Thursday, December 31, 2009
I'm in the middle of making clock cookies and I'll post the results later. They are fabulous so far. That will be the only sweets we have tonight. Sister said she had powdered donuts for in the morning but I told her we cannot start the new year like that. We'll eat something healthier.
I just wanted to tell you about last New Year's Eve. Or maybe it was the year before. Anyway, we were at Walgreens picking up a prescription for one of the girls and there were all these people walking around in little black dresses. Well, not people.....women. Even at the nearby shopping center there were folks dressed up.
I looked at S and said, "WHY is everyone so dressed up?"
"It's New Year's Eve, Brenda." he said.
I didn't even realize what day it was. All these people were dressed up to go out and I was at the drugstore picking up meds for someone's snot. Don't I live the glamorous life?
And tonight I'll be having a bubble wrap stomp with the 10 and under set.
Don't envy me. You too can party like this!!!
Look for me on magazine covers soon.
(Happy New Year everyone!!!)
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
You know I have control over that now, right?
Still, since it's a Monday, we probably will start back on my birthday. It messes the week up when we skip Monday.
I have no plan or clue what we are going to do in January, and frankly I have no motivation to think about it yet. Maybe I need to get the Christmas decorations down? For sure I need to rearrange the playroom. Perhaps after New Year's I will feel more like planning.
Sister and I usually get the girls together over Christmas break to do something fun. For several years we did a Christmas cookie day in December. Last year we did snowman day. This year we decided to celebrate New Year's together.
We will be changing our clocks so that "midnight" is actually 10:00--a good hour past any one's bedtime. They probably won't even know. (Hee Hee) We'll eat supper together and then kick off the party. Among other things, we found these cute little bags for them to open each hour of the party. Those will be easy and free to make, and cheap to fill. (bubbles, a bit of candy, etc.)
We will make noisemakers from water bottles filled with dry beans and decorated with curly ribbon and stickers, etc.
There will be a bubble wrap stomp at "midnight." Along with the noisemakers.
We will decorate calendars and mark important dates for 2010. In other words, every one's birthday.
I am planning to attack clock cookies using JulieMom's tutorial on royal icing. These, and the whole party really, are inspired by a Max and Ruby episode. If they fail, I guess we'll let them eat cake.
I crack myself up.
So today necessitates the playroom being rearranged to fit four squealy girls in there on New Year's. Sigh. I guess I'd better get going.
Monday, December 28, 2009
The aftermath at our house.
Sweetheart and Moose at "the kids' table" ready for Christmas dinner.
Little Bit and Gnat. Didn't Sister and I do well coordinating our girls? Not planned.
Christmas night. The dolls were all tucked in. :) This just made me happy.
Sunday afternoon Little Bit lost her first tooth in her Dilly Bar.
My beautiful Sweetheart....
The tooth fairy came last night! See the fairy dust on her forehead? What a joyful Christmas weekend we had!
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Hello 2010--the year of fitness.
We did pretty well on Christmas spending. I made a lot of gifts (yes, Brenda. WE KNOW.) and that helped with the expenses some. Still, Christmas just costs money. We made it without charging anything so I am proud of that. BUT, we really, really have to be good stewards of our money this year. As a wife who does not have a salary.....I will have to work hard to do what I can to use the money S makes wisely. There are lots of ways to do that but the most important thing is keeping up with the checkbook.
Hello 2010--the year of financial responsibility.
We have set a goal for our family to read through the Bible this year. I'm good at making that goal, by the way. My plan is for Sweetheart to read through her Day By Day Kid's Bible while Little Bit listens each day. S and I will read the real Bible using the One Year Bible plan. BOY is this going to take discipline!!!! But I am convinced there is nothing more important than God's Word for our family. We need it. We need it to get into our children.
Hello 2010--the year of Bible reading. And discipline.
I'm not about making resolutions. I do understand the word---resolve. As in, I resolve to....
I understand that. It makes sense. But I prefer to talk about New Year's goals. These are just a few of ours.
I also want to keep up with the housework, declutter more, make lots of progress in school, start our own company, eat healthier, etc. etc. etc.
However, this much I know: "In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I have to tackle the homeschool room tomorrow because, as I've mentioned before, it is the first thing to your right as you enter our house. And there is no door on that room. I don't really WANT to tackle that room because I don't want to think about school until AFTER Christmas but oh well. At least I can stack everything nicely, huh?
On a good note, I found the floor of the sewing room today. I haven't seen it in a while. It was really, really, really bad in there and we had just been walking over it all for months. I thought about sharing pictures, but decided not to shame my husband in that way. :)
I'm excited to have my husband home for a few extra days and to spend time together as a family. I'm excited for the girls to open their gifts.
And I must confess, I've already fantasized about taking down the Christmas decorations.
