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Parental Readiness Test

Grandma and I plan to leave ASAP after graduation this Saturday to head up to Michigan. A baby dedication has been planned for grandson Drew on Sunday morning at Jim and Megan's church, and we're looking forward to being there. Nora and Mark will be holding down there fort here at our house, watering the garden, caring for the cats, etc., while we're up north for a week. We hope to drive down to Ohio one day so that my mom can see her latest great-grandson.

Today's blog post is a parental readiness test. I know of several people who read my blog who are awaiting their first child (or second, third, etc.), have small children, have recently adopted, or have even raised their kids and are now enjoy having grandkids. Today's iv is advice especially to those are thinking about having a baby for the first time. I don't know who wrote the following, but I personally found that some of it may be at least a tiny bit exaggerated.

Are you ready to be a parent? Take the following parental readiness test....

Preparation for parenthood is not just a matter of reading books and decorating the nursery. Here are 12 simple tests for expectant parents to take to prepare themselves for the real life experience of being a mother or father.

1. Women: To prepare for maternity, put on a dressing gown and stick a beanbag chair down the front. Leave it there for nine months. After nine months, remove 10% of the beans. Men: To prepare for paternity, go to the local drug store, tip the contents of your wallet on the counter, and tell the pharmacist to help himself. Next, go to the supermarket. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to its corporate office. Go home. Pick up the paper and read it for the last time.

2. Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who are already parents and berate them about their methods of discipline, lack of patience, appallingly low tolerance levels, and how they have allowed their children to run wild. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's sleeping habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior. Enjoy it - it's the last time in your life that you will have all the answers.

3. To discover how the nights will feel, walk around the living room from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8 - 12 pounds. At 10 p.m. put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep. Get up at 12 a.m. and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1 a.m. Put the alarm on for 3 a.m. Since you can't go back to sleep, get up at 2 a.m. and make a pot of tea. Go to bed at 2:45 a.m. Get up again at 3 a.m. when the alarm goes off. Sing songs in the dark till 4 a.m. Put the alarm on for 5 a.m. Get up. Make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years. Look cheerful.

4. Will you be able to stand the mess children make? To find out, smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains. Hide a fish stick behind the stereo and leave it there all summer. Stick your fingers in the flowerbeds then rub them on the clean walls. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look to you?

5. Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems: first buy an octopus and a string bag. Attempt to put the octopus into the string bag so that none of the arms hang out. Time allowed for this - all morning.

6. Get an egg carton. Using a pair of scissors and a can of paint, turn it into an alligator. Now get a toilet paper tube. Using only scotch tape and a piece of foil, turn it into a Christmas tree. Last, take a milk container, a ping pong ball, and an empty packet of CoCo Puffs and make an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower. Congratulations, you have just qualified for a place on the play group committee.

7. Forget the Miata and buy the mini-van. And don't think you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that. Buy a chocolate ice cream bar and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there. Get a quarter. Stick it in the cassette player. Take a family-size bag of chocolate cookies. Mash them down the back seats. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car. There! Perfect!

8. Get ready to go out. Wait outside the bathroom for half an hour. Go out the front door. Come in again. Go out. Come back in. Go out again. Walk down the front walk. Walk back up it again. Walk down it again. Walk very slowly down the road for 5 minutes. Stop to inspect minutely every cigarette butt, piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue, and dead insect along the way. Retrace your steps. Scream that you've had as much as you can stand until all the neighbors come out and stare at you. Give up and go back in the house. You're now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.

9. Always repeat everything you say at least five times.

10. Go to your local supermarket. Take with you the closest thing to a pre-school child that you can find. A fully-grown goat is excellent. If you intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goats eat or destroy. Until you can easily accomplish this, DO NOT even contemplate having children.

11. Hollow out a melon. Make a small hole in the side. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side. Now get a bowl of soggy Fruit Loops and attempt to spoon it into the hole in the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane. Continue until half of the Fruit Loops are gone. Tip the rest into your lap, making sure that a lot of it falls on the floor. You are now ready to feed a 12-month old child.

12. Learn the names of every character from 'Barney and Friends', 'Sesame Street', and 'Power Rangers'. When you find yourself singing, "I love you, you love me" at work, you finally qualify as a parent.


