Monday, September 30, 2013

Published 6:53 AM by with 9 comments

Should I Let My Daughter Listen to Music With $#*&%@ in the Lyrics?

Yesterday evening Harmony and I were driving home after a long day. Harmony began to fuss, so I turned on the CD we had in the car, which instantly calmed her down. The CD was Mumford and Sons "Sigh No More", on loan from a friend. I'd been listening to the band's music for the past week every time I got in the car because I'd fallen in love with their sound! Besides enjoying the music, the lyrics have been delicious to unravel; Mumford and Sons has some incredible songs.

Suddenly the song "Little Lion Man" came on. "I really ****ed it up this time, didn't I my dear", go the chorus lyrics. Of course, Harmony was peacefully staring out the window, ignoring the words and simply listening to the tune, I'm sure, because she is fifteen months old. But now I was faced with a dilemma: would she grow up with swear words as part of her vocabulary due to listening to music with swearing in it? I'm not a prude nor a stickler for perfect language, but I generally don't swear (for several reasons, which I won't get into here) and don't want Harmony thinking that she may use crude language whenever she pleases. Would she, though, get that impression from a song?

I have to admit, one of the first things that crossed my mind was Scout in "To Kill a Mockingbird" saying to her uncle, "pass the damn ham".

This parenting thing is a grey business: it's not easy to decide whether all issues are black or white.

As Harmony gets older, she'll hear plenty of swearing all around her, at the grocery store, from other children, from other adults, etc. It's not like I think she'll NEVER be exposed to it. And at some point she is going to be the one who needs to decide what words will come out of her mouth. Until that time comes, however, she will need to abide by the teaching of her parents. And what am I teaching her by listening to a (very catchy) song with the "F-bomb" in it? Is it really that big of a deal? 

For other parents out there: what is YOUR perspective? How have you handled this topic in your family? Please let me know what you think!




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Friday, September 27, 2013

Published 6:49 AM by with 11 comments

This Moment: 100th Anniversary Parade

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. ~ Amanda

If you're inspired to do the same, come share your moment with me in the comment section!


Linking up with Soule Mama on this happy Friday, celebrating 
our local community's one hundred years together!

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Published 6:41 AM by with 2 comments

Thoughtful Thursday: A Woman's Work

"It is the sisters and wives and mothers, you know, Caddie, who keep the world sweet and beautiful. What a rough world it would be if there were only men and boys in it, doing things in their rough way! A woman's task is to teach them gentleness and courtesy and love and kindness. It's a big task, too, Caddie- harder than cutting trees or building mills or damming rivers. It takes nerve and courage and patience, but good women have those things. They have them just as much as the men who build bridges and carve roads through the wilderness. A woman's work is something fine and noble to grow up to, and it is just as important as a man's. But no man could ever do it so well. I don't want you to be the silly, affected person with fine clothes and manners whom folks sometimes call a lady. No, that is not what I want for you, my little girl. I want you to be a woman with a wise and understanding heart, healthy in body and honest in mind."

~ Carol Ryrie Brink, excerpt from Caddie Woodlawn


~ A weekly post sharing a selection from a book I am currently reading ~
 ~ Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comment section ~


A thoughtful quote can be the bridge that leads us farther
along the path of understanding ourselves and the world. 

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Published 7:41 AM by with 0 comment

Wednesday Wanderings


This isn't so much 32 "extremely upsetting facts about the class of 2017" as it is "facts about how kids nowadays don't get my generation's cultural references and have way more advanced technology than I did".

A Chinese boy can see in pitch black. Too bad his name isn't Vin Diesel. 

Bibliophiles rejoice: here are 62 of the world's most beautiful libraries for you to drool over.

Out of these 12 little-known facts, I knew three of them, but they were still interesting!


I highly recommend reading C.S. Lewis' "Letters to Children". Here's why.


National French Library, Richelieu building (oval room)
(source)

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Published 6:13 AM by with 14 comments

This Moment: Two Baby Surprises

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. ~ Amanda

If you're inspired to do the same, come share your moment with me in the comment section!


Linking up with Soule Mama on this friendly Friday morning!

*These knitted jackets are from the Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern called "Baby Surprise". Harmony and another little boy were both wearing theirs on a chilly day this week, so we had to get a shot of them together! The pattern is so versatile and cute on anybody : )
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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Published 6:44 AM by with 2 comments

Wednesday Wanderings

The links today are especially important for me, because they explore topics that I find interesting or meaningful. Most are personally relatable to me as well, so I guess you'll see a bit more of who I am ; ) You are more than welcome to share your thoughts in the comment section!

In our apartment, you're likely to hear us bellowing opera one minute and bouncing around the house to 8-bit music the next. We name the chickens that we cook so that we can comment on their tanning time in our oven. And we leave sticky notes that say "creeper" in places where they'll be found unexpectedly, because insanity. Is your family spicy or sweet?

I adore the Doctor. More specifically, David Tennant, since he's pretty much the best Doctor. The end.

Just kidding, it's not the end.