Don't get me wrong--I LOVE Christmas. It's just that I remember how much I love restoring everything back to it's right order afterwards too. I was telling S tonight how pretty our house looks decorated for Christmas, but it's just so much stuff everywhere! It will feel like simplifying and decluttering all in one when I put it all away.
The girls have been playing together all day long for days now. I'm not sure what's going on. They have been getting along really well. I'm not complaining!!
I know blog reading is already down and there will be days and days of no traffic in blogland at all. So I just wanted to "sign off" and wish you all a Merry Christmas! Thanks again for walking with me through all the sewing this month. I'm happy to put that all away tomorrow.
Enjoy your weekend!
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
1. Catch up on the checkbook
2. Go grocery shopping (which means make a meal plan and a list)
3. Cut Sweetheart's hair
4. Go to the feed store
5. Get gas
6. something else I'll remember later
And suddenly, "clean the house" was all the way at the bottom of the list. See how that happens? The fact is, I need to do all those things tomorrow--including cleaning the house. Guess I better get up and at 'em in the morning!
I have one more thing to finish and I'm all done with Christmas gifts. Once I wrap that last one, there will be great rejoicing in heaven. Or at least here in Texas. And I really do have to clean the house well as we are hosting S's family on Christmas Eve. Since we are finished with school for 2009, we should have plenty of time to make the house look really nice.
But you see what already happened to my to do list, don't you?
I really am motivated to get everything in order because I'd like to start the new year with a straight and clean house. It's all I want for Christmas.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
I still have a LOT of sewing to do on those stupid doll beds. Whose idea was this anyway????
I have one bedspread sewn and just need to finish tying the yarn ties on it.
I have 3 of the "decorative" pillows taken care of. I have one more to go.
Then I just have to......
1. Sew 3 more bedspreads.
2. Finish sewing up the ends of 2 mattresses.
3. Sew sheets for all four beds.
4. Sew pillowcases for all 4 pillows.
5. Put their names on the lids of the boxes.
6. Wrap them.
And did I mention I can't really work on these while the girls are here and awake? That makes it tough since they are ALWAYS here and no one naps anymore.
Thank you for listening. I feel much better. I'm going to go sew a bone-shaped decorative pillow now and eat some Raisin Bran. Progress pictures tomorrow because it makes me feel good to show you how things are coming along.
And to gripe just a little too.
Whose idea WAS this???
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I'm waiting until after Christmas to start her next phonics book. I didn't want to start and then stop it right away. Plus, I'm getting some homeschool stuff for Christmas that I'd like to use in her phonics time.
But apparently she's made up her mind it's time to read.
She sits in the backseat of the car and tries to read Berenstain Bear books. A bit hard, but you can't tell her that. Last night she took a library book about doll houses to bed with her and made a list in her diary of what she wants in her doll house.
brkbl stuf...breakable stuff
Seriously? Who tries to sound out "breakable stuff" when they are first starting out?
I think I'd better get with it. This one is ready to read!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
The answer, of course, is found in God's word. I just flipped back to my concordance and found a plethora of verses on foolishness. Proverbs is full of this topic. I think we will be studying this in school. As we read what the Bible says about fools, the girls will form a picture of a fool in their heads. Hopefully, they will remember this character, "the fool" and recognize him when they see him in real life. Hopefully, they will recognize foolish behavior and know how important it is to stay away from it. And to not behave in that way.
The Bible tells us foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child. It also tells us how to get rid of that foolishness. And I believe it. I don't even need to debate it with anyone. The world's wisdom tells us that this method will psychologically scar our children and lead them to be violent but I know better.
It isn't only about driving it out---although that is an important part of the deal--it's also about instructing. It is important. Very important. And it starts here.
This article, however controversial the author to some people, has really good things to say about it. We must guard what media is being fed to our children. We do not want them having fools for role models. That includes real-life people they are around too. Which is why middle school makes less and less sense to me every day. :)
The more I think about it, the more Proverbs becomes a gem in my mind. I have not been studying God's word with my girls they way I should, but these thoughts about fools has reminded me of the importance of it all.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
We drove past most of it to get to our destination but I couldn't help but stare at the LONG line of cars all trying to get into one lane and one place at the same time.
It reminded me of cattle. Moo. Get in line.
I went to college in a country town and the agricultural department had cows out by the highway. At milking time, the cows just automatically got in line to be milked. No questions asked. Moo.
May I just say......we are not cattle. Get out of line!
I was so glad we weren't in that line for the mall. And I was so glad to read this article today too.
Why are you doing what you are doing? Not just at Christmastime, but in all aspects of your life? Are you just in line doing what the other cows are doing? Or are you depending on God's road map for your life?
