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Everything posted by twoforjoy

  1. My kids, so far, look a lot alike. We really can't tell their baby pictures apart, if they're just face shots. We get a lot of people saying things like, "Well, there's no doubt they're related!" My sister and I look pretty similar, and both look like our mom.
  2. Learn both. If you take up knitting, you'll need a crochet hook or two around anyway to pick up stitches. Knitting is, IMO, more difficult to learn but probably more versatile. Crochet is easier to learn and faster, but won't yield as many creative possibility, especially if you're interested in making clothing. I learned to crochet when I was a kid, and then to knit when I was a teenager. I think there was a benefit to already having some practice with manipulating yarn and sticks. On the other hand, if you learn to knit first, I imagine that crochet would be a breeze.
  3. That's sort of how I feel. For me, God is love. God is that small voice that speaks to us about what's right, that urging toward the good that tugs at us. That's what I believe. Since I believe that, I believe that's how God works in everybody's life. Believe or not, God is always there, luring you towards the good (or at least the better). At the same time, though, everybody can accept or reject that urge towards the good. And I see absolutely no evidence that Christians reject it at a higher rate or atheists accept it at a lower rate. Because in the end we're still making choices, and every atheist I've known has been just as good if not better at making moral choices than the religious people I've known. Clearly religious belief is not necessary to make moral decisions. Of course, I'm the kind of Christian who isn't really a Christian according to the same people who think atheists can't have morals.
  4. I would be very, very reluctant to say that Woody Allen, or a man who acted similarly, was a child molester. Not only was Soon-Yi not his biological child (so there was no actual incest taboo to break), he had never adopted her. She was an adult when the relationship began. They've now been married for almost 15 years. Raping a child in the shower is a horrific act of abuse and violation. Entering into a consensual sexual relationship with the adult daughter of your spouse (who is not related to you) is definitely outside-the-norm and problematic in terms of your commitment to your marriage, but it is just not the same thing. I think we need to make distinctions between sexual acts with prepubescent children, blood relatives, and/or a non-consenting partner and consensual acts between unrelated post-pubescent partners. The former are almost going to be morally wrong. The latter may not always be best or ideal, but are not the same thing and do not indicate the same kind of pathology that the former do. Otherwise we're left lumping Woody Allen in with Jerry Sandusky, and I don't see any rationale for doing that.
  5. FWIW, I've seen the argument made that a woman not using hormonal birth control is statistically much more likely to have "chemical pregnancies" (months where an egg is fertilized but fails to implant and is passed with the menstrual flow, basically) than a woman using BCPs, so overall the women on BCPs will (because the pill so greatly reduces the chance of ovulation and fertilization) is actually much less likely to have an egg fertilized and fail to implant than a woman who doesn't. Now, you can argue that one is natural and one isn't, and that's fine. But, about 30-50% of fertilized eggs (and by some estimates more) naturally fail to implant.
  6. Wow. That's harsh and, I think, wrong. When middle-class people talk about not being able to afford another child, I don't think they mean they couldn't afford to feed the child. They're thinking about things like how they'd pay for college for another child. Given the cost of education, this isn't some small fee they could pay if they just gave up the daily latte or traded their SUV for a used car. We figure we can't afford to send them all to college at this point, anyway, and I'd like to have another, but I most certainly would NOT ever judge anybody as "selfish" for having fewer children. I'm really, really bothered by the attitude of moral superiority that some people are giving off on this thread. Having more children than average doesn't mean you are more generous, selfless, or just generally better than average.
