Monday, June 30, 2008

Hawk Stalking

On the Other Hand ...

Lileks loved WALL-E. That's a little predicable, since he's a Pixar fanatic, but he does write a lyrical (if long) review of the movie that's worth reading:

Too Many Choices

I've always appreciated the point that Barbara Curtis makes about one difference between Protestants and Catholics. As a returned Catholic (and former evangelical Protestant), Barbara laments the attitude that many Protestants have about church: if I don't exactly "fit" at this particular church (or denomination), I switch to this one over here.

I have to confess: I've done this myself. Raised a (fairly unwilling) Baptist, I chose a Presbyterian church when I moved to Houston. This past year I left that church and moved to a non-denominational one. Now I've learned today that close friends from this new church are moving to another non-denominational one, and that's what's spurred me to write on this.

DISCLAIMER: I am not calling out or picking on these friends. They are devoted, loving Christians and I trust their desire to make the right decision for themselves. Please, if you read this - I am not piling on you - don't think it for a minute.

Nevertheless, my own shifting and moving from one place to another spiritually has caused me distress: I want the Church to be one body. I don't want people to move from one congregation to another because of "fit". I don't know if this distress I feel is leading me towards the Catholic church, as it did Barbara, but some days I think it is.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Birth Rates

This is a long and fascinating article about differing fertility rates around the world - focusing mainly on Europe. It quotes from a number of studies on various causes; here is a quote from (close to) the conclusion of the article:

"So there would seem to be two models for achieving higher fertility: the neosocialist Scandinavian system and the laissez-faire American one. Aassve put it to me this way: “You might say that in order to promote fertility, your society needs to be generous or flexible. The U.S. isn’t very generous, but it is flexible. Italy is not generous in terms of social services and it’s not flexible. There is also a social stigma in countries like Italy, where it is seen as less socially accepted for women with children to work. In the U.S., that is very accepted.”"
In the end, an unexpected and interesting hypothesis: having a society where women are encouraged and expected to work outside the home (in one way or the other) actually increases the birth rate. Hmm.

Link from Instapundit, naturally.

Two's Vocabulary


"Holy Mackerel!"

"Will you take a look at that sweet baby!" (about a piece of pizza, not a girl - thank Heaven)

"Mom, I love you in the whole wide world."

Pizza Heaven?

I dunno, but I think I have to drive up and try this out:

Russo is the founder of Houston's New York Pizzeria - what I've long maintained is the only good pizza in Houston.

I think my old boss would be jealous of this new coal-fired business.

Friday, June 27, 2008

And I Thought I Had Problems

We have a war with tree rats going on here right now. They bedded down in the attic this winter, until we found them out and sent up some serious poison. Now they've moved to their cooler summer homes in our trees, but still make periodic visits to their winter home, just to make sure everything is in order. Every evening Husband goes out in the backyard and at least one of them stares down at him from the bougainvillea, beady-eyed and mean. He howls, throws a tennis ball at the rat, and off the critter goes. It's a little bedtime ritual they've all grown to love.

But as much as I hate my rats, think about how these people feel about one muskrat:

Best quote: "With all the guns in this county, couldn't we kill a muskrat?"


Go to Timeout! Right Now!

I liked this article about the effectiveness of timeouts with children:

Two's behavior is deteriorating in that summer-vacation kind of way: he loves predicability and structure, and not being in school every day makes him a little off-kilter. He takes that out on the handiest person he can find - me. So we've had our share of "no I will not go to time out" "oh yes you will" "oh no I won't" already this month. Not pleasant, and to be honest I don't have very good ideas on how to fix things. I will not let things deteriorate into spanking - the few times we've tried it, it never stopped the unwanted behavior, and the abject, over-apologetic child that emerges even after the most calmly administered spanking really turns my stomach.

But I'm not bringing all this up to spark a debate on corporal punishment. I merely want a good way to get my child to follow the rules he already knows perfectly well. This article helped explain the limited good a timeout can provide; now I need more concrete help in getting the little sucker to fall in line.

Any suggestions?

Movie Review

Here is an interesting review of the movie WALL-E:

After reading this I don't think the boys and I will be venturing out any time soon to see this movie. Somehow, none of this sounds appealing to me:

"The earth has been made uninhabitable by junk and pollution."