Sunday, December 6, 2009
We started out with snow on Friday. We had snow last year too (which is a record, by the way). I've lived here my entire life and I think it snowed 2 times in my childhood. This makes 3 times my children have seen snow here in Texas. Crazy!
We were at Giovanna's house for a playdate when it started. The kids went out and had fun for 5 minutes and we spent the next 30 minutes drying their clothes and warming them up. :)
I know it wasn't much if you are used to such things. It wasn't as much as last year. But we were excited anyway. When we got home, there was even more snow. (Shhh! Don't tell her kids.)
On Tuesday, it will be 70 something degrees here. Welcome to Texas.
On Friday night, S and I had a Christmas party to attend so the little girls ended up spending the night at Grandma and Grandpa's house. We went home to a quiet fun-filled night with the rabbits sheltered in the girls' bathroom. They are very active at night. We were really determined that they would be FINE outside. We had provided extra hay, a cardboard box, and a tarp over the house to cover the windows. Then we heard the freeze was expected to last 10-14 hours and it was going to be in the 20's most of the night. We were still determined they would be fine until a friend mentioned something about how devastated our girls would be if we killed their pets. FINE. Did I mention they are really active at night? And the girls' bathroom is right next to our bedroom?
Saturday I worked on the house. I mostly worked on sorting through toys with the girls. I thought we needed to get rid of a lot of toys but it really turned out we just needed to put things away where they go. (I will still be getting rid of some.) It was that maddening kind of sorting where you have piles and piles of tiny objects that all need to be put away because you had the nerve to look under furniture or behind shelves. I sat down and passed out objects to the girls for them to put in the correct place.
Polly Pockets. (a tiny shoe)
Lego. (a single pink Lego)
Pet Shops. (a little cast for a Pet Shop's foot)
Polly Pockets. (a miniature shirt)
Dollhouse. (a small chair)
Polly Pockets. (a microscopic hanger)
Robin Hood. (a little quiver of arrows)
Toy Story. (Mr. Potato Head's arm)
Repeat 462 times until pile is gone.
And I got about 1/116 of the sewing I need to do for Christmas....done.
So there's always that.
OH! And I started hacking through the homeschool room and yes--I rearranged a little. The jury's still out on how the furniture landed but we'll see.
We have S's work Christmas party this coming weekend and I have no shirt to wear--which is bound to make for a memorable evening.
Are you enjoying these tiny paragraphs of disjointed thoughts?
Is it any wonder women have trouble sleeping what with all this going through our heads?
So the word of the week is PRODUCTIVITY. I've got to get big things done around here. Actually that's not true. It's more like sorting through all those stupid little Polly Pocket shoes--I've got to get a lot of little things done but throw them all together and they make one big pile.
How's that for a visual?
Thursday, December 3, 2009
The whole choir will get together for one or two practices at a park, which will be a bit of a drive for me. Then they will perform 3 or 4 times in various places (nursing homes, caroling in a neighborhood, and a shopping center maybe) and you just come to whatever performances you can make it to.
Little Bit is not so sure. She's not much for getting up in front of people. Very unlike Sweetheart, who loves to do any new thing that comes her way.
That reminds me of when 5 or 6 year old Sweetheart played Mary in the Christmas play at church. The narrator said, "Mary gently lay the babe in the manger" and Sweetheart bent down to put the doll in the manger and all we heard was CLUNK! Everyone sitting near the manger got tickled and laughed. I was afraid she would be upset but she carried on like a trooper. When she sat down with us I hugged her and told her what a good job she did. She smiled and said, "Mommy? I a little bit dropped the baby."
Yeah. I heard. She loves that story.
So back to the choir. I told Little Bit she was going to the practices and that she would go caroling. As for the other performances, I'll leave that up to her. But she is going to learn the songs and they can perform them here at home for the grandparents and Daddy.
Anyway it sounds like a nice, relaxed way for them to participate in a choir. I haven't found any homeschooling thing yet that I can't attach the word "relaxed" to. I think that's one thing I really love about homeschooling.
And if you are not a homeschooler, would it surprise you to find that ALL ages are welcome in this choir? Even toddlers if they are so inclined to sing. Or wander.
Maybe it's because there is no money attached to our job, but homeschool moms are about as relaxed as they come.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
But that would go against so many things that we have come to cherish and hold in high priority. Our situation is the result of decisions we have made about what's important.
So what is my point of all this? Surely you didn't click over here to hear my State of the Finances Address.
It's just that earlier today I was worrying about spending too much on Christmas. I was thinking about how we need to be really careful and how there just isn't a lot of extra waiting in the wings.
Just now it hit me--God wants me to share anyway.
I have this....this....pre-thought in the back of my head. It's not really a conscious thought, but it's something that affects how I operate nevertheless. I have this pre-thought that if we just were more comfortable, then I would be able to share more. I would give to more charities. I would give more to church. I would help the poor. I would do all these things if I just had a bit more money myself.