Here's something that combines the parental readiness theme and this Saturday's being the Cinco de Mayo....

One young woman didn't think she'd ever have a mother's intuition. One day her sister left her alone in a restaurant with her 10-month-old nephew. She asked the child's mother, "What do I do if he cries?"

She said, "Give him some vegetables."

It turned out that jalapeño was not his favorite.

picture of extreme baby food


"What people don't know can hurt them." - Dr. Steve Hankins

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There are three ways to get things done: 1) do it yourself, 2) hire someone to do it, or 3) forbid your kids to do it

Mom Said What?!

With this blog post I'm getting a little jump on Mother's Day coming up at the end of next week here in the USA. Quite a while back I received a list of things that you'd never hear a mom say to her children. It had such potential that I put the sharp wits of the Loach family to work on giving me a few more of their own. We had a lot of fun with this, and I'm sure that once you get to reading them, you too will come up with some of your own.

Things you'll probably never hear a mom say...

"Don't bother putting those toys away. You'll want to play with them again tomorrow."

"If you're good, for your birthday I'll buy you a motorcycle!"

"How on earth can you see the TV sitting so far back?"

"Let me smell that shirt.... Aw, it's good for another week."

"Why don't you try wearing your hair down in your eyes?"

"I don't mind your running in and out, but please remember to slam the door each time."

"Yeah, I used to skip school too."

"Please put on a little more makeup."

"Oh good! Another stray animal. Of course, you may keep it."

"Would you please turn that up louder?"

"You're going to bed already? It's way too early."

"Don't bother to clean your room. You cleaned it just last week!"

"Where are you going dressed so appropriately?"

"Go back in there and fight with your sister right now!"

"Practice, practice, practice! All you ever do is practice the piano!"

"Why don't you and your friends play baseball in our living room today?"

"Stay in bed a little longer. You'll make it to school on time."

"Don't eat those vegetables! Have this candy instead."

"Stop closing that door! I'm trying to attract flies into the kitchen!"

"You're doing homework again? You study too much."

"Get back out there and play in the middle of the street."

"Don't bother with those dishes. I'll take care of them later."

"Run and bring me the scissors! Hurry!"

"Well, if Timmy's mom says it's okay, that's good enough for me."

"I don't have a Kleenex with me. Just use your sleeve."


We're in the throes of final exams here, with university graduation this Saturday. It's an exciting and sad time of year for me. I always look forward to the change of activity, pace, and focus that the summer break brings, but it's also hard to say good-bye to yet another group of my students. It's hard to believe that this is the end of my 34th year of teaching. I can't imagine how many students I've taught and known through those years!


"Our children are the living messages we send into a time we shall not see." - Art Linkletter

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The best way to keep your kids out of hot water is to put some dishes in it.

Signs Your SUV Is Too Big

I received something by email this week that I'd never seen before and knew immediately that it would be my next blog post. I hasten to say that I do not share the sentiments of those who think the SUV is an evil enemy that is going to destroy life as we know it. That said, I do see the humor in the following. 8-)

Signs Your SUV Is Too Big

The last time you took your kids to a Monster Truck pull the parking attendants directed you right onto the stadium racetrack.

When you replaced your tires, Goodyear stock went up five dollars a share for the quarter.

Your garage is larger than your house.

One of those "Oversize Load" escort trucks has to precede you down the interstate.

Your kids refer to riding the bus to school as "downsizing."

Before you go out, you have to file for a parade permit.

You're the first one in your neighborhood to own a 2004 Halliburton-Rolling House S-Class twin-turbo.

It has its own gravitational field and has drawn a Geo Metro into orbit.

There are two successful Starbucks franchises located in the back.

It doubles as a carport for your Taurus.

It's great for soccer moms, since the back seat folds down into an entire field, complete with goals.

You need a Sherpa and an oxygen tank to reach the driver's seat.

Your buddy riding shotgun is in a different time zone.

Mortgage payment = $2200. Texaco card payment = $2201.

You get a letter from Hans Blix demanding that it be dismantled immediately because it qualifies as a WMD.

The fuel gauge doubles as a fan.


