Confirmation and Palm Sunday

Confirmation at one of Jon’s parishes was yesterday and the service went well. We did have one kid almost faint but we got him off his feet before he fell. The kids read their faith statements and did a great job. The two most touching ones were the ones from two of my kids who have learning disabilities. The music was wonderful despite not having enough communion hymns to cover the communing of 150 people. (Our communion system works well for 60 and acceptably for 100. 150, however, is 45 minutes of sitting. Our sanctuary couldn’t even accomodate that many.) I also had to go get more wine and one of the fathers had to go and get more cups with me. Afterward, we had a lunch for the kids and then we went to the open houses for three of them. I’m not planning on eating again until probably Thursday — I am still completely stuffed because I had to eat at all three places (though not too much) to be polite. We slept until noon today — we were just so exhausted.

The other church’s Palm Sunday service was wonderful. We sang All Glory, Laud, and Honor (which I love and unfortunately only gets sung once a year) and the kids processed around with palms. We had just enough wine consecrated for communion and I could see our deacon mumbling a prayer about that. Jon’s sermon was excellent and featured some Hebrew — something that made the interim pastor (who was worshipping with us because he was also going to be at the confirmation service and thought he should make appearances at both churches in the parish) joke that Jon was trying to upstage him. 🙂

Parenting Strategies

Chris blogs about parent-teacher conferences. I recommend reading the post — it illustrates everything I hate about many parents today who refuse to discipline their kids. They (or at least the ones I’ve been unfortunate enough to deal with) don’t discipline their kids because they don’t want their kids to hate them.

News flash: Most kids say “I hate you” because they don’t have the verbal skills to say “I am very frustrated with the approach you have taken to dealing with my behavioral infraction.” Your kids are not going to be your friends and they shouldn’t be. If you are relying on them to be your friends, you really need to get out of the house and develop relationships with people your own age.

I also get the “if my kid doesn’t want to do it, he doesn’t have to do it” with some of my Confirmation parents. I don’t give a rat’s butt if their kids don’t want to go to Confirmation or if they don’t want to go to church, acolyte, write their faith statement, do sermon notes, or take their Confirmation test — they’re going to do it if they’re in my Confirmation class. I would like to throttle these parents because all they’re doing is turning their kids into slackers who will never have decent employment because they’ll be fired the second they tell their boss that they “don’t feel like coming into work today so [they] shouldn’t have to.” I’ve already lost two kids in my first year Confirmation class because I refused to let them have that attitude. (They were already thinking of leaving the church anyway so it wasn’t much of a loss.) My second year kids whine at me plenty and they’ve learned that whining gets nowhere with me, mostly because I really don’t care if they’re unhappy because they have to do something. I’m not getting paid to teach them and their parents have given control of their religious education to me, so I can really do what I darn please.

I think the parents who have this lame attitude are the ones who never heard the word “no” as kids. From the 1960’s onward, there has been this movement to abolish the word “no” with regard to discipline. Apparently, there’s a misguided belief that giving kids limits stifles creativity. It doesn’t — it teaches them boundaries. This lack of boundaries has created an epidemic and it has made me much more aware of how I’m going to raise my kids when I have them. My kids will not get everything they ask for and they will not be raised in front of the TV. Some TV is OK — using it as an electronic babysitter is not.

Mushy Stuff

It’s my second wedding anniversary today and I woke up to Jon holding a cookie sheet with my breakfast on it. I wasn’t really in the mood for food but I was touched to get breakfast in bed. There were e-cards waiting for me on the computer and my parents had sent us a nice anniversary care package yesterday. I have to proctor the test to one of my kids this afternoon and then hopefully (if this kid’s mother doesn’t just drop him at the door at 7), we’re going to go out to eat.

Famous Biblical or Literary Brothers

My mom is trying to come up with names for the kittens she is adopting and wants famous Biblical or literary brothers. I’ve given her probably 30 pairs that I could think of off the top of my head (and then cheating using the Bible). Anyone want to contribute to the effort? Leave me the suggestions in the comments.

Is There Something Wrong With Me?

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of comments that are starting to make me a bit irritated. At church, we have several new babies and if I hold one (especially since I’m one of the few that can get him to sleep through church), the older women smile and say “that looks so natural” with the inference being that I should start having some of my own now that I’m married. I’ll also get people asking “so are you and Jon trying right now?” Then there are some of Jon’s family members who have remarked that we’ve been married longer than 9 months (it will be 2 years next week) and “where are the kids?” My response: “we’re waiting.”

Don’t get me wrong — I love kids and I do want them someday — just NOT NOW. Our lives are still not settled enough, I could be going back to school this fall or next, and we also don’t know that what I have isn’t Crohn’s disease (they’re not sure anymore) and if it is Crohn’s, having kids could endanger my life because it would cause a flare-up. It is just not a good time to consider having children and hearing from people that “I should let the Lord control my childbearing and fertility” is not exactly helping.

Is something wrong with me that I actually want to wait until things are more stable?

Family Bloodsports

The following innocent games become full contact sports when played at family gatherings:

Scrabble (I’m terrified to introduce Speed Scrabble to them)
Monopoly (my brother is EVIL)
jigsaw puzzles (blows can be exchanged)
Trivial Pursuit (I show no mercy and I am darn good at it!)

These have been the highlights of the last few days.

Highlights of the Last few Days

  • Kicking my brother’s tail at Trivial Pursuit thrice
  • Playing Charades with my family members, especially after a rum and coke and the 20somethings cleaning out the rum and whiskey balls
  • Watching my mom try to act out “The Screwtape Letters” during said game of Charades
  • Teaching Kristin and Sari how to play Cribbage
  • My cousins flying in from North Carolina to surprise my aunt
  • Being with my extended family and getting a chance to recuperate from the move
  • Teaching Kristin and Sari how to crochet