God didn't say to help those in need if you have the means. He said to help those in need. He said whatever you have done for the least of one of these, you have done for Me. For Him. For our Lord.
Do I really think that we are so pitiful that I don't have anything to share? No. It's that I'm guarding what we do have. Or what we MIGHT need. I can't give our canned goods to the food drive, what would we eat? I can't spend $15 on fleece to make blankets for the people sleeping in their cars this winter....we might need that money. I can't just go foolishly giving away the things God has provided for our family!
Please forgive me, Lord. Everything we have came from You. I will share because You shared with me. I will give because You gave to me. I will help those in need because You told us to.
And you didn't put a stipulation about being comfortable first in that statement either.
Now. Having said that, I know that my children get more on Christmas morning than many, many children in the world do. Truly.
This year...not only because of money but also because of priorities, I decided to keep it to three gifts per girl. I can't remember who said it, (was it Dana? It sounds like Dana.) but "if it was good enough for the Lord, it's good enough for them." As I said before though, no gold, frankincense of myrrh here.
So I was really proud of all my hand-crafted ideas. Thought I was saving TONS of money. Well.
The fabric store robbed me today people! I didn't do so good on finding the cheapness even though everything I bought was on sale. Guess it just adds up after a while. No matter. The gifts will be fabulous and I really am working hard to keep everything cheap. I'm using lots of scrap buster projects. Can you say free?
Anyway, I've already caught myself adding to my original idea of three gifts so today I pulled in the reins. Decided I'm done. They have three things to open (well, you know, after I SEW THE FABRIC) and that is enough. I shall fight further temptation to add on.
I can work on that while I'm up all night sewing for the next three weeks.
Whose idea were these hand-made holidays anyway?
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Yesterday we put up our inside Christmas decorations. And the top 3rd of our pre-lit tree is already in darkness. Lovely. We had school in the "Christmas room" as Sweetheart called it yesterday (formerly known as the living room). We did that for 2 reasons. #1-we can't even set foot in our messy homeschool room and #2--we want to be in the Christmas room.
This happens every year. December rolls around and we just homeschool differently for a month. For one thing, we are halfway through several parts of our curriculum and can afford to take the month off from them. *Patting myself on the back for sticking with it from August-November.* That means a shorter school day, which Mommy needs because of the other thing that happens every year.
I try to hand-make most Christmas presents. That means a lot of crafting and sewing. Which means I need to be at the dining room table instead of off in the separated-from-the-rest-of-the-house homeschool room. We did this last year too, so I could sew and also because of the other thing that happens every year.
Our homeschool room is TRASHED people! The Berenstain Bears call it "messy build-up" and that is exactly what it is! This happened last year too. Three months of not putting things exactly back where they go, stacking instead of dealing with, dropping and not picking up, hanging work all over the walls, playing in there after school hours (which has been banned), art supplies being mixed in with school stuff....and we have ourselves an unusable room.
Don't worry, I'll tackle it. I used to get this in my classroom in public school too. By December, you just need a big 'ol teacher's workday to get re-organized. And that usually meant rearranging furniture too. Don't think I'm not itching to do that in our homeschool room because rearranging is in my blood.
But for now we'll be homeschooling by the Christmas tree, and in the dining room, and anywhere we can find. December is different and I love it!
Oh! Check out the December issue of Heart of the Matter Online magazine. I hear there is a really great article on...say, page 10.
Monday, November 30, 2009
So the result of all my research into the topic of women's dress is that we must obey God's Word...dressing modestly and remembering that our true beauty doesn't come from our clothes. I knew those things already, so why couldn't I lay the issue to rest?
I felt a real call to look into these things and as I have, I have become more convinced about the need to dress more femininely. I know it isn't a command in the Bible and so if you think it's silly and there isn't any need to do it--I would understand your argument. But in light of my thoughts in this post, it just makes sense to me.
Having to put effort into looking feminine is a problem in this country and a recent one at that! Fifty or sixty years ago it was a non-issue. The opportunities and choices available to us today mean that it is acceptable for women to dress and behave very masculinely. I live around a lot of chemical plants and the women who work at those plants wear blue coveralls just like the men. Steel toed boots. Hard hats. The whole package. Women doing jobs like that is simply part of our world. However, I see no reason why a woman with a job that requires more masculine dress couldn't come home and transform herself! When she is not at work, she could still be feminine. I've said it before, doing "manly" things sometimes does NOT turn you into a man. You are still a woman--even clothes can't hide that.
But there is SO MUCH more to femininity than our clothes. THAT is the part I have learned. I have become an astute observer of people lately. I have observed what women wear, how they act, etc. You should try looking around you sometime. It's interesting.
