedule to work best, you need to think about the importance of proximity- for instance,  keep the bathroom stocked with cleaning supplies so you can quickly wipe things down without having to run find the spray or the paper towels (or newspapers, or rags, or whatever you use). Here are some other household shortcuts.

Breakfasts- cereal and milk is easiest, but for our family was cost prohibitive and anyway, never filled up my kids.  I have a lot of breakfast recipes here, but the two easiest are probably crockpot grains made the night before in a crockpot (either the more nutritious and also pricier amaranth and quinoa version or the oat groats version) or a quick pan of  baked eggs (the link is to a breakfast sandwich recipe, but you can just skip the bread and have the baked eggs).  Another easy breakfast is bringing water to a boil, sprinkling your old-fashioned oats in, turning the water off, and covering with the lid. Go do something else for 20 minutes and the oats will be ready.  Dutch puffs (milk, eggs, flour) are also quick and easy.  Easiest of all?  Toast with butter and peanut butter (kids need the extra fats)

Lunches and Dinners: Here are frugal, bottom of the paycheck barrel ideas.    Homemade soup made from leftovers is a quick and nourishing lunch, especially in winter months.

What about devotions and Bible study?- 
When you’re eating breakfast, or immediately afterward is often a favored time, but you have to determine this for yourself. Sometimes reading the Bible by myself before I got out of bed was best. But there are other things a busy, frazzled, and discombobulated mom can do.

Here are some ideas for morning devotions.

Be ready to praise the Lord, in season and out of season. When you lied down and when you must arise in the middle of the night, do not forget the Lord your God, praise Him in prayer, song, and study. Petition Him in prayer, song, and study.

Around the sixth century, Benedict’s monks got up at orderly times and recited Psalms and prayers, listened to a benediction, as well as other readings. He prescribed some of them, and left others up to the choice of the Abbot.

As Mothers we are often called to arise in the night hours, although with somewhat less regularity than the Monks, and the calls for us are not often calls such as permit us space and quiet for thoughtful prayer and meditation.

Nevertheless, if we make a plan for these things in advance, it is more likely to do us good and make it possible for us to use those hours for prayer and praise than if we have no plan, and no desire to use our time wisely and make the most of the time because the days are evil.

Make use of proximity, again. I cannot stress enough the importance of this tool.
Arrange your thoughts as well as your environment to make this more natural. Place Psalms, Bible study materials, an any reminders you would find helpful where you are likely to see them- in the bathroom, if what is most likely to prompt you up at night will find you there. Over the changing table, rocking chair, or on a shelf by your favorite living room chair, near the rocking chair and humidifier if it is croup that is most likely to call you from your slumbers.
By ‘reminders,’ I mean things as simple as a photograph of somebody you mean to pray for, a note reminding you of your goal to praise the Lord even in the dead of night, index cards with verses on them posted where you will see them- the bathroom, the kitchen, the dining room, on the table under a clear plastic cover, make them up into placemats, whatever.
Use modern tools- find online Psalms and other Bible readings or Psalms set to music and download them to your iPod, Mp3 player, laptop, tablets, whatever you have. More suggestions here.

Let us do what we can to see to it that we rise with our rest completed, not interrupting that rest by unwise choices, too late hours on the computer, with a book, chatting with friends by phone, skype, or text. When interruptions come, and with children, they will come, treat those interruptions as opportunities for prayer and praise.Take the opportunity to spend wakeful hours in study as well.When you awake, and when your children awake, greet the day with gladness, and greet the Heavenly father with praise.* More about that here.

The Children: In all the scheduled activities above, as much as possible, if they are awake have the children helping.

Give them things to do- as much as possible, real things, but you can also give them a wet rag  and direct them to wash a cupboard, clean up the floor in front of the fridge, wipe a chair, etc.   Set out a stack of plastic plates, the utensils, and even a 2 year old can carry these things to the table, one by one.   Have a toddler sing to the baby and make funny faces at the baby while you work in line of sight.  Give them a washcloth or dish towel and a plastic cup or a spoon to dry.

Sing as you work- even if you have to force yourself. You will find, most of the time, that even if you did have to force yourself, you will gradually change your inner woman through the actions of your outer woman- it’s not being fake, it’s not being a hypocrite, it’s learning, practicing, and exhibiting self control.  The children will join in.

There are a couple of reasons for including the children in your morning routines.  One is that if they are helping you, they aren’t in the bathroom dumping out your cleaning supplies and brushing their teeth with your leg razor (true story), nor are they in the living room emptying the game cupboard and dumping puzzle pieces all over the floor, gluing cabbage patch dolls to the rug and gluing magazines to your husband’s flight jacket (true story) , nor are they trying to toilet train the six week old (true story).

If they are helping you now, while it’s a little more work and somewhat distracting, they are learning and sooner than you think, they will be able to take over and do these jobs for you (true story).

 

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News and Stuff

 Republicans Should Reject Paul Ryan’s Budget-Busting Abomination
“Why? For starters, because the people swearing to uphold new caps ten years from now are the same ones eviscerating the caps they agreed to barely two years ago. If they can’t be trusted to keep short-term promises, why on earth should they be trusted to keep long-term ones? A great way to show you won’t be trustworthy tomorrow is to break your word today.”  (via Ace)

Half the budget cuts don’t even happen until 2022, which means probably never.  And Protein Wisdom points out that secret budget negotiations are not fitting to a representative republic, but are the tools of ruling regimes.

It also allows taxes to be raised on a simple majority rather than requiring 60 votes. Republicans are not our friends, people.

