Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Questions and Answers

Hope from Humor Hangout left a comment to the previous post that had a question I would like to address. She asked:

What is freecycling and why are the guardians of it so snooty?

Great question, Hope!

You can learn all about Freecycle by going to their main website at
It's an umbrella organization that heads up local egroups of people who want to give away items they no longer need rather than just throwing them away, and also for people who like to get free stuff and who would prefer to see if somebody has the widget you need before running out and buying one.

It's a great idea, I thought, so I joined several groups in my area. I often have things to give away but don't have the time or energy to shlepp it to the thrift store to drop off, etc. I also love a freebie as much as the next girl.

What I didn't know until I got into Freecycle is that the list of rules gives new meaning to the word extensive. You never saw a list of rules and regs for an egroup like the one you'll get from a Freecycle group. The rules address just about every possibility of things that could happen, and often logic has no part in the making of the rule.

I don't know if it's like this everywhere, but with the nearby group that has the Ruler-With-an-Iron-Fist, it seems that the Upper Eschalon of Freecycle prefers moderators/administrators (yes, they really do call them that) who are real **sticklers** for the rules, and who like to spend their spare time slapping group members on the hands for all manner of bad freecycle behavior, such as not putting the precisely correct subject heading in their posts, or by listing in a way that is not exactly correct. (like the time I offered an All Free Yard NON Sale) These administrators should be unwavering in their commitment to freecycle crime-stopping, and let nothing get in their way of the pursuit of Freecycling excellence.

In short, Hope, while you may think that giving away your unwanted stuff or collecting someone else's castoffs is no big deal, you are Dead Wrong. Instead, we all need to realize that:
Freecycling. is. Serious. Business.

So, if you now go and join your local Freecycle group, don't say I didn't warn ya.

Monday, November 29, 2004

They Found Me! I'm Busted!

Remember my great aggravation with the Mighty Constipated Freecyclers? Well, the fun never ends, my friends.

In a fit of frustration a few months ago I started my own rebel group "Non-constipated Freecycling" just for kicks. You know--my little way of stomping my feet and telling all the people in cyberspace who would never know it existed, that I THINK FREECYCLING IS SO FREAKIN CONSTIPATED THAT I COULD SCREAM!!!!

So today what did I find in my inbox, but a friendly note from the Ruler-With-an-Iron-Fist Freecycle Queen of my area:

Please delete your group. It is not an official Freecycle group and in any case wouldn't be approved by me.Your group has been declared ROGUE to Freecycle.org and that could mean a legal cease & desist order should you refuse to delete your group.

Thank you,
Constipated Freecycle Queen
My State New Group Approver
Nearby County Freecycle Group Owner

You hear that, blogosphere? I'm ROGUE! ROGUE, I say!!
I'm bad, you know it.......watch out, Dolly Mama is on the loose.....never know what she's gonna try to pull next, nosirree.....

I wrote her back, of course:

The constipation never ceases!
I shall cease and desist. Please alert your authorities.
Why would it need to be approved by you?

And so a chapter of my life has ended. The Non-constipated Freecycling group is now a thing of the past. (sniff, sniff) I'll get over it...eventually.

Monday, November 22, 2004

So, wanna hear about my weekend???

I know you're all just on the edge of your seats waiting to hear about my weekend, so I won't make you wait any longer. As most of you distinctly remember, I'm sure, I went to a weekend seminar for a course I am taking to become a Certified Natural Health Professional. My brave fireman husband stayed home with our 6 kids (including one who is still breastfeeding), and I packed up my pillow and breastpump, and hit the road.

The seminar was about Body Systems. It was amazing to see how interrelated all the body is. Just amazing. I don't know how anybody could not believe in an intelligent creator of the universe after learning all that I did. The medical approach to health care focuses so much on splitting the body up into parts. We have doctors that specialize in feet, butts, hearts, tummy troubles, the brain, ears/nose/throat, and so on, but that is such a disservice to the person. It's all interconnected, and when something is wrong with one thing, it's not an isolated situation. It's indicative of something else that has gone wrong and caused the body to lose it's balance.

I could go on and on, but I won't. The point is that I have been on this path for a long time, and this seminar helped me greatly expand my understanding of the human body, helped me to appreciate the body and it's power to heal itself more, and gave me some tools that I can start applying in my life immediately, PLUS has helped me to know better where to look for answers in the future when new things come up. It was fascinating, I am really enjoying getting to reflect on the things I learned, I am thrilled at how much I still remember (there was SO much information, I was afraid my brain might not hold it all in!), and I am looking forward to learning more in future seminars. The next one near me is in February, which seems like a long time from now....