Today is the last day of classes, with exams beginning tomorrow. I just graded the last of the term papers for my 17th Century French Lit class. Phew!


"God uses the willing." - Mark Cover

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Liberal's Disease: running out of other people's money

Prison vs. Work

Many thanks to those who pray for Drew, and even more thanks to the One who answers prayer. Drew went for a check up today, and he's gained 9 ounces in the past week! So things are definitely going in the right direction now. That little 5 lb. 8 oz. magnet has such a strong pull that two weeks from now I'll be posting a blog entry from his parents' house, the dust having settled from graduation on May 5th.

This past Saturday our neighbor Brian and I spent the better part of the day loading and unloading free rocks (two truckloads full) from a construction site (with the construction company's blessings, of course) and rebuilding parts of the drainage ditch that runs between our properties. It was a ton of work (at least a ton, literally!), but the ditch looks much better now! We're eager for the next heavy rainfall to see how the water runs through it! Below are several pictures of my truck and the ditch with the new rocks in place.

one of the truckloads of rocks...

the drainage ditch towards our house...

the drainage ditch towards Brian's house...

Brian and I joked about how we seem to be prisoners to the ditch, and like prisoners, we seem to be working on a rock pile. Brian's a young dentist, and I'm a not-so-young French teacher. So did we spent our weekend relaxing from work? This all reminded me of something in my files that compares and contrasts prison and work.

Prison vs Work

In prison, you spend a majority of time in an 8x10 cell.
At work you spend most of your time in an 8x10 cubicle.

In prison you get three meals a day.
At work you get a break for one meal, and you have to pay for that one.

In prison you get time off for good behavior.
At work you get rewarded for good behavior with more work.

In prison you can watch TV and play games.
At work you get fired for watching TV and playing games.

At work you must carry a security card to unlock and open all the doors yourself.
In prison a guard locks and unlocks all the doors for you.

In prison you get your own toilet.
At work you have to share.

In prison they let your family and friends come and visit.
At work you're not even supposed to speak to your family and friends.

In prison all expenses are paid by taxpayers with no work required.
At work you get to pay all the expenses to go to work, and they deduct taxes from your salary, partially to help pay for prisoners.

In prison there are sadistic wardens.
At work you have managers.

At work you can go to your own home at the end of the day where you're free to do what you want.
In prison you stay put, with others making almost all your decisions for you.

At work if you decide you change jobs, you give your two weeks notice and then move on.
In prison *they* tell *you* when you can finally leave.

This is Rob again...
I'll still opt for work, thanks! 8-)


"'Give us this day our daily bread' is asking Him to provide for our need, not our greed." - Dr. Stephen Jones

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Should Superman wear a Jack Bauer shirt? (talk about all in a "day's" work!)

Enough frivolity ... back to work!!! 8-)

Apologies and Scars

There is a rather strange attitude today that we can do and say horrible things, and it will/should all be okay if we just apologize, no matter how lamely. Most "apologies" today go something like this, "I'm sorry if you were offended by what I said/did." There's generally no mention of the wrongness of what was said or done. There's no acknowledgement of wrongdoing and no request for forgiveness. Basically, the so-called (lame) apologies throw the blame on the person offended for taking offense in the first place. And the offended party is expected to accept the lame apology, which really amounts to blame-shifting rather than shame-acknowledgement. As I said, there's a strange attitude out there about apologies. We've heard some in recent years and even recent days from well-known people that are about that bad.

I recently ran across something in my files that reminded me of that aspect of our society and also of an old sermon on film by Dr. Bob Jones Sr. I pass it along for your consideration.

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he had to hammer a nail into the back of the fence. By the end of the first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He proudly told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, son, but look at the many holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a person and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the scar from the wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as, if not worse than, a physical one."


One more week of classes, then exams and the end of semester activities. I always say during our in-service week each fall, "Well, graduation is right around the corner." And sure 'nuff, here it is already! Life is truly a vapor!

We received some more recent photos, and I'm sharing several with you.

Megan with Drew in his carrier...

picture of Drew happy in his carrier

How Drew has to sit "side-saddle" for now...

picture of Drew riding side-saddle


"Personal devotion is not about getting something from God, but giving something to God." - Dr. Gary Reimers

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I always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more specific.