  7. Definitely. Growing up we mostly had Italian food, chicken breasts/nuggets, meatloaf, and sometimes barbecue. Neither one of my parents like spicy food at all, so we never ate it. And I don't think my mom ever served a veggie other than broccoli, carrots, corn, or cauliflower. My parents are both willing to try almost anything, and like a wide variety of foods, but neither one enjoys cooking very much. My FIL has a really small number of things he'll eat (he grew up in one of those "Eat what you're served or don't eat" households, and instead of growing to love everything he was served, when he got old enough, he just decided he would never again eat anything he didn't like), so DH's family rotated the same 4 or 5 meals his entire childhood. I love to cook, and both of us will eat almost anything, so I'm a lot more likely to try new things or make more complicated meals. We're definitely more adventurous/experimental, in terms of what we eat, than either of our families were.
  8. This is beyond offensive and insulting, to both young people and non-Christians. How do you explain all the good Bible-believing Christians standing behind Herman Cain after four women have come forth to say that he forced advances, some physical, on them? I guess it's just their belief in evolution, huh? This is about the fact that some individuals will ALWAYS put loyalty to the team--whether it be a sports team, a political party, a religious institution, or whatever--first. And, there's been such a quick judgment about this that it's not surprising that some students at the school would not immediately join in. It has NOTHING to do with age, with evolution, or with religious belief/atheism. I think it's incredibly sad and kind of scary that you think it does.
  9. And now I'm getting on my high horse: seriously? After five years your daughter is still mad about being forced to invite somebody to a party? I think maybe she needs to be reminded that she's led a pretty charmed life if that's the most serious thing she's got to hold a grudge about. I'd probably make my kid decide to either invite everybody, including this girl, or only invite her closest friends from the team. And if she invited everybody and was upset, I'd understand, and sympathize for a bit, and remind her how hard doing the kind thing can be. (I'd probably also offer to take her and a couple of her closest friends out for a fun meal or outing.) But, five years later, my response would be to tell her to get over it.
  10. Oh, get off your high horse. We're talking about preteen girls. I'm glad you have raised a perfect kid who would never, ever exclude anybody, but you can have the best, most accepting, most inclusive parents in the world and still do things way witchier than the situation described in the OP when you are a preteen. I hope if your children do something questionable, you are both extended more grace than you seem willing to extend here.
  11. Early media reports were saying things like "inappropriate touching," not anal rape. I had the same reaction as Kutcher before I heard the full story. I think his response was fine, and I think the backlash against him is uncalled for. There is no reason to turn this into some sort of witchhunt for anybody who doesn't respond immediately with what we feel is a sufficient amount of anger and outrage, especially when many media outlets weren't reporting very accurately on what happened. I think there is no reason for him to stop tweeting. That seems like overkill to me. An admission of his error based on incomplete information should have been sufficient for people.
  12. Except it's also why we use so many resources in the U.S. Living spread out is simply not a very green way to life, unless you are entirely off the grid.
  13. It also doesn't count the underemployed, or people who currently have part-time work but want full-time work.
  14. I actually think McQueary has less "chain of command" defense than Paterno. He was the eyewitness. If you witness the rape of a child, how could you NOT report it to the police? (And that's not even asking why you wouldn't step in and stop it right there.) Whose instinct would be to report it to their boss, rather than calling 911?
  15. The school's response is just shocking. Not only did they not fire him, they gave him an office on campus! It's insane. Recently a 26yo was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for downloading child pornography via a free filesharing program to his computer. And yet this man raped a young child and not only didn't face any legal penalties, but was given an office. I do not understand how anything about our "justice system" makes any sense.
  16. Those are, even by pretty strict standards, healthy stuff. And some of the other things you mention are healthy in moderation. So "won't eat anything even remotely healthy for him" doesn't seem like a fair statement. Maybe it would help to not worry about variety for a while. Feed him the healthy stuff he'll eat. Can you mix some granola into his yogurt? Serve it up with a banana and you've got a good breakfast. Some PB&J and an apple for lunch is fine, on some whole-grain bread. For dinner, maybe you can get him to have a little of whatever you're serving, provide some bread if he won't eat anything else, and give him some vegetable juice or something. I wouldn't be super concerned, honestly. I know that a lot of times when I freak out about DS's eating, it's because I'm trying to force too much variety on him. When I am okay with sticking with healthy foods that he enjoys, even if he eats the same thing many days, things go much better and I feel better about what he's eating.
