Sunday, March 27, 2011

Controversial Literature & the Bible

Flashback to the past:  10th grade. Honors English class.  The book list included a title that had controversially inappropriate segments.  I chose to read the alternate book instead.  One night as I was babysitting, I was doing my homework and was shocked to find that the alternate book had parts that were graphically worse than anything I had heard might be in the first book choice I was given.  I was so upset I complained to the teacher, had a meeting with my parents, the English department, and the principal, and an article was even written in the newspaper about this situation...the photographer wouldn't let me smile in the picture, which I didn't understand.  In the crux of the most overloaded and overwhelming schedule of my entire high school career, the English department told me that if I wanted any changes made on the book list, that I would have to research and find a more appropriate title to replace the book I read (which was something I was not able to do--that year I had not the time, resources, or experience to qualify me to be able to read several other novels as options for a cultural study and then select one to replace the title I had been assigned to read).  In the meeting I was also told that I needed to "broaden [my] horizons."  And that was it.  The controversial literature is still on the list.  They won. 
Fast forward to the present:  I have read all of the books of scripture more than once, except for the Old Testament.  I have never read the entire Old Testament and am currently working on completing it (before this sounds too self-serving, the goal to read the whole book of scripture coincidentally started when I was in 10th grade as well...I'm on the ssslllloooooooww track for completing this goal).  I was most worried about reading the book of Isaiah and found that it wasn't as hard to understand as everyone says it is.  I found the book of Jeremiah equally as difficult to study as the book of Isaiah, and by the time I got to the book of Ezekiel, I was SEARCHING for a disclaimer similar to the note on the Song of Solomon that says it's not inspired scripture, because I didn't want to keep reading it.  As a "critic", I would segment the Book of Ezekiel into about 3 sections.  Part 1 includes a chunk of chapters about a wild dream--harder for me to interpret than ANYTHING I ever read in Isaiah.  Part 2 consists of what I would call the controversial chapters I never dreamed would be in the Bible, including sexual metaphors, and Part 3 is the part of Ezekiel that I think redeemed it's value enough to get it included in the Bible (chapters 33-37).  Sometimes I wonder if the book of Ezekiel was included in the Bible, solely for purpose that we needed the prophecy about the stick of Judah and the stick of Joseph--scripture master scripture: Ezek. 37:15-19. 

At any rate, I'm not trying to speak sacrilegiously or be disrespectful, but I've had a hard time deciphering how I feel about some of the things I've read in the Old Testament, especially considering the way I've been taught to speak up and take a stand for things I believe in (even at a young age).  I'm getting really tired about reading about circumcision, women in travail, and most recently finding the sexual metaphors that surprised me.  Part of me feels like it was such a different world back then, and part of me feels like it was exactly the same as today (part of me also feels there's more uplifting moments to be found in the book of Numbers than in the book of Ezekiel, ha ha!).  Maybe those things have to be in there, though, and we have to talk so directly because our society is so degraded.  I don't know.  What I do know, though is that I can definitely say that reading the Bible has broadened my looks like those English teachers have won again.  : )  

For a while I wondered if reading the book of Ezekiel before that experience would have changed my stance in 10th grade.  That thought really bothered me.  But I now believe that I would have made the same choice, because just this past week, I was reading a novel that looked cute by the cover and after skimming the notes on the back, I thought it would be worth reading.  Only 8 pages in I realized the author was going to take the novel in a direction I had no desire to read--she being crass and crude.  I quit reading and recycled the book.  So I've reconciled my conscience & still stand by my 10th grade choice, believing that I did what was right in the only way I knew how to do it.

My older self now understands that you simply cannot and should not ban all literature that seems controversial (and I can see where the English teachers were coming from).  I understand that while reading, you will inevitably find topics that you don't like--even in the Bible.   However, I still believe it's an essential practice to seek after and promote wholesome entertainment & literature.  I would rather err on the conservative side...that's my favorite choice.

What are your thoughts?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Comedy Central at the Borden's

*I have written down several little clips from our lives in the past few months...I think they're all might only have enough time to read a few, so pick your favorite color, and enjoy those ones. : )

In January, our friend, Rhys, was over, and the boys decided to make their own can't quite hear the music playing on Tyson's instrument, but you can imagine...please enjoy my son's DEBUT BAND!