I got to stay overnight with my buddy Sooz, which was another big treat for me. We haven't seen each other since summer. Usually when Sooz and I get together we spend it hanging out while also taking care of our 10 kids (her 4, my 6) so it was pretty darn nice for me to get to kick back and not be interrupted by any kidlets. We got to talk and shoe shop and she introduced me to the mighty fine music of Coldplay, all of which was very fun. It's literally been 13 years since I have slept alone (no joke!) and so I was understandably Very Excited about the idea of getting to sleep all alone. It was great until around 4 or 5 am when my boobs were exploding and her cats were yowling and howling outside the door. At least I enjoyed the sleep I got.

My nursing baby did GREAT without me, which I was really happy about. I had been very worried that he would somehow be terribly traumatized by my absense.

My husband really outdid himself by having the kids clean their areas, worked on some house stuff that he knew needed to be done before our family members come to stay with us for a Thanksgiving visit, and basically seemed to do a stellar job. The kids were happy and relaxed, the house looked much better than it did when I left, and everything was under control. I am married to a fine wine, it seems. He has improved with age. :) Many moons ago if I dared to go out of town (and took all the kids with me!) I would come home to a house that looked like a tornado had ripped through it. Those days are gone my friend, I'm happy to say!

Now I'm gearing up for my husband's parents and his sister's family to land here on Wed., staying til Saturday. Lots to do, little time to get it done. I've got my work cut out for me, as they say....

Monday, November 15, 2004

How Do YOU Spell Relief?

I've been dreading today. We had a meeting scheduled with various special ed teachers at the school in regards to our son Izzy Man. He was born 3 months premature, and has some delays and behaviors that we were concerned about. A month or so ago we got the ball rolling for a bunch of testing and evaluation to be done so we could hopefully figure out what was wrong and what could be done to help him.

As the weeks have been marching along, getting closer to the meeting day, I was feeling increasing dread. It's one thing to know that some abstract this or that is not quite right about your child. It's an entirely other thing to be sitting at a table full of concerned experts who might give you some sort of official diagnosis of something you don't want to hear. I was so afraid that they were going to tell me something I didn't already know, or something I didn't want to believe. I was afraid of hearing the word "autistic." I was afraid that they would look at me and think that my son has problems because I'm not a good enough mother. I even had paranoid thoughts that they would decide that my child would be better off without us, and take him away. I know that sounds extreme, but I think that when you have a child whose life began with other people calling the shots, locked up in the NICU breadbox for 5 weeks, you always have some part of you that is afraid that somebody else can rip your life out from under you through no fault of your own.

So, anyhow, I forced myself to cling to rational thoughts through the weekend, made it to today, and my husband and I attended the meeting. Happily, there were no big scary words used to put a label on my Izzy Man. We didn't learn anything we didn't already know. We were able to get a good plan going that should help him to improve in all areas of concern, and it seemed that everyone in attendance thought that although he is delayed in some areas, with help he should catch up and be fine eventually. It was very encouraging to hear that. It's what I already believed most of the time, but it's nice to have someone else's opinion to hold onto for the days when you worry that your child might not ever be quite right.....

The guidance counselor was in attendance at the meeting and he told us that our two oldest children were some of the very finest students he has ever had in class for his entire teaching career, and just complimented us on them up one side and down the other. That was really great, and nice to know that nobody thought we were such wretched parents as to warrant taking our kids away!

Other relief situations included me having a sort of epiphany the other night as I was ruminating about how much I dislike doing duty in the 3s and 4s class. I realized that all I needed to do was send a little note to the lady who drafted me into the job, telling her that I quit. So, I got that sent out in the mail on Saturday, so as of today I should be officially off that hook. Yay! Why didn't I think of that sooner?

My UTI seems to have been healed through the help of homeopathy and holistic care that I did for myself over the weekend. Yay!

My 12 year old seems to be almost all recovered from his illness.

So, it may be a Monday, but it's a good one.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Wah, wah, siss boom bah!

The hubby is away hunting for the weekend. I have a "funny" habit of having things go wrong when he's out of reach. This weekend has been no different.