"The earthlings — or maybe Americans, as none of them have any other kind of accent — are brain-dead blobs perpetually stuffed to the gills with entertainment. They never leave their spotless flying barcaloungers — and never could, since their bones have shrunk to useless twigs inside their Shrek-like masses. They float through their troglodyte lives as unquestioning subjects of the master corporation (the same one that ruined the Earth) that houses them, distracts them and feeds them. All foods are made to be sucked down like milkshakes for maximum convenience."

"A variety of evil machines try to steal from them a small plant from Earth that they brought with them as evidence that the planet is inhabitable again. That poses a threat to the corporation that is generating so much profit from its captive audience on the space station."

I don't think my kids need these images fed to them. I also think I can manage to communicate to them the importance of being good stewards of the Earth without subjecting them to Disney's version of Blade Runner.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Two Heads are Better than One

Especially when it comes to a chewie bone.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Me and My Bucket

We have a leak in the shower. It's an old shower, and I think the fixtures are original - at least it wouldn't surprise me. No matter how hard we try we can't get the hot water all the way off, so it drips. Hence, the bucket - it will keep us from fainting when the water bill gets here and save some water until I get paid at the end of the month and can call a plumber. In order to compensate for the leaking water, we turned off the toilet and use the bucket water to fill the tank instead. Hey, I may be over-educated, but I'm good in a household emergency, too.

At first I was depressed about the bucket. My job(s), which enable me to work from home and be with the boys, also don't provide the most stable income, so expensive things like plumbers sometimes have to wait a few days. But as I got used to my bucket - empty it and it re-fills with nice clean water in no time - I realized it really wasn't as bad as I thought. After all, Mitzi and Jerry spent 6 months bathing out of a bucket in Kolkata before they rented their new flat. And millions upon millions use a bucket for water too - except they don't use it to fill the toilet in their lovely air-conditioned home. Instead, they fill a bucket with filthy, disease-laden water that they then have to drink.

So I'm lucky - me and my bucket. And if just the sight of it reminds me of how much I have, I'll take my bucket any day.

My Little Tuareg

Here is One in his best imitation of a Tuareg, "The Forgotten of God" - as the British Colonials called them.

A House Divided ... over Hats and Fanny Packs?

I saw this today in the WSJ and searched online to find it, just for your reading enjoyment:

Best quote in here:

"The host committee for the Democratic National Convention wanted 15,000 fanny packs for volunteers. But they had to be made of organic cotton. By unionized labor. In the USA. Official merchandiser Bob DeMasse scoured the country. His weary conclusion: "That just doesn't exist."Ditto for the baseball caps. "We have a union cap or an organic cap," Mr. DeMasse says. "But we don't have a union-organic offering.""
Yup - that's the modern Democratic party in a nutshell - we got your unions and we got your greens, but they ain't a-talkin' to one another.

Not that the Republicans are any more cohesive, but you have to admit this is pretty funny.

National Night Out

This is welcome news:

We have a neighbors' night out every year and it's always packed. And we always come home a pound lighter than we went - you sweat off at least that much at the street BBQ and park ice cream gathering, just from the heat. Maybe October will be a little less steamy.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Quote of the Week

"Daddy, you need to take a rest from talking silly."

- Two

Monday, June 23, 2008


I've been trying to find a RSB recording of this song, but lacking that, here is a great version of what has to be one of the most beautiful songs in the world.

(Yes, the YouTube surfing has begun again. I'll just take some medication and it will go away, just like it did last time).


Train Whistle

I love that there's never been a place in Houston I've lived where I couldn't hear a train whistle. It has to be one of the all-time great lonely sounds, as so many good songs tell us.

Here's one I've always loved - a friend and I in college used to sing this together with alarming frequency.

Obama's Campaign Stategy

Interesting hypothesis on Obama and "change":

"...Obama’s vacuous campaign of “change” is meant to create a blank whiteboard that everyone can project their fantasy scenarios onto. It is a brilliant marketing gimmick. Every time that Obama seems to suggest an actual direction, it jars with the fantasy, and causes cognitive dissonance and irritation, and a pronouncement that the REAL Obama is the one in my head, not the one who intermittently articulates the ghostly outline of a coherent policy position."
Link from Instapundit. I think this theory works. No one can really say what Obama has promised to do if elected. If he keeps this up, however, everyone will think they know - exactly what that individual wants him to do.

Now if I could only figure out how to replicate this at home.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Professionals

Husband has seen every single movie - at least all of those made between 1950 and 1990. We watched the last bit of this one tonight, and it has the best last-line-in-a-movie I've ever heard:

Mr. Grant (Ralph Bellamy): "You bastard!"

