Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Thankful??To whom for what??

As Thanksgiving approaches, many plan festive family times and often take a moment to express thanks. But my question is this...who do we thank? Do we thank each other? Our parents? Our friends? God? The mysterious natural space around us? Who? More important than that is the next question.
Why?

Why are we thankful?

Hmmm. The food? Air? Hmmm.

I think, a thankful attitude in life will take anyone much further than just one good meal. Thankfulness while being the focus of this ONE day should be an attitude we seek every day. Now to the questions....

To whom are we thankful????
Family, YES! These are the people who put up with our little idiosyncrasies every day. They deserve to be thanked for little and big moments in life. If we never say it, will they really know? Not really...to truly be understood things should actually be said.
So let me say this now. I am so incredibly thankful for the wonderful husband I have and my two children. There are certainly crazy moments but they are worth it because of the fantastic joy these relationships bring.

Friends, YES! The ones who call when we are sick and bring food supplies when we have injury or illness. They add joy and expand who we are through sharing their lives with us.
I am so grateful for the people I have been building friendship with of late. They remind me of how profound simple kindness really is.

God, OH YEAH! Whether you believe in Him or not, it is extraordinarily difficult to look at the world around us and realize all the possibilities without even having a passing thought of the reality of a loving God. If we don't say thank you for each miraculous day, how terribly rude we are.
In that light, I thank God daily for the friends and family He has given to me, none of whom have I earned or do I deserve. He guides our family and helps us in so many ways. I couldn't imagine not saying thank You.

Regardless of your belief system, as Thanksgiving approaches, take some time to look around at the world we live in. There are tragedies, there are sad situations, but there are also amazing beauties and joys to be found for anyone who looks. A thankful life is certainly a more cheerful life and worth the effort.

(this whole time my daughter has been sitting in my lap as I write, so I am now asking her what she is thankful for....

"Our days...having fun...how mommy can have fun."
RACHEL

Monday, November 22, 2004

5 year olds workin' 9 to 5

Have I been asleep or something? Recently, I decided I wanted to investigate legislation coming up in the California Assembly. I was shocked to see a bill mentioned entitled AB712 , it apparently calls for mandatory all day kindergarten and universal preschool . http://californiafamily.org/Site/leg_watchlist.asp

ALL DAY KINDERGARTEN??? This hits too close to home.

Next year our daughter will possibly be attending kindergarten, she is our first. I have already been stressed by this decision. Some may wonder why it is a decision, but I am deeply concerned at the way our school system has been turning as of late. I used to trust teachers implicitely until I began wanting to be one. No one is in the class room with those children except the teacher most of the time and I don't deeply know the history of these people, I don't know ALL they are teaching. ALL DAY!?!
Unless I am in absolute need and have no other choice (which I realize is the situation of some) why on earth would I hand over my most precious daughter to essentially strangers ALL DAY. This would be mandatory?
If such a thing were to actually occur, I would feel the absolute need to homeschool my daughter. I did not give birth to her for the purpose of having others raise her.
Then,today, I had a brief conversation with a mom 0f 5 year old twins. They are now attending kindergarten. When I mentioned the idea, it did not seem to bother her. All I picture is state run education of my child all day every day (except of course Saturday and Sunday) from 2 years old through adulthood.
Currently, I respect our leaders and appreciate their ideas. There is no guarantee I will always respect them. At the national level, I think they are great, but at the state level I am much less than satisfied. I keep having this image in my head of the USSR in its prime. Training children to report on their parent's activities was a regular occurence. Is that something we can look forward to in our lives?

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Commercial Catastrophe

Okay, so when I decided to start writing a blog, I thought "piece of cake". I imagined no problem writing each day. Problem! Two children+sickness+fatigue= no blog for the past few days. Needless to say, I don't like to give up. So, I will keep trying.

Last week I became very aware of a commercial, which I had not really seen. Not having time in our house to watch Monday night football, the "Desperate Housewives" add was not on my radar until the apology broke a few days later. It was quite fascinating watching the various sides volley their opinions back and forth. In the process, I saw the "offending" commercial several times. At first I thought, "Hmmm, football fans they love those annoying beer ads, you can't really see anything anyway, what's the hubbub?"
(Admittedly not a very pastoral response.)
Then, someone on the anti-commercial side made the point that it was on at 6pm in California. WAIT A MINUTE! If I had just been flipping channels at the wrong time I would have had to explain to my gregarious 4 year old why that woman was touching her private area to that man. (That's how we talk in our house with our daughter.)
It seems like the networks and other cable stations just keep pushing at the edge of what is acceptable. The do it over and over, until we've seen it so much it actually looks normal to us. Then, they move on to the next unacceptable area and push that.
Honestly, I am sick of it! Lately, I have been watching Trading Spaces and Food TV with my daughter. These are "G" rated shows. No bad language, no violence, no issues to worry about just entertainment/educational TV. Until, that is, the commercials come on. They will advertise with gun shootouts and scary scenes from CSI designed to catch attention. But they are not designed for a "G" rated show. Why can't we somehow manage to have commercials which actually reflect the type of show we are viewing. In other words, a "G" rated show has "G" rated commercials. If we can manage to do this in a movie theater surely such decisions can be made for our homes.