  17. I also wanted to point out that, while extremely high population density is a problem, really low population density is not necessarily a great thing. It's generally not the most efficient way to live. I think a big problem with resources in the U.S. is that so many people live in suburbs. Urban life generally means less driving, and having more people in a smaller area can lead to resources and services being distributed more efficiently. The fact that we do have so much empty space here may be exacerbating our consumption problem, because it's possible for people to have very spread apart from each other, which can lead to inefficient resource and service distribution and more resources being used than would be if people lived closer to one another. ETA: I think people become very defensive about this because it seems like a condemnation: Because of you and all your kids, the world is headed for disaster. I don't think we need to look at it that way. Personally, I think that, once we make sure that women around the world have access to education and family planning and good medical care, and are able to decide for themselves if or how they want to limit their family size, we would probably have the problem solved. If we didn't, then we could talk about whether people should be choosing to have 15 kids. But, right now, a more pressing issue seems to be helping women who do not currently have the means or knowledge to control their family size, if they want to, to do so. When many women are having more children than they'd choose because they lack the education or resources they need to prevent pregnancy, it seems cruel and misguided to focus efforts on punishing/condemning those who have chosen to have large families rather than working to help the many women who would want to control the size of their family if they could to do so.
  18. I don't think it needs to be either/or. You can have both understanding and consequences. I try to do both. DS is in a phase right now where his little sister drives him crazy. He doesn't get physical with her, but he is constantly scolding her and yelling at her. He also sometimes gets into moods when he just doesn't listen to anything. There are consequences for that. His big currently is computer/video game time. He starts with one hour per day. If he is a great listener and helper, he can earn an extra 30 minutes of game time after dinner with dad. If he disobeys or misbehaves, he loses game time, usually in 15 minute increments, sometimes more if it's really egregious. He may also end up with an earlier bedtime or some time alone in his room. But, I also try to talk to him about what was going on motivating those behaviors, and to talk about better ways to handle these situations in the future. What's going on in his life? What is he feeling about his sister? What are some things he can do differently next time she's annoying him? It's hard to be a kid. I remember feeling so little and powerless. I don't just want to exert my authority over my kids, although doing so in a reasonable way is part of what I have to do. I also want to come alongside them and be a companion to them as they grow up and help guide them along the way.
  19. I think that's misunderstanding what the problem is. Overpopulation is a problem of social structures, not individual choices. I don't think the issue with overpopulation is that people who want 1 or 3 or 5 or 12 kids are having 1 or 3 or 5 or 12 kids; it's that in many parts of the world access to education about family planning and birth control is extremely limited. We know that the birth rate declines as female education and opportunities for female education increase, and that access to advanced medical care also makes a huge difference. So, if somebody is concerned about overpopulation, it makes far more sense to address it in a structural way--for example, encouraging the spread of education for females, so that women are given the tools needed to make choices about family size that work for themselves and their families, and to expand access to quality medical care--than to forgo having children they might want to have.
