Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Entries from April 1, 2010 - May 1, 2010

Entries from April 1, 2010 - May 1, 2010


Podcasts That Make You Feel Smart

I have discovered podcasts. I know I am usually behind the tech curve. I do love history/theology so here are some history podcasts and some theological ones that are so good I can feel my little gray cells multiplying as I listen to them. I often listen while I am making dinner.

Thank you to Haggai for the history suggestions.

Dan Carlin Hard Core History: In "Hardcore History" the very unconventional Dan Carlin takes his "Martian", outside-the-box way of thinking and applies it to the past.

Stuff You Missed In History Class from How Stuff Works: Join Katie and Sarah as they explore astonishing tales of intrigue and eccentricity in The Stuff You Missed In History Class

The History of the World in 100 Objects : Director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor, narrates 100 programmes that retell humanity's history through the objects we have made.

Renewing Your Mind With R C Sproul: As the principal outreach of Ligonier Ministries, this radio broadcast has instructed listeners in the life-changing truths of historic Christianity. Whether you agree with him or not, R C Sproul makes an elegant, intelligent case for the Christian faith.

Mars Hill : This is the teaching ministry of Mark Driscoll.

This is just too fun not to mention:

Relic Radio: Old time radio broadcasts. I love the thrillers.

Do you have a favorite podcast?


Year Round Sandles: A Second Cup Retrospective

I was too sick the last few weeks to write any new posts (or drop Ecards for that matter), and I am now visiting my Dad. I hope you enjoy these older posts! I will be back next week.

We live in the South. Not the deep South but southern enough that if you ask for tea in a restaurant you will receive cold sweet tea, not hot tea with lemon on the side.

Morning temperatures in the 30s and 40s during the winter months are common. Once in a great while we get a significant snow. You can get by most years without gloves and hats. You can usually run and grab the newspaper off your dew-chilled lawn in the morning in bare feet.

It does get cold here. My teen boys seem to a have a footwear issue. They want to wear sandals or flip-flops year round. Forget want to, they are wearing sandals year round. This seems to be one of those weird macho expressions of independence young males make. I guess it is better than a truck with monsters tires and a shotgun rack.

I suppose there are some who think it would be easy to talk common sense into a 17-year-old head and convince said mind that the whole body would be happier if he wore shoes to school so the rest of the body would not be chilled upon arrival at the place of learning.

The difference between an ornery 17 year old and an ornery 3 year old is height.

There are others that might think, “If you would just exercise some parental discipline…”. Since either those others do not have a 17-year-old male living in the house or they have a compliant, sensible one, I am ignoring you.

This issue will be resolved in the normal teen way: some pretty girl at school will tell him how dumb he is being or his toes will freeze and fall off.

Does your resident teen male have a weird way of expressing his independence?


Minor Teen Trails: Then and Now: A Second Cup Retrospective

I was too sick the last few weeks to write any new posts (or drop Ecards for that matter), and I am now visiting my Dad. I hope you enjoy these older posts! I will be back next week.

The Trial: Mom asks you to get some clean kitchen towels while she is busy cooking a dinner you fully intend to consume and you are watching TV.

Then: You cheerfully went to get the towels on the next commercial.

Now: You complain, use TiVo to pause your show and go get the towels.

The Trial: You are waiting for an IMPORTANT PHONE CALL and your younger sister is using THE PHONE.

Then: You waited patiently and sweetly petitioned your parents to get call waiting. Once she was off the phone, you stare at the phone and will him to call.

Now: You stare at your cell phone and will him to text.

The Trial: Your parents expect you to get a job to pay for some of your personal entertainment expenses (including the cost of dating).

Then: You got a job.

Now: You text the girl you like about your unreasonable parents and hope you get some cash for Christmas from kind grandparents.

The Trial: You need to get home from school.

Then: (True story). Home is a mile away, uphill, it is snowing and you are wearing your school uniform (A skirt, plaid, ugh). You walked, every day.

Now: You go to public school a ¼ mile away and ride the bus home.

Do you have a Then and Now minor teen trial to add to the list? Please be advised, I now know how to use the delete function if necessary.


I'd Rather Poke A Tiger With A Stick: A Second Cup Retrospective

I was too sick the last few weeks to write any new posts (or drop Ecards for that matter), and I am now visiting my Dad. I hope you enjoy these older posts! I will be back next week.