Fardan (Lee Marvin): "Yes sir. In my case, an accident of birth. But you, sir, you are a self-made man."


Saturday, June 21, 2008


We packed up and went to the beach today - didn't get there until almost 4, but on the longest day of the year (and the first day of summer), who cares? We went down 288 to Quintana Beach County Park, instead of trying to brave the crowds at Galveston. The sand was less sand and more dirt, but the park facilities themselves were great (it was free, too) and the kids love the beach no matter what color it is. Lots more shells to pick up than we've found before in Galveston, and no crowds at all.

On the way back we drove through the rainstorm - it never reached the beach while we were there - and when we stopped in Lake Jackson (at Buc-ee's, of course) it was 72 and lightly raining. You could smell the freshness of the grass and the breeze blew the rain onto my feet, lovely and cool. We watched the sun come out of the clouds as we got closer to town, and counted 4 rainbows. We ate dinner outside, and finished the day with Amy's Ice Cream.

Happy First Day of Summer everyone, and many happy returns of the day.


A picture of One in his twenties:

One is a movie reviewer for a bi-weekly "alternative" newspaper. He lives in a loft with his half-Swedish, half-Japanese girlfriend, Svinge (an image consultant), wears black head-to-toe, and smokes cigarettes.

Don't worry about it: it's just a phase. He has something else planned for his 30's.

This has been a visit into my husband's imagination. I hope you enjoyed your trip.

Go Houston!

Here's a cheery article on Houston to brighten your sunny Saturday:

And did you hear that Steak n Shake is opening in Houston on Monday? 1960/Eldridge area, but it might be worth a drive for a burger and an orange freeze. The most rewarding part of our drives to St. Louis to see Husband's family have always been arriving in Poplar Bluff, MO and eating at the SnS.

Happy Saturday.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Language Laws in Quebec

Here is an excellent summary of some of the laws that I saw effect Quebec when I was growing up - Bill 101 in particular:

A good sample quote:

"The bill, as it was passed in the summer of 1977, proclaimed French as the official language in Quebec for just about every facet of life in the province: government, judicial system, education, advertising, business, contracts, etc. For example, the bill required that all advertising on billboards be done in French only and that all commercial signs in business establishments be in French alone. All public administrations and businesses had to address their employees in French. All government agencies were directed to use the Official language in their dealings with corporations and other governments in Canada. Government Ministries and Agencies, as well as professional associations in Quebec, were to be known by their French name. The laws of the province were to be enacted in French although an English translation might also be made (and indeed continued to be made after bill 101). English education was to be restricted mostly to those already in the system, their siblings, those temporarily posted in Quebec or whose parents had themselves received an English elementary education in the province."

I'm not going to waste a lot more space on this blog fighting with Francophone residents of the PQ - that is absolutely the last purpose of this blog and no doubt of zero interest to 99.9% of my readers. But I do resent being called a liar, so I did one Google search and came up with this. That's about all of my time this issue deserves. Please consider the subject closed and debate it elsewhere. Thank you very much for your understanding.

Sunday's Pity Party

So my birthday post was less than uplifting, eh? I gave myself such a pity party - it was as pathetic as those things usually are. In the end, I had a lovely day. The children were sweet, Husband was his usual patient and kind self, my SIL called and we had a great conversation, and, yes, both my parents called after all. My dad and I had a great talk; mom called while we were at the grocery store and I was still in my snit, so there wasn't much to say (sometimes that's a good thing).

I think God treats us the same way we treat our own children when we get like I did on Sunday. If my boys are in a twist, they are asked politely to go to their room and stay there until they can be decent company. I think God is at least as patient as us when we stomp around and pretend we can't see all the great blessings He's placed before us. At least I certainly hope so.

You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you - Psalm 86:5

The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him - Daniel 9:9

For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more - Hebrews 8:12

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. - 1 John 1:9

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Where I'd Like to Be

My favorite place in all the world.

Quebec et le manque de la raison

Here's something else to send the last few decent people running screaming from Quebec - cars packed like Okies, on Canada 1 headed West:

Lileks has a summary of the story today - in short, a 12 year old girl sued her father for grounding her and won. Canadian parents, rejoice! Judges want to raise your children for you! Call them every night and ask if your kids have been good enough to deserve ice cream for dessert, and they'll tell you. No more difficult decisions to make - just call The Honourable Suzanne Tessier and she will answer all your difficult parenting questions.