Chris and I have been married for three years now. We can ALWAYS use more wisdom on how to strengthen your marriage, and this heartfelt story is one of the best reminders of how to succeed at love.

The upcoming marathon of NaNoWriMo is still on my mind! The characters of my story (I'm going to try my hand at being a planner this year) are slowly coming to life. I'm using the computer for most of my writing, but not everyone uses technology to spin their tale! Here are the writing tools of twenty famous authors.

Speaking of writing stories, do you think that creativity means making something from nothing? That drugs make you more creative? That creativity belongs to the arts? Take a look at ten myths about creativity.

Home-made sourdough bread is the best, so here's how you get started! I'm planning on making my own starter this week : )

I wondered why coupons never seemed to work for me, and this article showed exactly why.

There are plenty of internet articles that say things like, "10 Best Pieces of Advice EVERRRRR!" and "The Most Important Thing in the World to Remember". Here's another one! Have to say, though, I don't know if I agree with numbers seven or thirteen. Just saying. You have to pick and choose the advice you take.

This is what one of my musical heroes said: "I'm a better musician now than when I was seventy." Wow!

Finally, here is a real-life news story from my hometown. Reading it was an absolute *facepalm* moment, especially the picture of the policemen grinning and the dude on horseback with the mustache that doesn't give a darn. His mustache doesn't give a darn, I mean. Um.... what? IDAHO.

Everyone thinks of potatoes when Idaho is mentioned,
but it's actually known as the "Gem state".
Yep.
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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Published 2:40 PM by with 0 comment

Reminded by a Fortune Cookie, and the Story of the Silver Knot

Yesterday I was sitting with my gratitude journal when it hit me once more: I am SO VERY BLESSED. The childhood dreams of becoming a classical guitarist, a mother, a teacher, a college graduate, a published writer, are all coming true. None of them have been anything more than tiny personal victories in the greater scene of the universe (I'm not on national television, thank goodness), but nevertheless, these goals are blossoming before my eyes.

It has become a mantra for me: I am blessed, I am blessed. Thank you, God, thank you, God.

There have been rough spots along the way. Times when I've set my guitar down and cut my precious right hand nails off and thought about giving up music. Times when I've come home from college classes or my teaching studio crying, thinking that I couldn't make it work, that I wasn't smart enough or determined enough or brave enough. Times of depression, anger, sorting through who I am. But through all the storms, this winding, curvy, up-and-down path has continued to lead me onwards.

A reminder of where I need to go.

Along the way, my dreams have expanded, explored rabbit trails. An interest in alternative schooling, which comes from my own journey as a home-schooler, has led to researching various methods of education for children. My love of music grew into playing mandolin and singing. Becoming a teacher has turned into the dream to become a Master Teacher in the music program I teach. And who knows where else those dreams will go? Always in the back of my mind are whispers of opening up my own school for children, publishing a book, traveling to distant lands... perhaps. Someday, maybe, when the time is right, when I have more experience and wisdom (and money), then those goals will become more than just whispers.

Yet there are quiet questions: "what would happen if you lost your abilities? Became maimed in an accident? Or paralyzed? Would you lose all sense of purpose if you couldn't play guitar, or teach, or write?" My prayer is that no matter what circumstance I am placed in that God would continue to guide me in ways that I can still see the beauty he has created, even in the smallest way, even in the depths of illness or pain or change, even without the use of my hands, even from a hospital bed, even if what I consider to be my strengths are unable to be used. No matter what, I hope that God will use me in whatever way he sees fit, and then call me home.

May I be able to say along with Paul that "I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Years ago I was asked to play guitar for an artists' gathering, a night of festival/sale/open house for local jewelry makers, crafters, sewers, dancers, visual artists, and more. The expected fee was negotiable, and I was happy to accept whatever payment would be offered, since I supported what everyone was doing. It's not often that I am able to donate my time (musicians need to make a living too!), but this was a cause after my own heart.

After playing music for about an hour and a half, the crowds had thinned and the artists were beginning to close down for the night, so I figured it would be a good time to stop. The woman in charge of paying me was a Celtic jeweler. To my surprise, she offered to barter one of her jewelry sets of a silver necklace and earrings in exchange for the time I played. Everything she made was gorgeous, so I was happy to accept! We talked more about the bartering system, living as an artist, working in the arts for a living, and always trying to improve your skills. I'll never forget what she taught me:

"There is no one right way to do your art. We artists need to work together to encourage and support what we do, because only together are we able to grow. We learn new ways to do things, and help show others that way. We are artists because we want to share the beauty that we see in our craft with others."



Whenever I wear the necklace, I am reminded of finding beauty in the arts, following where God leads, serving others with my abilities, and the love of working with my hands, whether it be with music, teaching, cooking, crafting, knitting, drawing, or writing. I am so grateful that the "dreams of my youth" are still alive and I am eager to see what God has in store for the future!
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Friday, September 13, 2013

Published 6:24 AM by with 12 comments

This Moment: Just Lounging Around

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. ~ Amanda

If you're inspired to do the same, come share your moment with me in the comment section!


