Thursday, August 13, 2009

5 Words

One Mom has given me 5 words to write about.

Church- I spend more time then the average "lay-person" thinking and reading about church. One book that I read recently about it is So You Don't Want to Go to Church Any More by Wayne Jacobsen. This book gave me a lot to think about. One of the main themes is: Do we put more emphasis on going to church than being the body of Christ? Another aspect of the book is community. Several years ago, I did a study (by that I mean read and thought about the entire New Testament and much of the Old) to further understand why the early Christians got together. That study lead me to believe that the main reason was fellowship (forming friendships around the cause of Christ). Community is something almost non-existent in many congregations. Worship (demonstrating your love and devotion to a deity) is something that our daily lives are to be about much more than singing in a large assembly.

Texas- Secretly, I have never liked Texas too much. If I had my way, I would live in Oregon. That being said. . . There are some advantages to living here. Such as family (see word 5) and freedom (as in little homeschool regulations and concealed carry) and we are at a church where I am able to serve in many ways. The Dallas/For Worth area is good for homeschooling as it has great libraries, many museums, zoos and wildlife parks. There are homeschool groups and enrichment classes galore. Texas is a very vast and diverse state. My kids and I are taking a whole year on Texas geography. There are not too many states that have prairies, deserts, forests, mountains, and coastal areas.

Education- My main principle regarding education is this: Education is the domain of parents not the government. I think that if the government is going to have schools they should be public like the library is public. And parents should be "allowed" to participate as much as they want including sitting in on classes. I believe that education is never world view neutral. Parents should be able to recognize the lies that surround our kids and counteract them with the truth.

Landscape- I assume OneMom gave me this one because I used to be a landscape architect (in training, that means degree but not licensed). Basically landscape architects do the construction drawings (blueprints) for everything outside of the building. This can include sidewalks, plants, drainage, irrigation, fences, berms, etc. The father of landscape architecture is Frederick Law Olmsted who is the designer of Central Park in New York.


Family- My extended family can be described as concentrated. From my grandparents down they are concentrated geographically living withing a 200 mile (approx.) radius of Abilene, TX with many of them living there. The are concentrated vocationally. Every female from my grandmother down (except me) is or was a public school teacher. They all also went to the same college (except me, one uncle, and my mom's husband,and my husband). My in-laws on the other hand are far-flung. They live in TN, FL, GA, TX and maybe another state that I am not remembering. They are professors, computer people, counselors, farmers, nurses, etc. Those who went to college went all over the nation. The grandmother (who passed away recently) was very smart but lived in a time and place where girls only needed an eighth grade education. Her grandson, on the other hand, has several degrees. My nuclear family is great (though maybe a little heavy on the animal side). We have fun going on adventures together and learning new things. We are especially glad to be on a journey with God together.

Critter Corner v. 6 The Circus

Last night (thanks in part to the Fort Worth Library Summer Reading Program), our family went to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The first thing that we saw were some animal rights protesters.

We had gotten there early so we got to view the animals up close in the animal menagerie. They all looked sleek and well cared for. They had signs around the room that told when the various elephants Ringling owns had been born and what their names are. My husband and I thought it was funny that the baby boy elephant born in January '09 was named Barack. (Don't they know the elephant is for Republicans?)

Then we went to the pre-show show where you could go down to the floor and see everything up close. This is one of the best parts of the circus.


video

Then the real show began. It was a good one. My favorite parts were:
1. 7 motorcyclists riding around inside a steel ball
2. contortionists
3. the elephant that could do a head/trunk stand

My kids favorite part was: saving up their money to buy a souvenir. (Last year I told them all that stuff was ridiculously expensive and they would have to save their money next year if they wanted to buy something.) My daughter bought a big pink and black hat with cotton candy for $12 and my son bought a plastic sword with a sheath for $17. After the souvenir, they both liked the animal parts.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Home Visitations

I am still very concerned about section 440 of the Health Care Reform Act before congress. All of this section is supposed to be voluntary, but it concerns me that the goal is to have all families that are expecting children or that have young children in these programs. From page 838. . .

the gaps in home visitation in the
17 State, including identification of communities
18 that are in high need of the services;

This is talking about States that want to get grant money from the federal government. Call me extreme, but of course there should be gaps. Should the government be trying to coach any new or expectant parents, let alone all of them? Communities. . . hmm. . . that could be poor communities or black communities or homeschool communities. Either way, do we really want certain "communities" being highly encouraged (I would probably feel pressured) to have these home visits? "High need of services". . . I assume that this means that this means something benign like past history of abuse or something, but could it eventually become (or already be intended) any group that doesn't parent as the state sees fit? Like "fundamentalist Christians" who condone swats or families that have "overly strict" dress standards for their kids.

in supporting home visitation pro11
grams using funds provided under this section,
12 the State will promote coordination and collabo13
ration with other home visitation programs (in14
cluding programs funded under title XIX) and
15 with other child and family services, health
16 services, income supports, and other related as17
sistance;
18

This section is talking about what is required of the State once it receives the funds. Again, call me an extremist if you must, but here I see the State including home visit recommendations as part of your regular doctor visits ("health services"). That would mean that if everyone is in the health services system, every new parent "should" be visited by the state. That just makes my skin crawl.

in supporting home visitation pro11
grams using funds provided under this section,
12 the State will promote coordination and collabo13
ration with other home visitation programs (in14
cluding programs funded under title XIX) and
15 with other child and family services, health
16 services, income supports, and other related as17
sistance;
18

And as if the government won't have enough fingers in your life, they want to use these visitations as ways to refer you to yet further government services and programs.

God has given parents the responsibility to raise children, not the State. If parents need help, it is the place of family and church and community to help them, not the State.

The government has it's place and this is not it.