Being feminine is how you act, how you talk, yes...how you dress, and how you are. You don't have to try to be a woman--you already are. But feminine takes a bit more work, especially in this time period when feminine behavior isn't particularly taught or expected.
A man a few computers down from me at the library let out a cuss word yesterday. It was a pretty big one. He looked to the side and saw me and said, "Excuse me" which I thought was terribly nice. Anyway, after that happened I wondered why he had to look over at me--did he not realize he was sitting next to a woman when he sat down? I suddenly saw myself. I was wearing jeans and a shirt--nothing that nice. I had my legs crossed like a guy and was leaned back in the chair. A picture of loveliness. You would have laughed to see me slowly sit up and uncross my legs, suddenly aware of how I looked.
That's what I'm talking about. I've seen very pretty women wearing lovely clothes who then opened their mouth and ruined the whole image with their ugly words, attitude, or rudeness. You can put a lovely skirt on me (and hopefully a shirt!) and if I'm smacking on gum, cussing, complaining, talking rudely to my husband, etc.....I'm not looking too feminine, you know?
So I'm striving to become more feminine and that does include different clothing than I usually wear. But it is so much more. I must figure this all out so I can teach and be an example to my daughters. And not only how to be feminine, but why it matters in the first place.
I think I've figured that last part out now.
The book series I got most of my information from had a lot of pictures in them. I loved, loved, loved looking at all the pictures. Right up until the 1960s. From what I can tell, it all fell apart during that decade. A good example of that is the Beatles. They started the decade in matching suits and ended it in...well, I think we've all seen those pictures (or remember!). And that pretty much sums up what happened to fashion during that decade.
But prior to that, women looked so lovely! I especially love the dresses from the 1940s and 1950s. I'm not sure we will ever look that lovely again. Sigh. Don't get me wrong...I love me some comfortable blue jeans! And I really love capri pants. And even more, I love not owning pantyhose. I think I'm ruined.
What really matters in all of this? Well, what God has to say about it all is what matters. We covered that in this post. So the MAIN NUMBER 1 THING that I need to concern myself with is this: are the clothes my daughters and I are wearing modest?
I began a few summers ago weeding out the hand-me-downs. Even though I think chubby toddler arms look so sweet in a tank top with spaghetti straps, I will not want my daughters wearing tank tops with spaghetti straps when they are teenagers. I decided I should implement modesty standards right away instead of waiting until "it matters." Now when we get a bag of hand-me-downs, Sweetheart can immediately pull out the ones that she knows I would not allow. And she knows why too. So in all of our clothes, the first thing I check is that they are modest.
That is no small topic either! I have studied modesty and I know it is far more than just "clothes that cover you." I've read that modesty is actually a heart attitude, but there are very physical things to think about. There is the weight of the fabric to think about (is it see-through?), the fit (too snug?), the coverage...the list goes on and on. Still, I think it's pretty easy to be modest.
If you haven't read the results of The Modesty Survey (ESPECIALLY if you have daughters!), I would encourage you to do so because it covers things (Ha! No pun intended) that I would never ever think of in a million years.
I cannot end this post without thinking about the other thing the Bible says about clothing and that is it is not where our beauty should really come from. I suppose this is where some religious groups get the idea of plain clothing. So, in addition to ensuring modesty in our clothing, we must also remember that our beauty should come from other places.
This is important to me as the mother of girls. My attitudes, the things I say about my appearance, the time I spend on fixing myself up...all these things shape my girls' perception of beauty. That is something I need to spend some more time thinking about.
Next time...combining modesty and femininity.
Royalty, high society, Paris, Hollywood...many things have influenced women's fashions over the years. There is one other thing that has caused major changes to what women wore and that is outside circumstances.
One thing that necessitated a change in clothing was the bicycle. As bicycling became more popular in the early 1900s, something had to be done to the dresses women were wearing at the time. In fact, during that time women became more physically active in general. The women's dress reform movement worked to improve women's health and comfort. It was met with great protest, but did succeed in changing women's undergarments and helping women have more sensible choices for activities like biking and swimming.
Another outside circumstance that necessitated change was wartime. Throughout recent history, clothing became more utilitarian and practical during times of war, and returned to more feminine styles during times of peace. I was very interested to learn that. Skirts became a bit shorter--thereby using less fabric. Cuffs, double yokes, knife pleats, full skirts...anything that used extra fabric unnecessarily was out. During the 40s there were rations on clothing that really affected how people dressed. Also during the war, women were urged to cut their hair shorter. Hairpins were unavailable, there were coupons for hats, and safety for women working in factories was a real concern. Some movie stars publicly cut their hair shorter in the hopes that their fans would follow suit.