  20. DS is sick, so he's got the day off. I normally might have had him do school anyway, but DH has been up at 2:30 a.m. the past two days to participate in a conference streaming from Sweden, so he's been both working from home and completely exhausted, and yesterday was my birthday, so I decided today will be a lazy, relaxing day. Right now DH is napping, DS is watching Phineas and Ferb, DD is playing, and the baby is chilling. I got a sewing machine for my birthday, so I'm checking out patterns, videos, and advice online while I kill time until I go pick us up some pizza. Hard life, I know. :tongue_smilie:
  21. I just don't think it's as simple as yes or no, or as simple as how well an individual family manages their resources. The Western lifestyle--even a very simple one by Western standards--uses a lot of resources. The parts of the world where there are fewer people tend to use massive amounts of resources. Quite honestly, the difference between an incredibly resource-wasteful Western family and a very resource-frugal Western family is going to be very minor compared to the difference in resource use between either of those families and most third world families. So I don't think it's as simple as patting ourselves on the back and saying, well, it's okay for our family to have 3 or 5 or 9 kids because we aren't like those wasteful people with one kid. No matter how consumption-conscious we might be, even a bare-minimum Western lifestyle, in most cases, is going to be quite resource-heavy. I don't think the solution is for everybody to have smaller families. I do tend to think that there are enough small families and people choosing not to have any children that if an individual family wants lots of kids, it's not a big deal. But, I do think that dealing with the problem of resource allocation is important, and something that will have to be done in a large-scale way. We have a serious resource-allocation issue, and I think that's a far more immediate and pressing concern that overpopulation. ETA: To be clear, just like I think you can't say, "I have seven kids, but we are really conscious about consumption, so we're not part of the problem," I also don't think you can't say, "I've just got one kid, so I'm not part of the problem." I think it's a collective problem. Our collective lifestyle is unsustainable if we want any kind of just long-term allocation of resources.
  22. I guess this is where I find it hard to believe there isn't, for many of these QF families, some intentionality. I'm talking about people with 12+ kids. Now, I don't doubt that some of those are just unusually fertile people. But, even if somebody went their entire life without using BC or trying to prevent pregnancy, that would be an unusually high number of children to have. I was just looking at statistics, and the Niger has the highest fertility rate, and it's 7.6 children per woman. I'm from a long line of Roman Catholics, and my grandparents and great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents were Catholics before there were basal thermometers and books telling you how to check your cervical mucous. On my maternal side, my grandmother had four kids, her mother had six kids, and her mother had five. My MIL had one child, never using birth control, and her mother had three and was one of four. My FIL's mother had eleven children. My father and his siblings knew one family in their neighborhood who had 14 kids--and this was a Catholic neighborhood in the 1950s--and that was considered an astonishingly large number of children. So it's not like most normally-fertile people will end up with 10+ kids if they don't use any form of birth control. Very few will, I'd be willing to bet. I'm not super aware of the QF movement, but my impression of it is that many involved have extremely large families. It's hard for me to believe that so many QF families have so many kids without there being some effort made to have lots of kids. Or, and I hope this isn't an inappropriate question, is it that the partriarchal structure of a lot of QF families puts the woman in a position where very frequent sexual activity is expected? Because, honestly, I imagine that the reason that many of my ancestors stopped at 4-6 kids or so was because, at a certain point, they were too darn tired to get around to making more babies. But if abstinence from sex, even if it was sort of an unconscious thing that happened because both partners were just tired and not very interested for a period, is seen as unacceptable, then you might see more frequent pregnancies.
  23. Pronouns can function as nouns, but they aren't nouns.
  24. In general, I think of Quiverfull families as people who set out to have as many children as they can. I think it's more than just not using birth control and leaving your family size to God. I tend to think of things like weaning children young so you can get pregnant again sooner and/or certain patriarchal ideas about the family when I think of being Quiverfull. Maybe I think that because of how large most Quiverfull families are. I know a number of people who have just never used birth control, and very few have loads of kids. Most just have a few. My MIL never used birth control and only ended up with one. So it seems to me that in most--although certainly not all--cases just not using birth control might get you 5 or 6 kids, but won't get you 20. I do think there's an intentionality about having as many children as possible that goes along with being QF that most people I know who don't use birth control don't have. I am most certainly not quiverfull. I suppose you could say I'm open to God determining the size of my family, in that if I get pregnant we'll welcome the baby. #3 was most certainly God's idea, not ours! (We were using condoms, I was still nursing DD, and she was just 5 months old when I got pregnant.) But, we do use family planning, and I feel completely okay about it. I do think that all babies are blessings; I just don't think that wanting to time those blessings or stop at a certain number of blessing is bad or wrong. ;)
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