Chess

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We couldn’t resist this cool chess set at my parents’ place. It won’t be long until I’m not a worthy opponent for her.

Teenager parenting for preschoolers?

The other day Hubs & I heard a story on the radio about parenting teenagers to help them resist peer pressure. I mentally tucked the information away for later, but Hubs said, “why not now?” Basically the idea is you teach kids to argue with you so they know how and can argue with their peers in a tough situation instead of following along. You know, and resist drugs, sex, and whatever they’re doing these days. I thought BB too young for this at 4, going on 5. I thought it would confuse and overwhelm her, but also thought if you want to try, why not?

So Hubs, when faced with a disagreement with BB has been challenging her to defend her position.

Tell me why it’s a good idea for you to watch TV now?

At first, she needed some coaching, but it’s really taking AND I think reducing tantrums. BB knows she has a chance to get her way. It’s not just “no.” It’s, “no, unless you can tell me why it’s a better idea than mine.” And she has given some pretty persuasive arguments.

I’ve been listening all day.
Will you brush your teeth & hair before TV?
Yes.
How about turning it off?
When you say.

So things formerly demanded are now negotiated. And her behavior has been great! Of course this will last for 2 weeks, at best, when she’s likely to turn into a troll-child with the latest development we didn’t anticipate. Phew…this childhood thing is exhausting! Yet, there’s something different about this. I mean, this technique should last through her teens, no?

Wedding clock ticking again

We have  a space in our living room, which we have long-planned for our wedding clock.  During our engagement, Hubs and I purchased a clock together, as a wedding gift to each other.  We first started it together at our wedding.  It ran in our first house, but when we moved here, we needed to do some work before we could hang it and finding the time to do it wasn’t easy.  We decided to take this Christmas vacation and get it ready.  Until now the space has lacked imagination (well, we imagined it, but it wasn’t there for others to see).  We used it as an extra space for random stuff and it was pretty blah.  Here it is right before we started working.  We had just taken down our Christmas tree.

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The first change was to remove the painted paneling, which was a mess.  We expected to find something terrible beneath it, as we wondered if it had been put up to hide something.  Things were okay underneath, so now we think it was just an accent wall put up in the ’70s when panelling was in.  Later it was painted the same red of the rest of the room.  It came down easily, but left some nasty glue behind.

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Nicky inspects our work, finding the outlets a-okay.

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Hubs made a mock-up of the clock arrangement from the old paneling.

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Later we hung the real things.

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Next, scraping and spackling.

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Then cut holes in the walls for wiring…

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…to the basement.

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The painting begins…

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… and ends.

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Finally on January 3, our 8th anniversary, we started the clock again, like we did 8 years ago in our wedding ceremony.  Perfect timing!

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Here, Hubs explains to BB why the clock has such a loud tick and another noise each minute and she begins her fascination with the buzzers.

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Standard Electric Time Company made this clock system.

The Standard Electric Time Company of Springfield, Massachusetts, made electric time systems for public buildings, private industry, schools and other institutions. The systems consist of a master clock, and secondary (or slave) clocks located in any number of rooms. The slave clocks are electrically controlled by the master clock. – Standard Electric Time Company website

Eventually we will have more of the secondary, or slave clocks, around the house, all connected to and run by this master clock.  I always felt it was the heartbeat of the house, as we can hear it all over.  We’re thrilled to have it running again!

Why I support All Girls Allowed

I have supported All Girls Allowed (AGA) for some time and posting about it on Facebook. A Facebook friend made a comment expressing concern about supporting a very Christian agency. I admit, I shared the concern, as the first mission for many Christian charities is spreading Christianity, while the other cause is secondary, a vehicle for evangelism. I don’t want to support that because I find it dishonest, even sneaky.  I do, however, want to support ending the One Child Policy and the injustices related to it – gendercide, infant abandonment, child trafficking, forced abortion, loss of family…

Soon after I began giving this thought, I received the book, A Heart for Freedom, by Chai-Ling, an autobiography of the founder of AGA. It was my first opportunity to learn more. I read it, learning Chai-Ling’s history as a student dissident in the Tiananmen Square movement, her escape to the United States, and conversion to Christianity. Knowing many born-again Christians are heavily involved in evangelism,  I wondered, what’s the real goal?  Spreading Christianity or ending the One Child Policy and helping its victims?  Although it wasn’t overtly expressed in the book, I had my suspicions about her motivation for AGA, just based on my knowledge of much missionary work.

I emailed Chai Ling, curious how she would answer my questions on the subject, being careful not to show my perspective, as I didn’t want to bias the response.

Dear  Chai-Ling,

I just finished reading your book, “A Heart for Freedom.”  Thank you for sending it and for offering the invitation to ask you direct questions. 

 I am curious about something, given your personal conversion to Christianity.  Except for asking for prayers, I see no mention of religion or evangelism on your website.  I sense, from your book, that part of your motivation for starting AGA is based upon your faith.  Another part is based upon your own past and understanding of the injustices in China that come from the One Child Policy.  I’m curious, is any part of your desire to help, a desire to spread Christianity in China through your work?  Do you proselytize to the people in China through your work?  Thank you.

 Sincerely,

Cavatica

Hi Cavatica,

 Thank you for your email and for your questions. I have forwarded this along to Chai Ling.  in answer to your questions, we would love for all people to know Christ, but we do not engage directly in proselytism in China as our primary focus is to rescue girls and mothers from gendercide and the One-Child Policy. However, we are not ashamed to share the Gospel as opportunities arise, as we believe it is the Gospel that gives us the best foundation for equal rights and justice for men and women alike. I hope it is okay for me to add you to our prayer letter and newsletter lists. Blessings and thanks again for reaching out!

 best,

Brian 

I’ve decided to continue my support of All Girls Allowed.  Why?  I believe the One Child Policy is unjust and hurting people all over China.  I do not know of any other group that is directly working to fight the policy and the related injustices.  I believe that AGA’s primary mission is to end the policy and fight the related injustices.  If they speak at times about their religious views, I’m not that concerned.  I trust that they won’t do it at the cost of their mission, as I’m convince their mission is more important to them than converting others to Christianity.  I’m not concerned that the AGA website has a dose of Christianity throughout.  It’s who they are and they believe it has power, so it would be disingenuous if it was not there.  They believe in the power of prayer and are using the Internet to harness that power.  I do believe that their prayer, and that of interested others, does intensify their focus.  So, in the end, I will continue to support AGA allowed when I can and will remain interested in their progress, as I share their primary mission.

Christmas

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I didn’t take many pictures, but I have a few to share from two family celebrations.

Chess

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I didn’t plan to teach her chess, but she insisted. It’s sticking. She’s currently planning strategies for herself and Daddy.  I’m in big trouble.

Hunting trip

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We set out into the wilds, The Hubs, The Bing, & I. We hunted, finally finding, then felling our prey – a perfectly pagan Frazier fir. It’s a little early for us to decorate for Christmas, but we have plans for right after 12/25 and the tree will be coming down early this year.

Ps. In case you’re wondering, we’re not pagans. We aren’t religious. But we do enjoy a variety of holiday traditions and this time of year is full of many lovely traditions that we enjoy. Happy holidays, everyone. No matter what or how you celebrate.

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