Of course the Great Depression affected women's fashions as well. Mostly, women had to find a way to make do with what they already had. Women learned to turn collars that were worn out, jazz up the same dress with different accessories, and re-hem worn out dresses. Fashion was not on very many people's minds for a few years. In the same way, women had to make do without certain things during wartime. They painted "seams" on the backs of their legs when nylons were not available, and wore more functional, utilitarian dresses. Which personally, I think were still beautiful!
After World War II, longer, fuller skirts returned. With no more clothing restrictions, designers responded with lots of luxury and femininity. Women had enough of functional! I think it's very interesting that women who were used to wearing jeans and shirts for factory work would return to feminine dress after the war. Of course, the books don't say how many women wanted to return to that style, just that they did for the most part. There was a major advertising campaign encouraging women to go back home to make room for the returning men who needed jobs. So although they regained their femininity, they did not have such luck holding on to their new independence. I sure would love to hear from someone who remembers those days. Anyone got a Grandma they can ask?
Interesting things I've learned....I'm telling ya.
For quite some time I have been thinking about how women dress these days as opposed to yesteryear. What was the big deal about pants/dresses anyway? That made me curious about how we got where we are today and I started researching.
I think the really big deal about pants vs. dresses, is that pants were kind of "the final frontier" that women conquered. It has been so recent in history that this change occurred that it still seems to be a topic of debate for those who think about such things. No matter what changes happened in women's fashion over the years, pants remained the men's territory.
My oldest sister was not allowed to wear pants to Kindergarten when she started! That was in the late 60s! My mom found a picture of our family before I was born that was taken at church. She assumed it must have been taken on a Sunday morning, for she had on a nice dress, earrings, etc. But when she looked on the back of the photo, she discovered it had been taken at Wednesday evening church. She couldn't even IMAGINE dressing up that much for mid-week services now! In the early to mid 90s when I began teaching, I wore a skirt or dress, heels, and hose 4 days a week. Once a week I wore dress slacks, flats, and trouser socks with a nice blouse or sweater.
One book that I checked out from the library showed sketches of military uniforms from World War I and World War II. They were very interesting. Nearly ALL of the women's uniforms included a skirt. In fact, only 2 did not. Those were an Army field nurse (other nurses' uniforms included skirts) and some type of pilot. Now many details about the uniforms were similar to the men's, except those skirts. It was impossible to not be able to tell the difference between the two uniforms.
These days many places of employment (Target, banks, etc.) require a form of uniforms for their employees. Do you know it? Yep, khaki pants and a polo type shirt with a name tag or the company logo on the shirt. If the two uniforms were hanging up, you would have a very difficult time trying to decide if they belonged to a man or a woman. There simply is no difference. I cannot think of a place of business that has pants for the men and skirts for the women. Even restaurants have women dressed up in black pants, white dress shirt, and a tie. Boy, talk about unisex clothing! Admit it, wouldn't it shock you just a bit to see the women who work at Target in a red blouse and khaki skirt?
This really is a recent change although our children are growing up this way. And boy is it hard! Sweetheart, my 9 year old, even remarked this week, "Mom? Karen and I are the only ones who wear dresses in Bible class. Everyone else wears jeans and a shirt." Now, I will tell you that "everyone else" includes probably 2 or 3 other girls. However, they are just a bit older than Sweetheart so she is probably looking up to them, so to speak. My poor child is wearing a skirt or dress to Bible class and feels out of place! Is there something wrong here?
I've told you before my concerns about this unisex movement. I feel that it is very tied up in feminism--that's issue number one. I feel that it stems from a rebellion against who God created us to be--that's issue number two. (Not that every lady who wears pants in rebellion to God--that's not what I am saying--just the movement in general) I feel that it greatly changes the relationship between men and women, and how we relate and act towards one another...including our husbands--issue number three.
What do you say about the gender blending and unisex movement?
Sunday, November 29, 2009
In the 1920s, upper class society and their social calendar set the stage for what would be fashionable each season. In the spring and summertime, the wealthy had grand balls, the races, garden parties, and art exhibitions to attend. So the "fashion houses" launched their new lines of clothing for each season...and the rest of the world watched.
Clothing designers were almost exclusively housed in France and that is where America got their fashions as well. After the new line was launched, America reported on it, and women got busy getting in style.
This was no small task! For the wealthy, many changes of clothes were required for each day as not only the season determined what was appropriate to wear, but also the time of day. Even maids had "morning" uniforms and "afternoon" uniforms! I know how exhausting it can be to change clothes several times a day because I used to do that when my babies would spit up on me several times a day! :) OK--I'm no wealthy, upper class woman!
Later, during World War II, Paris was cut off and American and British designers became the trendsetters for a time. New York became the fashion center and while Paris did regain their influence later, it was never exclusive again.
But in the 1930s, American women transitioned from watching Paris for all their fashion clues, to watching the movies. Many designers followed along and offered designs based on movies rather than whatever it was Europe was doing.