It started with Friday night when I returned home from taking my 12 year old someplace. On my way to the house, carrying 20 month old Squiggy Magoo, I tripped on my way up our outdoor steps and fell into the stairs. I blocked with my hands and arms to provide a barrier on the baby's back, so that he didn't get hurt. He narrowly missed getting his head bashed into a concrete step. I ended up with 2 hurt wrists, 2 hurt knees, 1 hurt foot, and a hurt back. Nice.

From there I discovered that we had a plumbing problem under the kitchen sink. Just a little trouble there...like all the water that went down either side of the sink OR the dishwasher would come shooting out into the cabinet and then flood the floor. I was able to see the problem, just wasn't able to fix it. I tried several things, while enjoying the fun of sitting on the floor hunching under the sink, and then trying to get up again with my previously mentioned sore knees, wrists, foot, and back. Great timing! It was 10pm and I had a dishwasher full of stuff needing to get clean, so I did what I had to do and used tape to solve my problem. I wanted duct tape but couldn't find any, so used wide masking tape instead. Looks stupid, but has held strong! Just call me Pioneer Woman.....

By Saturday my 12 year old was sick, the 6 year old was getting the diarrhea end of the Montezuma's Revenge that has been going around our family, the 20 months old still had it, and I was feeling kind of funky. By night time Saturday I realized that I had a UTI which started causing me such distress that I was in misery and pulling out all the stops with homeopathy, vitamins, water consumption, etc. to try to help myself. That took until something like 2am when I was able to go to sleep.

Morning arrived nice and early with kids at my bedside saying things like, "Why didn't you wake us up for school?" and "I'm poopy!" Time to get crackin' Dolly Mama! Nobody cares about your troubles. Change those diapers, make that breakfast, explain the days of the week AGAIN to the 6 year old.....

Fortunately, the hubby has gotten a deer and will be home in a few hours. My 12 year old is feeling somewhat better. I am not so bad off that I am miserable, which is a great improvement.

So, in celebration of survival, I've got a pot of chicken soup on. Thought I would share the recipe with you. This is a soup that is a big hit around here. It's easy and delicious.

Dolly Mama's Perfect Chicken Soup

In a large stock pot combine:
4 cups or so of chopped, cooked chicken
1 cup of chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots (if you buy the matchstick carrots it is faster)
1 small chopped onion (we prefer the sweet onions)
12 cups water
9 cups chicken boullion
half teaspoon marjoram
half teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 Tablespoon parsley

You will also need your choice of rice or pasta. About a pound of pasta or 2 cups of rice.

Throw it all together in the pot and bring to a boil. Then let simmer for 20 minutes or so. (less simmer time if you have the matchstick carrots and the pasta or quick rice, longer for bigger carrot and brown rice) Voila! Your soup is ready.

You can add more veggies, rice, or pasta, etc. This is a very forgiving recipe. Make it with what you have. We have had it with less chicken and more carrots, or whatever we had on hand. We love it every time.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

I Don't Know Why She Swallowed The Fly, Perhaps She'll Die... -or- The Marriage Article that has REALLY TICKED ME OFF!!!

Parenting and marriage advice from Michael and Debi Pearl (the founders of the Christian ministry No Greater Joy), is often controversial. Some people love 'em, some hate 'em, and a few like me alternate between those, usually hoovering somewhere in between. Today, I'm experiencing general disdain.

No Greater Joy sends out a free bi-monthly publication filled with parenting and marriage advice, homeschooling tips, and various Christian living articles. Although I don't agree with all of what the Pearl's teach, I usually do enjoy the magazine. Well, this month's issue arrived today, and I am not happy.

Debi Pearl has written a book to women entitled Created to be His Help Meet. Included in the article about the new book was an excerpt from Chapter 8 – Wisdom to Understand Your Man.

Where to begin...where to begin....so many things I hate about this article....

First off, Debi has decided that there are three basic types of men, and this of course directly correlates to God's three main personality traits and the Trinity. Never you mind that this is all made up by her and that there is no factual basis for this....it's the stuff that chapter 8 is built upon, and that is all that matters.

Yes, well, getting right to the three types of men:

1. Mr. Command Man

2. Mr. Visionary

3. Mr. Steady

Mr. Command Man is of course very dominating. A natural leader, if you will. Debi says, "They are known for expecting their wives to wait on them hand and foot. Most of them do not want their wives involved in any project that prevents them from serving him." Sounds great, eh?

What's a girl to do if she's married to one of these diamonds-in-the-rough? "A woman married to a Command Man has to earn her place in his heart by proving that she will stand by her man, faithful, loyal, and obedient. When she has won his confidence, he will treasure her to the extreme."