Tyson: Mommy! Mommy! Have you seen Toy Story 75?
D-Jo: No, I haven’t seen that one!

Tyson: It’s going to be totally awesome. It’s about a gooey pirate that fights another pirate and pushes him into the water. I want to see that one!

(I still don't really understand what a gooey pirate is, but apparently there's such a thing as a gooey spider, now, too.)

Tyson: I’m going to build a clubhouse in our backyard. That wiwll take lots and lots of wood and paint. And I will make a sign that says: No dogs! No Giruls! No ‘Dults! And No Babies! Only little boys and squeaky sharks will be allowed.

Early January, 2011:
Tyson has been in a phase of name calling that we’re working on breaking…I don’t know where he picked it up…possibly my brothers…. I used to think it was all a silly game until we had this conversation:

Tyson: Mommy, you’re a bush! Ha ha!
D-Jo: What?!
Tyson: Mommy, you’re a rhino!!!
D-Jo: Well, you’re a silly goose.
Tyson: You’re the letter F!!! Ha ha!
Mitch: If she’s the letter F, then you’re the letter W!
Tyson (cut to the quick): DAD! Don’t say that!

Tyson: Mom, I love you more than…one…deer…poop. More than one deer poop!

*I laughed so hard, because he was being so sincere!  His other most memorable love statement was...
"Mom, I love you more than a dazzling alligator that doesn't listen to his mommy!...I have no idea where he gets this stuff.

Me: Tyson, will you help save these clothes from the laundry monster? We have to put them away.

Tyson: Monsters are not real. They are fake.
Me: I don’t know, we have to put these clothes away, or the laundry monster will get them.
Tyson: No, Mom! They are not real!
Me: Oh, really? How do you know that?
Tyson (eyes wide & jaw protruding): Heavenly Father DID NOT make monsters!

End of January, 2011

In Scripture study before work, Mitchell was reading. Sometimes he gets bored or tries to use voices to keep everyone else interested/awake. Well, this morning he was using a Radio Announcer voice. It was so hilarious. As he was wrapping up scripture study, he stayed in his radio announcer voice and was voicing what the kids were doing. I was laughing and said something like “Quit it!” or “Knock it off”, and Tyson smiling told Mitch to stop it, and we started throwing pillows at him. On the spot, in his funny voice he started making up alliterations, “Pummeling the Papa with Pillows is Perceived to be…(pause to think)...imPolite!”

That was it—I was busting a gut laughing. Throughout the day he would say things on purpose with a /p/ at the beginning of as many words as he could. He had me rolling…not to mention how amazed I was at his MAD ALLITERATION SKILLS!!! I could never do that on the spot. Mitch is one of a kind!

Emmett likes to steal my hair clips and necklaces and run away with them like it's a day at church he wore my necklace almost the whole meeting and laughed about it...this is my blackmail picture:

Jan. ‘11

Tyson likes the scripture story about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. I had read it to him at night time…he requested it. The next day we were reading Bob books and he was sounding out words and after a long pause and out of the blue he says to me, “Ebba-a-ezzer is a big word.” I was like, “You’re right, son! King Nebuchadnezzar IS a big word! Now, let’s sound out the 3 letter word right here.” : ) I’m really happy, though, that he thinks about the scripture stories throughout the days. It sure makes a difference to teach your kids scriptures while they’re young.


Tyson was proud of himself the other day, because he told me, “I’m doing good with my words!”

He’s been using words like “rude”, “irritated”, “fuhuserated”, and “noggin”. Yesterday he was building a building with blocks and he looks at me and said, “Mom! Building and building are the same!” What a bright little whipper-snapper!!!!

3/15/11--Emmett crawls on the counter and down again...5 minutes later, Mitch comes home from work and apparently saves the fish. THE NEXT DAY, when I wondered why the fish wasn't swimming very much, he says to me..."Did you know the fish was laying on the counter when I got home yesterday?" Don't worry folks, we have a hearty little goldfish, and she's still alive. She's even past the shock that lasted for almost 2 days...I thought she was going to get flushed 2 or 3 times, but she's now swimming strong. Whew!