In fact, so strong was this "Hollywood influence" that pants became acceptable for women to wear in part because of two actresses photographed wearing them! One was Marlene Dietrich and the other was Katherine Hepburn. (here is an interesting letter written at the time--go to the 3rd paragraph of her post) Later, jeans (called dungarees) became popular with young people after Marilyn Monroe was photographed wearing them.
How easily molded are we?
More to come!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
This would be the longest post EVER if I tried to write it all at once. And since there is no way I can find that much uninterrupted time anyway, I'm going to do this in pieces today, OK?
Most of my research focused on this century, but if you go a bit further back, you will find that royalty was a major influence on fashion. I had a real DUH moment while I was reading. I never realized that "Victorian" referred to Queen Victoria's era. I know--I was appalled too. Queen Victoria did indeed have a major influence on women's clothing during her reign. Even black became fashionable when the Queen was widowed and began to wear her mourning clothes.
Even in the 1940's, young girls carefully watched what Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret Rose wore. (Picture here.) In our own time, we have been witness to the influence of Princess Diana. Royalty has truly influenced fashion for a very, very long time.
In light of yesterday's events (that was the inauguration)...I think it's clear that America's answer to royalty is sometimes seen in the First Family. I've already heard enough of what Michelle is wearing, as well as her daughters. I can see it already--more influence is coming. Certain other former First Ladies have greatly influenced women's dress as well.
So, influence #1? Royalty. More to come!
Friday, November 27, 2009
In attempting to answer the question, "What is feminine dress?" I had to go back in history just a little bit. Well, actually I began a few years ago with the Bible and found 1 Timothy 2:9...
"I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God."
...and 1 Peter 3:3-5...
"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful."
So when I study the Bible, I conclude that my clothing should be modest and that I shouldn't be worrying myself with fancy and expensive attire. I do not believe that these verses say "thou shall not wear jewelry or braid thy hair"! This is not a command against those things mentioned---just a reminder that our beauty should not come from these things. We should be far more concerned with our inner beauty.
That's it. That's all I read.
So where does this idea to dress more femininely come from?
Well, to begin with, I truly believe God intended for there to be a difference. I spoke about that here. I also touched on it here. At no other point in history have women had to worry about "trying" to dress like women! The unisex, blending of genders concerns me.
One reason it concerns me to see men and women's roles and clothing become indistinguishable from each other is that it severely breaks down the family. The Bible speaks of the order of things in Ephesians 5:22-23 and also in 1 Corinthians 11:3. When things get too blurry between a husband's and wife's roles...the order doesn't work so well. I think the way we often dress today also encourages/enables women to behave more masculinely than ever before. And when women behave more masculinely...men sometimes behave more femininely (metrosexual anyone?)...and it all really goes against God's creation.
So, who tells us how to dress? Well, the most important source is God's Word and we have discussed that now. Tomorrow we will explore the other influences on women's clothing.
Any thoughts so far?
So, if you agree with me that God did intend men and women to be different--we were created for different purposes AND were created physically different from one another--then we have another question to answer for ourselves.
Then what is feminine? If I am not to act or dress or look or become masculine....but instead to be what God made me to be--then what does that look like?
I understand what it looks like to fulfill my role as my husband's helper. I didn't say I always DO it perfectly...just that I understand it! :) God did not intend for men and women to do exactly the same things. Does that mean I cannot change the oil in my car if it's needed? I don't believe so. Even though that is generally assumed to be a "male" task, if the oil needs changing...I'll be happy to....take it to Jiffy Lube. Being feminine does not mean to me that I sit around in a Victorian era dress, writing lovely poems with a quill pen and ink, doing needlepoint, and having perfectly smooth skin. I am my husband's helper. And ladies--there's a lot of work in that job! When Adam was sent out of the garden, God told him that with great toil he would work the land for food. Adam had just become a farmer. Although it probably wasn't Eve's primary job, I am sure she helped him at times in that labor. Just as she probably helped him by cooking the food and caring for his children and many other things.
Of course I am speculating about them. And I'm not interested in writing an entire post about wives and husbands and all that. My main point is: I was created for a different reason than my husband. We have different God-given roles. I cannot be both husband and wife. I cannot be both feminine and masculine. And yes, even though single moms have to do a LOT of both tasks--I believe they are still a woman. You don't turn into a man by doing manly things sometimes.
I have so much more to say about all this. Later today (hopefully) I will share with you what I learned in my research these last few weeks.