Yes, that's right gals...you have to EARN YOUR PLACE IN HIS HEART by being as faithful and loyal and obedient as a German Shepherd, and then you will have WON his confidence and your husband will treasure you! Good girl! Good girl! (pat-pat-pat and a scratch behind the ears for you!)

Debi also shares that "If you are married to a king, honor and reverence is something you must give him on a daily basis if you want him to be a benevolent, honest, strong and fulfilled man of God. He has the potential to become an amazing leader. Never shame him, and do not belittle him or ignore his accomplishments."

I guess he's only strong and capable as long as his wife is bowing low before him, never daring to do anything outside of his perfect will for her. Of course, it would all be the bad wife's fault if this man were to not meet his full potential.

"A Command Man who has gone bad is likely to be abusive. It is important to remember that much of how a Command man reacts depends on his wife’s reverence toward him."

You see that his success or failure is dependent on her, don't you? And how he treats her depends on her as well.

Basically, Mr. Command Man has great potential to either be a fabulous leader or a giant ass, and it all depends on you. Better get your servitude on, wifey.

Mr. Visionary is a "shaker, changer, and dreamer" that Debi parallels with the Holy Spirit. Here are a few of the things that Debi has to say about these guys:

"These men have tunnel vision, tenaciously focusing on single issues. They will easily pick up and relocate without any idea of what they are going to do for a living at their new location."

"If they are not wise, they can be real jerks who push their agendas, forcing others to go their way."

"Most will just sit around the house and complain, but in their souls they are Visionaries."

"They are often gifted men or inventors."

"If you are married to one of these fellows, expect to be rich, or poor, rarely middle class. He may invest everything in a chance, lose it all, or make a fortune, but he will not do well working 8-5 in the same place for 30 years, and retire to live the good life. If he works a regular job, he may either not show up half the time or he will work like a maniac 80 hours a week and love every minute. He may purchase an alligator farm in Florida or a ski resort in Colorado, or he may buy an old house trailer for $150.00 with hopes of fixing it up and selling it for $10,000.00, only to find out that it is so deteriorated that it can’t be moved. He will then have the wife and all the kids help him tear the top off and carry the scraps to the dump, saving the appliances in the already crowded garage, and then making a farm trailer out of the axles. Now that he has a farm trailer and no animals, expect him to get a deal on three old sick cows, and…. He may never be rich in money, but he will be rich in experience."

Now, I am imagining that there are many desperate wives of over-the-top visionaries out there who will read Debi's words and be blessed to find a way to cope with her situation and manage to stay in some semblance of happiness. I won't minimize the value of that. Whatever it takes to get you through, sister.

Some of her advice includes:

"Every Mr.Visionary needs a good, wise, prudent, stable wife who has a positive outlook on life."

"The wife of Mr.Visionary should be just a
little bit reckless and blind in one eye if she is going to enjoy the ride."

"Learn how to be flexible, and learn how to always be loyal to your man. You will be amazed at how much happier you will be and how much fun life can be if you learn to just go with the flow–his flow. Life will become an adventure."

"The Visionary man needs his woman’s support, and he will appreciate it when it is freely given. Without her, he feels alone."

"Someday, when her husband is assured that he can trust her with his heart, he will let her be his navigator—and still take the credit for it."

"Over time, this type of man will become more practical."

So, once again, it's the wife's job to pave the way for her husband's behavior, good or bad, and eventually what she can hope for is to have earned his trust, and that he might be more practical as he ages. Lucky girl, eh?

The Steady Man is paralleled to God and Jesus. "God is as steady as an eternal rock, caring, providing, and faithful, like a priest—like Jesus Christ." He doesn't make snap decisions, isn't prone to controversy, is hardworking, quiet, and content. He doesn't tend to stray from his wife. He puts no undue pressure on her and creates no strife. On the down side:

"You may be discontent because he is slow and cautious to take authority and make firm decisions. Bossy women can see their husband’s lack of judgment and call their Steady husbands “wishy-washy”. His steadiness makes him the last to change, so he seems to be a follower because he is seldom out front forming up the troops. There is no rapture in him, just a slow, steady climb, with no bells or whistles. You wish he would just make up his mind, and that he would take a stand in the church, or that he would be firm in child discipline. He seems to just let people use him. There are times you wish he would boldly tell you what to do so you would not have to carry all the burden of decision-making.