Smart Diplomacy in action- this administration admits it lied to allies about the deal with Iran.
ObamaCare: 5.2 Million Cancellations, 364,000 Sign-Ups
Only our media would report as “progress” the fact that thus far ObamaCare has resulted in only 364k sign-ups after cancelling 5.2 million policies. The White House and some in the media are also incorrectly using the word enrollee. You have to pay for your first premium in order to enroll, and according to some insurers, payment rates languish in the 5-15% arena.

You know that kid in the room whose reactions are always several beats behind everybody else’s? Sibellius demands investigation into failed Obamacare website: http://www.jammiewf.com/2013/hilarious-clueless-sebelius-demands-investigation-into-screwed-up-obamacare-website/

Number of times Sibellius and Obama have met since ObamaCare was passed?  Once.

Yes, yes it is ObamaCare, and no, that’s not a racist term.

The devastating effect of ObamaCare on small businesses is even worse than we knew.  It’s good for insurance companies, though. Big Government always is good for Big Business.  Not so much for cottage industries and small, independent entrepreneurs.

 

About 74 percent of all U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan have taken place under Nobel Peace Prize Winner Obama’s watch. And what was one of Bush’s worst years for casualites is a number Obama would love to have.  The media is covering this assiduously, of course, if assiduously means by pretending it’s not happening, looking the other way and whistling.

 

In June, Sebelius described 7 million consumers in the first year as a “realistic target.” One day before HealthCare.gov launched Oct. 1, NBC News asked Sebelius: “What does success look like?”
“Well, I think success looks like at least 7 million people having signed up by the end of March 2014,” she responded.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/12/seven-million-customers-obamacare-affordable-care-act-health-insurance-100989.html#ixzz2nBmv0SDq

But about five million have lost their coverage, thanks to the lie about keeping your coverage if you liked it, and only 365,000 people have actually purchased insurance through the new exchanges (with another 800,000 who have been added to Medicare roles). It’s not sustainable, and it’s not how the White House or the press was defining ‘success’ before the disastrous launch of the website. It is now, though. Failure. The new success. Read more.

Connecticut Obamacare Exchange, Praised in Rose Garden, Gave Wrong Info for Every Single Individual Plan: And the state was aware of the problems a full month before Obama’s speech.

The IRS scandal continues, not that you’d know this from reading the mainstream media.

Staff on the Hill warned that information that comes from the ObamaCare web exchange is not reliable.  That’s nice.

More on the idiotic school that has suspended and may expel a 6 year old kid, labeling him a sexual harasser on his permanent record because he kissed a girl:

Hunter spent Monday at home, under suspension from school. The school-district superintendent says, in KRDO’s paraphrase, that “Hunters’ [sic] actions fit the school policy description of ‘sexual harassment.’  . . . The school district also says Hunters’ [sic] parents may believe that kissing the girl at school is overall acceptable–but that’s where the school disagrees.”

Clearly buffoons are in charge of the school and the district, but what does that have to do with Obama? The answer is that these buffoons are following orders from Washington.

In April 2011 Russlynn Ali, then assistant education secretary for civil rights, issued a directive in which she threatened to withhold federal money from any educational institution that failed to take a hard enough line against sexual misconduct to ensure “that all students feel safe in their school.” The directive’s preamble declared: “The sexual harassment of students, including sexual violence, interferes with students’ right to receive an education free from discrimination and, in the case of sexual violence, is a crime.”

The Ali directive has received attention mostly for its application in higher education, including our Saturday exposé of Auburn University’s comically unprofessional and shockingly unjust Discipline Committee. But the mandate to prevent and punish “sexual harassment” applies to all educational institutions that receive federal funding, including elementary and secondary schools.

“If a school knows or reasonably should know about student-on-student harassment that creates a hostile environment, Title IX [of a 1972 civil rights law] requires the school to take immediate action to eliminate the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects,” Ali wrote. The music teacher and other school officials were faithfully if ridiculously executing that command when they investigated the tip from the kids who tattled.

Why, again, do we trust bureacrats? Why do we keep giving them more power?  Why do we assume they know better than we do what is best for us?

Obligatory: This is how the POTUS behaves at Nelson Mandela’s funeral.  Play the ‘what if that had been Bush’ game.  Not even Obama’s wife seems pleased.

Okay, that was funny, and Twitchy even has some photos where it looks like the First Couple traded seats, but please.  We have no idea what we’re really seeing, other than a snapshot. My face looks angry in repose to a lot of people. It looks angry when I am merely sad, or thinking.  I’ve been told I look mad when I am only concentrating on a crochet stitch.   I’m not giving Michelle a free pass, this IS a free pass. It’s just a photo.   So they changed seats?  Maybe the Danish PM asked to sit next to Michelle because she wanted to talk to her. Maybe the President offered to trade seats with his wife because he thought she would get a better view.  Who knows?  Who cares?
Meanwhile, former President Bush also attended the funeral . He and his wife were the first to stand to give President Obama a standing ovation.

Here’s a long story on Nelson Mandela’s funeral in general. 

More important than the hyuking it up over a couple of photographs that don’t really mean all that much- a hallucinating schizophrenic at that funeral stood 3 feet away from  numerous international heads of state and pretended to be a sign language interpreter.

MSNBC calls those who are amused by the selcas and the seeming mad-face sexist and racist, which is as predictable as the sun rising.

Meanwhile, the DHS finally  fires the government employee who called for the mass murder of whites.

Updated to add: Wow. Unions paid MSNBC’s Schultz $177,000 in 2012, $75,000 in 2013.

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