We own a PET SQUID.  You heard me.  The next two pictures are PROOF.  For the last 6 MONTHS, my children have been carting our "squid" around the back yard and front yard.  Occasionally it will come in the house, and Tyson reminds everyone that the squid is NOT allowed in the house, and he will open the door and THROW it outside.  When the neighbor's palm frond fell into our backyard that day LAST FALL, I never knew how it would change our playtime.  It's been wonderful.  Our squid is on her last string (recently, she had a "squid fever", so who knows where this is headed...she used to be green...then you can't even call her yellow, and her "camticals" (tentacles) are getting ripped off by the baby, much to Tyson's dismay, so I thought I should document her presence in our lives:

We were headed to a family dinner, and Mitch was trying to get Tyson in his seat faster, so he was playing with pincher hands to get him...
Mitch:  Oh no!  I'm a pincher bug!
Tyson (gets away/safe in his seat):  No, you were not a pincher bug, you were a crab.
Mitch:  Sometimes Mom is a crab.
D-Jo (shocked):  Hey!
Tyson: No, Dad!  Mom is not a crab.  Sometimes she is crabby.

Mitch had me laughing & Tyson got me rolling, so Mitch gave Tyson a high five for the "slam" they made at my expense.  Oh, it was classic!

3/20/11--Tyson was saying his prayers before bed.
Tyson:  "Thanks for the safari at church (they really did have a safari lesson), and thanks that I got to play at Grandma Borden's, ....In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."
Me:  Good job!   We should probably remember to keep praying for the people in Japan.
Tyson (as he put his hands behind his head to lay down):  Peeee essss...and help them find their families and get their food in Japan....

It was really a sweet prayer.  I thought it was hilarious that he said, "P.S." in the correct context, when he doesn't know exactly what it means.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Dear Reader in Japan...

We've had some hits on our blog from Japan this week.  We just want those readers to know that we have heard about the earthquake and tsunami and we sincerely hope that you, your family, and friends are okay! 

The Borden's

Thursday, March 10, 2011

His Last Day Being 0

Jenny (one of my best friends since 4th grade) happens to have a baby boy who is now one of my kids' best friends..."THE HUDSON HORNET"!  Well, today was a special day, because we got to spend it with Hudson, and it was his LAST DAY BEING ZERO (years old)!

I would like to say that we did something TOTALLY AWESOME today, but we just hung out at the house and in the back yard.  When Hudson comes to our house, regular life (feeding time, nap time, and play time) seems a little more chaotic, and a little more fun.  My boys love it, and they like to act like Hudson's bigger brothers...yes, Emmett tries, too, even though he's ONLY 6 months older.  They both lean down when they speak to him, and use big eyes, and are extra dramatic.  This used to freak Hudson out when he was smaller, and I'd have to take him to a quieter place for a few minutes so he could feel like he was in a calm home again, but now he just laughs at my boys.
Hudson makes this funny noise that his parents call the helicopter sound.  It really just makes us all laugh, even if he's crying a little while he's making it.  When Mitch is around and Hudson makes that noise, he calls Baby Hudson a "Baby Wookie".  I just laugh harder, because it sounds exactly like that!
Some of my favorite moments with Hudson:
  • When he was just a few months old, he was having a ROUGH morning, and I was changing his diaper and he was crying like it was the end of the world, and I said to him, "Hey, I'm taking good care of you.  You need to stop crying; you're okay!"  and he quit crying ON THE SPOT.  It was so cute.  I thought, "Well, if that's all it takes...." : )
  • A few months ago, Tyson was saying silly things that made no sense and weren't actually funny to me, but Hudson was laughing his head off.  I guess there's this baby/toddler language that they both understand, because it was totally over my head
  • A couple weeks ago, Hudson went to a Volleyball game with us.  I was worried the loud noise would upset him, but he was making little cheering sounds right along with us.  He was the happiest I'd seen him and stayed that way for the entire game.  It was so cute!

Hudson is a good little boy, and he's precious. 
We love him, and love having him come play with us. 
Happy Birthday tomorrow, little guy!!!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Lesson I Learned

(March 4th Journal)

Well, my nephew had a party tonight. It had an awesome, pirate theme. My boys adore Caden & were excited to have a fun time—and it turned out great (most of it, anyway).