Some women equate their husband’s wise caution and lack of open passion as being unspiritual. His lack of spontaneity and open boldness may look like indifference to spiritual things. He is like deep, deep water. The very depth makes the movement almost imperceptible."

"The trials he seems to cause you are really your discontented responses to what you consider to be his shortcomings. If you didn’t attempt to change him into something other than what God created him to be, he would not cause you any grief."

There it is again: If you're unhappy, it's your own fault! Women, you hold all the keys to your happiness, simply by turning a blind eye, giving up your hopes and dreams, capitalizing on your husband's good points, minimizing his faults, and putting on a happy face.

Watch out, you wives of Mr. Steady:

"When a woman is married to a bossy, dominant man, people marvel that she is willing to serve him without complaint, so she comes out looking like a wonderful woman of great patience and sacrifice. A woman married to the impulsive Visionary Man who puts the family through hardships, will stir amazement in everyone. “How can she tolerate his weird ideas with such peace and joy?” She comes out being a real saint, maybe even a martyr. But if you are married to a wonderful, kind, loving, serving man, and you are just a little bit selfish, then you are likely to end up looking like an unthankful shrew. He helps you, adores you, protects you, and is careful to provide for you, and you are still not satisfied. Shame on you!"

Yep..shame on you. There we are with the German Shepherd thing again. I wonder if the husband gets to smack us with a rolled up newspaper, too.




I believe that Debi Pearl is trying her best to be true to what she sees as instruction to women in the Bible. Admittedly, her goal is to instruct women, not men, so it is no surprise that this chapter does not ask the men to take any responsibility for themselves.

I will agree that there is much to be said for understanding one's husband and for doing all you can to make your marriage a happy one. I've turned a blind eye many a time and done mental gymnastics to help myself "get happy" when things were not to my liking. It actually works quite well (on a limited basis), and in a large way I can credit my 13 year marriage holding together and still being happy to much of this type of thinking. So, I don't mean to discount everything in this excerpt. As is common, there are some worthwhile nuggets of gold in there.

HOWEVER, what I am really, truly weary of is the way that so many female Christian writers so openly share their belief that women are so dreadful and so powerful. Women are to blame for their own problems. Women are to blame for their husband's problems. Women's desire for security, love, tenderness, friendship, intellectual pursuits, and most of all respect, are what cause problems. We just want too darn much. What we should be doing, it seems, is grasping that by simply being born female and for getting married, our main purpose in life is to become nothing. I have observed women who have actually turned this sort of thinking into a religion. The one who can think less, work more, put out more, turn a blind eye more, do without more of every creature comfort..... is the winner. These women seem to embrace all of this as being all of what God wants them to be. And it's mighty convenient for the husband who is low on personal responsibility, too.

The power aspect is that while we are doing all of this pretending and dying to everything outside of this role, we are the main influence shaping our marriage and our children. The whole "hand that rocks the cradle" thing, you know. While I think there is a lot of truth to that, does the entire responsibility of the human race rightly fall on the shoulders of women?

I also think that this line of thinking is an affront to men. I realize that many a man, perhaps even most, would greatly enjoy being coddled and covered-for all the days of his life, never having to face up to his shortcomings in the form of a wife who would dare to bring it to his attention. But, really, aren't there men who possess such strength of character and security in their manhood that they want more out of a marriage than a wife who is a glorified dog? Aren't there men who find this message that they are so inept and likely to be derailed from their full potential by any directive or criticism from the one who knows them best and shares their bed insulting? Is it somehow un-Christian for a man to desire an equal relationship with his wife?

Is it to be ignored that women also have been made in God's image, and that the traits that are common to our femininity are from God and just as much a part of His personality and vision for us as well as that which is masculine? Is it to be ignored that the Bible tells us that we are considered equal by God? Is it to be ignored that Jesus reached out to women in his ministry, showing no disdain for them, or that women played key roles in the early Christian church?

Where is the relief for every wife who is losing hope because she is miserable having to turn her brain off every day of her life? Where is the redemption for the longsuffering woman of an irresponsible man? Where is the motivation for weak men to grow up and stand strong within their own masculinity? When will women stop being looked at as Evil Eves and Scheming Jezebels? Where is the balance?

Book Review: Bastard Out of Carolina

An illegitimate child born in South Carolina in the early 1950s tells her story of hard times, poverty, a rough-but-loving extended family, and the horrors of sexual abuse. Dorothy Allison writes this story so convincingly, it is nearly impossible for me to believe that this is truly a work of fiction. Her ability to get inside her main character's (nicknamed Bone) head and know her thoughts and feelings in such a frightfully true way is haunting.