So far, I have made two points: God intended there to be a distinction between the sexes and feminine is different than masculine. We were intended for different purposes and I believe our dress should reflect the difference as well.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I've been studying and researching women's dress for a while now. I guess it really started about 2 or 3 years ago, but lately I've really been interested in how we got where we are today.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
I can't share every one's presents here because people might see.....but I did want to share some. I saw this idea on Sew Mama Sew and it gave me an idea for my mom. My parents have a country home (aka "the trailer") but they are not there enough to decorate for each holiday. So I decided to make these pillow covers in each season. My mom can just switch out the pillowcase four times a year. I'll post pictures later. They are looking very cute and are made completely from scraps, besides the inexpensive muslin I bought for the case.
I found several other ideas in their scrap busters section, but I'll share those later. One of the really exciting things is the gift the girls are making. I like for them to give gifts to everyone so their Christmas is not just about getting. This year I decided for them to make sachets. Using scraps, I'm having Sweetheart sew 5"X7" pieces of fabric together. Then she turns and fixes the corners and hands them off to Little Bit. Her job is to stuff them with potpourri and tie them at the top with a piece of yarn. She can't do the whole bow yet, but she's doing really good tying the first part. Sweetheart has had her sewing machine for a few years but she's only sewed a few things on it. That's why I was SO impressed and proud that she was able to sew these on her own after only having my help on the first one.
Today I was pulling away from Hobby Lobby just shaking my head. I purchased materials for my sister's Christmas present, most of my nieces' presents, and 2 parts of my sisters-in-law's gifts and I only spent $8.00!!!! You cannot beat that.
I really love giving homemade gifts. What are you making this Christmas?
Friday, November 20, 2009
stay in out of the rain
clean the kitchen
force ourselves to do school work
ignore the fact that today is the last day of school for public school students
work on Christmas presents
attack piles of paper
make the kids do chores
cook supper at home
Bible study tonight with friends
be productive EVEN THOUGH it's Friday
...kind of day.
What kind of day do you have in store?
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Let's see how people have stumbled up on The Family Revised this week, shall we?
Searched: Star Wars Lapbook
This was a popular choice this week. Homeschool Share? You really could help some moms out and make one of these. I haven't ever made one, but I think Suzanne and I discussed it in the comments section of a post. Sorry you didn't find what you were looking for when you found me, Google searcher.
Searched: Feminine Househusband Apron
Someone is getting a special Christmas present!!!! (If they find one.)
Searched: Community Helpers Lapbook
This I can actually help with! We made a Dora lapbook with some community helper stuff in it. And by the way, that search was from Asia. How cool is that?
Searched: the family revised
Hey, you found me!
Searched: how can you say you trust God when
Ah. I've been asking myself the same thing. Hope I helped. He is worth trusting!
Searched: How to start becoming organized
coughcoughcough Sorry. I've recovered now. May I just apologize? I think you have not found the site you need. However, if you want companionship on your journey, we can be great friends!!! :)
Searched: How to be a homemaker
Well, it's a new day.
So today I had to let school go while I did these things. I also plan to clean out the refrigerator instead of thinking, "man, I need to clean this thing out!" for the 475th time as I shut the door. Who knows? I may get really crazy and do some laundry! I'm just tired of feeling like all these things are half done.
You know that mental running list that women keep? It's exhausting, isn't it?
On a good note, I started my mom's Christmas present and it's going really well and fast too! I also have ideas for my sisters and sisters-in-law. Now.....if I could just decide what the girls are getting. I thought I had it figured out, but my idea hasn't worked out so I'm back to square one. I know there are people out there who have finished all of their Christmas shopping. I know because I am related to some of them. They make me sick. I just wanted you to know that.
Still, I've been thinking today a lot about the Compassion El Salvador trip and how 10 people live in one house in such poverty. We really are blessed beyond measure. I pray that the Lord would help me to be a better steward of it.
Monday, November 16, 2009
I stumbled on this chart of character quality definitions at the Duggar's website a few weeks ago and I was very interested. I poked around the internet a bit and discovered similar definitions at other websites, but not with a godly emphasis. Teaching good morals and character to your children is needed, but without the emphasis on Christ, its just another thing to teach.
I've been researching a bit more (only what can be found for free online) and have found some great resources! Today I bought 3 ring binders for each girl and we are going to make notebooks as we work on character ed. each day.
Here are printable posters to put in our notebooks. I will use these as dividers, I think.
There will definitely be illustrating going on towards the end of the week. Both girls like to draw, so after they have gained a good understanding of the character quality, they can illustrate it for their binder.
I found these great lesson plans also. From these I found Bible stories to go along with the quality of the week. I haven't looked at all of them, but today we began "Alertness." We read the story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife as an illustration of alertness and sang "Oh Be Careful Little Eyes." It's nice that the resources are already gathered for me.
Also, when it applies, we will be reading from The Children's Book of Virtues.
I am SURE there are other resources out there, so if you know of any, please pass them on! I'd love to see other book lists to go along with each character quality.