Tyson was the only kid wearing an eye patch when I showed up, and he wore it practically the whole time, which cracks me up. After he got his totally awesome balloon pirate sword, he lifted the eye-patch up so he could run faster and jab better. All of a sudden, he had a melt-down on the playground, though, and began running to me in shambles. For a couple seconds I braced myself to take my usual “You’re just fine” approach to the situation until he told me another kid had thrown sand in his eyes. The closer he got to me, I could tell this melt-down was a merited one. Once he was in my arms I could see that the little tears by his eyes were actually filled with muddy sand. He was literally crying sand out of his eyes. I felt so bad for him, but I still kept my cool.
At the bathroom, I cupped my hands and filled them with water while he tried to open blink his eyes open in the water to wash out the sand. After doing this several times for each eye and thinking we were making progress, I pulled on his little face under his eye to see inside his lower eyelid. Much to my dismay, his eye was still lined with granules of sand. That finally ticked me off enough and I muttered something like, “I can’t believe that kid actually threw sand directly INTO your eyes. Who would do that?! That…little…jerk!” I knew I probably shouldn’t name call in front of Tyson like that, and I never have done that until tonight, but I was so mad that I justified by saying that kid deserved it…after all, what he did to my kid was RUDE! But I immediately started to regret what I said when I noticed Tyson reacting to the situation by stamping his little foot and thinking about what he was going to say about the kid, too. But my heart softened in the instant he exclaimed, “That…little….goof-ball!” I smiled and we kept washing out sand from his eyes. It really was awful and he kept crying out little granules of sand. I had to remind him over and over not to rub his eyes, and it broke my heart every time he’d blink and say, “That REALLY hurts!”
Well, it gets better. We finally got down to 2 largely visible grains (one in each eye). They could only be seen deep in the crevice of his lower eye-lid and the white of his eye. It wasn’t close enough to the edge for me to feel comfortable trying to get it out, so we went to Mitch for moral support and help. As we walked over to Mitch, Tyson once again caught me off-guard as he told the story: “Dad! That cute little kid over there with the band-aid on his head threw sand in my eyes, and it really hurts!”

What a tender and precious moment in time. Who would have thought that this experience would leave me with a good feeling? No one in their right mind would initially think that something good would come from this 30-40 minute ordeal, but it did. If you think about it, it really was an ORDEAL. With all the time it took to rinse all the grains of sand out of his eyes, not only was my son in a crisis, but we missed the opening of all the birthday presents, and the singing. But, my kid did what I taught him to do…in fact, he did it better than I did. : ) He was forgiving. Just like Jesus taught us to be. He taught me a lesson: That cute, little goof-ball, with the band-aid on his head is as precious as gold to his mommy, too. In the end, it’s all okay. In the end, we’re all treasured as God’s children...each just as loveable, unique, and wanted as the next. And it helped our mood to get to eat a pirate cake, too.

…….I also learned…or remembered, rather, how important it is to have your child apologize when they do something wrong. It’s very possible that the sand-throwing-culprit’s mommy wasn’t even aware of what happened, and I hold no malice. But, I’m all the more grateful that when my son threw sand just a few days ago, that I saw it and made him apologize. It’s just an important practice and I hope to teach my kids to be conscious of the way other people’s feelings are affected by their actions and to make their wrongs right.

It’s quite the life over there on the, really, quite the life--a real pirate showed up & I snapped a picture of him. I don't know where on earth he came from!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Tyson Loves nature shows. He calls any show about plants or animals "Planet Earth." THE OTHER DAY we were at granma and gwampa Tenney's house watching a "planet earth" about the pacific northwest. There are these birds that look a little bit like small penguins and dive super deep and basically fly underwater. The narrator talked about how they stay under a long time and work together to heard herrings into a tightly packed bunch. Then these birds swim/fly up from underneath the school of herrings and pick them off one at a time. The narrator said that while these birds work to feed on the school of fish, the gulls are opportunists. They can only dive about 3 feet and so they wait for the other diving birds to drive the herrings near the surface, then the gulls can pick them off from above. Tyson thought that was awesome and so he yelled, "DAD, DAD! The Opportunists are eating the fish!" It was awesome, he thought "opportunist" was the name of the gulls. This kid is so smart, and so cute when he almost gets something.

My favorite part of the show was when the humpback whale came out of nowhere and swallowed the entire school of herrings.