The story starts telling of Bone's mother and extended family, and the fierce love and loyalty they have for one another despite being what society considered "trash." Her hardworking young mother finds love and loses it in a tragic accident, leaving her with 2 young daughters and vulnerable and lonely. She is then courted gently for 2 years by the man Bone comes to call Daddy Glen.

Daddy Glen's marriage to Bone's mama is where things start to plummet downhill. When things turned truly ugly in Bone's life, the description was such that I felt sick and dizzy. The tragedy just deepens from there. I was actually so horrified that I decided not to finish the book. However, as a testimony to the skill of Dorothy Allison's writing I suppose, I couldn't stay away. I was driven to know if there would be any redemption in Bone's life, or at least some satisfying revenge.

Sadly, sickeningly, there isn't.

I don't know if I can recommend this book or not. On the one hand, the writing is superb. Anybody who can write this story and get me to finish it has to be extremely talented. It's a well-told story that will make your stomach turn, make your head hurt, and make your heart ache.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Book Review: A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley

It's not often that a book or movie surprises me, but A Thousand Acres did. This modern adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear focuses on a farming family with dark secrets and lots of scheming. I had never read King Lear and was not familiar with the story. Perhaps if you are, the story might be less exciting. Although the story is quite dark and the secrets dreadful, I loved the way this book shocked and caught me off guard. There were many times while I was reading along that I would suddenly gasp and cover my mouth, getting the attention of whoever was in the room with me: "What?! WHAT?!" :)

The author does a superb job of weaving her story. It makes for a fast-moving, exciting read. Highly recommended.

Movie Review: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

The cover said something like "A smart, sexy comedy!" Be not fooled: there is nothing sexy or funny about this film, and if it's smart, then I must be stupid. Of course, what could I expect from the people who brought us that wacked-out piece-of-junk movie Lost in Translation?

Eternal Sunshine is a story of two people who meet, become a couple, move in together, their relationship goes sour, and they each end up having the memory of the other erased. During the erasing procedure the male lead (played by Jim Carrey) realizes that he does not want to lose what he had with his girlfriend, and somehow the two of them manage to get back together on the other side of their brain damage.

The movie is confusing, depressing, ugly, boring, and fails to make us care about the characters. Jim Carrey already proved that he could play a serious role in The Truman Show. This time he not only takes on a serious role, but shows us how beat he can look. Kate Winslet, the lovely lead in Titanic, joins him in looking like crap.

If you've never taken drugs and want to have the experience of a bad trip, this movie might be the ticket for you. (I've never taken drugs either....just guessing) If you want a smart, sexy, comedy, look elsewhere.

Monday, November 01, 2004

100% Devil-Free:
a boring little ramble about what I did for Halloween

As those of you who have been faithful readers of Dolly Mama may remember, my child was recently told by her Wednesday night church teacher that when you go Trick-or-Treating you are "opening yourself up to the devil." Well, I was so irked by this cheap attempt to manipulate my kid with mindless legalism, that I decided we were going Trick-or-Treating this year for the first time ever.

In years past we have mainly attended church parties on Halloween since we have never lived in an area where there are other people Trick-or-Treating. This year our town decided to have ToT night on Saturday (I guess it would be too offensive to God to have it on Sunday--I live in a very small, conservative town), and we had a church party on Sunday night. So, voila! An opportunity was born. Two Halloween festivities for the price of one!

My husband and I took all 6 of our children plus two friends out to Trick-or-Treat and we had a lot of fun. We started out when it was still light, and it was so fun to see so many people from the community out with their little kids all dressed up, excited, and having fun. Very cute stuff for the most part, and confirmed for me that Halloween is basically about family fun and the things kids love: dressing up and getting candy.

The kids were even more thrilled once it got dark, since of course we don't normally go running around in the night. The weather was warm and windy, so that really added to the fun of the whole thing.

On the way home I asked the kids if they felt they had done anything that could have possibly opened themselves up to the devil, and of course they all said no. It was good to have an opportunity to address the kind of stuff that the teacher said by letting the kids see first-hand what ToTing was all about. Hopefully this will help them be critical thinkers in the future.

The most evil thing about Halloween in our neck of the woods is the candy. Definitely. I think church people would be better off condeming sugar than Halloween.....