As a mom, I do not shirk from what has to be done. I have given birth (4 times); I have cleaned up poopy diapers that some may demand a hazmat suit before approaching; I have endured moody teenage girls and whiney 8 year olds. I am not a woman lacking in valor. However, I’d rather poke a tiger with a stick than try to get my 17 year old out of bed after he has been up all night.

Why was the 17 year old up all night? Usually it is just because he is 17, it is a Friday and as far as he is concerned Saturday mornings do not exist. This Friday he was up all night at a church sponsored youth lock-in at a game park. Not a park with live animals, trees and grass - one with an arcade, a putt-putt course and go-carts. Since this is a church event and no one asked me to chaperon, this is in my mind a more legit reason to be up all night than the usual: mom and dad are asleep, let me play video games all night because as far as I am concerned Saturday mornings do not exist.

The boy has to get up because he plays travel hockey and has to be on the bus by 10am. We have to leave the house by 8:30am to get him and his buddy to the bus on time. He went to bed at 6:30. He has to be up at 8. Point me to the nearest tiger.

Why, when we have a perfectly functioning older male living in the household, am I the one facing this daunting task? Because tired sexy honey is fast asleep after chaperoning all night (no one asked him, he volunteered!) and it would be far more difficult to get him up to get the 17-year-old up, than finding a tiger locally.

I approach quietly so as not to startle the child. Quiet doesn’t work. I call his name with increasing volume until the rafters are shaking and the dogs are barking along with my yelling. Ichabod does not wake up with a grateful heart. He did assert he is wake. I leave, returning 4 minutes later and repeat the process. Accused of lying about the first summons, I demand feet on the floor before I leave. His response was not worth repeating. Ichabod is never vulgar but he can be a mite rude when awakened with loud decibels. The fact that he doesn’t awake to anything short of yelling (I might try ice water next time, see if he likes that better) is irrelevant to him.

When finally vertical, he had to pack, a task he assured me was fully completed. I made him some egg sandwiches and still snarling, boy, food and equipment make it into the car. As food (an enormous, stunning amount) makes its way into the boy, there slowly emerges the nice young man that is my son. I no longer feel the need to find a tiger to poke. He manages to stay awake on the ride to the bus because he knows the odds of me getting lost are very good. (I did not get lost on the way there; the trip back home was another story).

After depositing boys and equipment at the bus, in front of his 17-20 year old teammates, my son hugged his mommy good bye.

He also is a person not lacking in valor.


Parenting Teenagers: Whose Life Is It Anyway?

I have yet again taken Ichabod’s game system away. He always acts like this action on my part happens in a vacuum, that I wake up and say to myself, “Yes this is a good day to wreak trauma in my son’s life, so I will stroll down to the basement and randomly take away his game system. I will enjoy the yelling and fighting that ensue. I would enjoy this before I even have my coffee. Yes, this is how I choose to start my day.”

I do wake up, go downstairs heading for the coffee. I look out the window and see his car and realize he has not gone to school again. Then I take his game system. There is a cause and effect relationship that Ichabod fails to acknowledge. He can earn the system back by going to school on time for 5 consecutive days. Miss a day or be late, and the “get the system back” clock restarts.

Ichabod’s not going to school has been an ongoing problem - a problem for his father, I, and now the Vice Principal, but not for Ichabod. Prior to this year, we have never even spoken to a Vice Principal. I think we are on his speed dial.

Ichabod’s thinking is: it is his life and if he wants to mess up, that is his choice.

Uh..no...it is not his life until he is willing and able to be responsible for all his choices and live with the consequences. I cannot make him go to school, but I can make the outcome of not going to school so miserable that going has an immediate benefit. The school seems unable to impose any consequences that matter to Ichabod. He likes Saturday school. In his mind he can opt for which day he misses school or opt to sleep in on Saturday. He has a date for the prom. He cares about going to the prom. When I suggested that going to the prom be tied to attendance I was told “We have not done that in the past.” If he has the money, the school will allow him to buy tickets even if he keeps skipping school as long as he attends Saturday school. No consequences of consequence for missing from the school side. Meanwhile, we are getting letters implying we, his parents, can be charged with truancy for his not going to school, even though the kid is 18 and we can’t legally drag him to school.

So we have a predictable rhythm going. He skips school, I take the game system, yelling and childish behavior ensue (from both parties), he goes to school the next 5 days, he goes to Saturday school, he gets the game system back and skips school sometime during the next week, repeat.....

We will make it to graduation, by the graying of my hair we will make it.

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