Joining Soule Mama on this relaxing Friday!

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Published 8:06 AM by with 0 comment

Thoughtful Thursday: Gifts of Sub-Creativity

"C.S. Lewis recognized that all great artists acknowledge that there is something outside themselves that is greater than they are, and that is greater than the works that they make: 'The greatest poems (indeed all of the greatest artistic works) have been made by men who valued something else much more than poetry.' For the Christian, there needs to be a humble bowing before God the Creator and a glad acceptance of the gift of his created order with which we do all our work...

Sometimes Christians will insist that the only work that is truly worthwhile, pleasing to God, and spiritual is the work of serving the proclamation of the gospel across the world. This view suggests that if we were are truly earnest Christians, we would leave our 'secular' jobs, in which we are simply making a living, providing for our families, and ruling in the world, and we would all join the 'sacred' work of mission. But if we stop and think about Jesus' life, we see that he was doing so-called secular work as a carpenter or a fisherman for many more years than he was a preacher and teacher. It would be blasphemous to suppose that during these years Jesus was living in a manner that was not fully godly and completely pleasing to his Father in heaven.

The import of this reflection on our human calling to 'till the garden' of this world with body, mind, and imagination is that the arts need no justification; they are good gifts of God, a basic part of the creative order. Our calling is simply to be thankful in these gifts of sub-creativity."

~ Jerram Barrs, excerpt from Echoes of Eden: Reflections on Christianity, Literature, and the Arts


~ A weekly post sharing a selection from a book I am currently reading ~
 ~ Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comment section ~

A thoughtful quote can be the bridge that leads us farther
along the path of understanding ourselves and the world.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Published 7:06 AM by with 1 comment

Wednesday Wanderings

These links brought a smile or a moment of thoughtfulness to me, and in the midst of a somber day remembering 9/11, I hope they elicit the same reactions from you. May we treasure beauty, laugh together, and strive to understand one another and seek peace. Brought to you quickly because today is supposed to be a record-breaking heat index, so I'm heading out to the park early with my Bug.

Take part in the latest Japanese fad!

Ten choices you will greatly regret in ten years

If Disney princesses had Instagram...

Ballet dancers in random situations are awesome.

A shipwreck may contain a near-mythical Viking navigation aid!

Certain Dr. Who phrases and how customers in Olive Garden react: an Experiment

A six year guesses what classic novels are all about based on their covers


(source)

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Friday, September 06, 2013

Published 7:00 AM by with 16 comments

This Moment: Electric Slide

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. ~ Amanda

If you're inspired to do the same, come share your moment with me in the comment section!


Joining Soule Mama on this hair-raising Friday! 

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Thursday, September 05, 2013

Published 8:20 AM by with 1 comment

Thoughtful Thursday: The Nondetermined God

"The historic Christian position is that man's dilemma has a moral cause. God, being nondetermined, created man as a nondetermined person. This is a difficult idea for anyone thinking in twentieth-century terms because most twentieth-century thinking sees man as determined. he is determined either by chemical factors, as the Marquis de Sade held and Francis Crick is trying to prove, or by psychological factors, such as B.F. Skinner holds. In these cases, or as a result of a fusion of them, man is considered to be programmed. If this is the case, then man is not the tremendous thing the Bible says he is, made in the image of God as a personality who can make a free first choice. Because God created a true universe outside of himself (not as an extension of his essence), there is a true history which exists. Man as created in God's image is therefore a significant man in a significant history, who can choose to obey the commandment of God and love him, or revolt against him."

~ Francis Schaeffer, excerpt from The God Who is There

~ A weekly post sharing a selection from a book I am currently reading. ~
 ~ Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comment section. ~

A thoughtful quote can be the bridge that leads us farther
along the path of understanding ourselves and the world.


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Published 8:06 AM by with 0 comment

Wednesday Wanderings, the Late Edition

Labor Day really threw my week off the regular schedule, even though I had a lovely weekend, so the Wednesday Wanderings are being posted on Thursday! Still, I hope you enjoy them, or at least find them thought-provoking. As always, feel free to let me know what you think in the comment section, whether you agree or disagree.

Sunday School is Destroying Our Kids ~ Parents, church-goers, and teachers need to read this.

The Greatest Doomsday Speeches Never Made ~ So glad they didn't have to be spoken!

Meaning is Healthier Than Happiness ~ Experiencing meaning changes your genes.

Learn How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs ~ Always wanted to do this!

Surrendering the American Dream ~ A family decided to follow their heart instead of the culture.

Even Jesus Didn't Live Like a Christian Celebrity ~ No sir, no he didn't.

Tokyo's Spookiest Art Exhibit ~ Would you be creeped out if you visited this place?

Hy-Brasil, the Other Atlantis ~ We seem to have forgotten about this mysteriously vanished place.

Madeleine L'Engle Goes to the Movies ~ One of her incredible stories is being made into a movie!!!

The 50 Most Perfectly Timed Photos Ever ~ They speak for themselves : )

Image by Fuminari Yoshitsugu, courtesy of Torafu Architects
(source)
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