I grew up listening to Montreal English-language radio, and every year the delightful PQ got a little stranger. English radio stations were forced by law to play more and more French songs, every year the schools would be re-districted (usually in August - to give people lots of warning, you know) and a few more English public schools would be closed. English kids suddenly re-zoned to French schools were always thrilled, of course, and over the 1980's more and more English-speaking families moved West to Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. My favorite language law was the one that required store employees to address all customers in French first, even if they overheard the customers speaking English to one another. The Language Police (no, not joking) would send people in to catch disobedient store owners and fine them. All signs on private businesses had to have the French words on them a certain percentage larger than the English words, no matter what community they catered to. A topsy-turvy world, or an Orwellian one - depends on your sense of humor.

This latest news doesn't have much to do with the language laws and the deliberate campaign by the PQ government to drive out English-speaking residents, but it is in the same vein of turning the world upside down for the sake of God-knows-what. The rest of Canada - even given its recent bouts of insanity - is normal in comparison to the PQ.

Prayer for Light

This used to be on my message board at my old job - I found the scrap of paper in a pile in our study last night:

God of life,
there are days when the burdens we carry
chafe our shoulders and weigh us down;
when the road seems dreary and endless,
the skies grey and threatening;
when our lives have no music in them,
and our hearts are lonely,
and our souls have lost their courage.

Flood the path with light,
run our eyes to where the skies are full of promise;
tune our hearts to brave music;
give us the sense of comradeship with heroes and saints of every age;
and so quicken our spirits that we may be able to encourage the souls of all who journey with us on the road of life,
to Your honor and glory.

- St. Augustine

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

For Uncle Omer


My kids are so creative! No idea where they get it from - Husband and I are distinctly lacking in artistic abilities. But this is what they came up with to do (all on their own) on Sunday, and they continued to work on it through last night.

More Laundry Means Good News

Yes, I know that sounds strange, but I'm making more trips to the garage lately with overflowing baskets of laundry, and I'm exceedingly happy about it. Why? Well, to start with, the clothes belong to Husband; he's been wearing his casual clothes a lot more lately, see, and that means more laundry. And why is he wearing his casual clothes? Well, he comes home a lot earlier (and more often) lately, so he enjoys spending the evening in his comfy clothes, rather than eating standing up in the kitchen at 10pm in his suit and then toppling into bed. And why is he coming home earlier and more often these days?



He is cleaning up things at his old job until the end of the month, and on July 1 he goes in-house. I am so happy I randomly float off the ground when I try to walk. He will be home, y'all, comfy clothes and all, basically every night, and weekends too. I have my husband back!

God is very good!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Two for Two

Tony Woodlief again. Read it, folks.

Why can't I write like this? Oh, I know. I don't practice ... and that's about all I have to say about that.

Oh So Good

This, from Tony Woodlief:

"Last night I read Dorothy Sayers's essay, "Why Work?", and came across this thought, which puts me in mind of the recent federal Economic Stimulus Payment(which, if anyone from the IRS is reading, I still have yet to receive):

'A society in which consumption has to be artificially stimulated in order to keep production going is a society founded on trash and waste, and such a society is a house built upon sand.'

Or you could consider Dave Barry's assessment of the situation. (HT: Lori M.)"
Dorothy Sayers was an amazing person. Running for the bomb shelter one night during a WWII air raid, she grabbed a Dante translation from the shelf to keep herself occupied. Disgusted with the translation (for, of course, as one of the first women awarded a degree at Oxford, she'd read it in the original Latin) she went on to do her own translation. Her Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane detective novels are some of the finest 20th Century detective fiction, she was a playwright and Christian apologist - the list goes on and on. A remarkable woman.

Thanks for the quote, Tony.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

June 15. Wow, what a day. Today we can all celebrate the day that, 38 years ago, a woman who never wanted me to begin with finally gave birth to my 5lb self and walked away without (most likely) ever even looking at my face. Today we can celebrate the 15 lbs I've gained in the past 12 months, the fact that in 2 weeks I will have no longer have a dependable source of income, and that no member of my family will call me today with birthday greetings because (a) my mother is a #*%$*, (b) the male members of my family are waiting for their Father's Day calls, and (c) my mother in law has never in 17 years remembered on which day in June my birthday falls.

Husband bought me some lovely things at Ann Taylor yesterday and One made me 2 pictures. They are very sweet and loving.

And now, I am going to work on a long boring legal project, do the grocery shopping, and maybe have a panic attack or 2.

Have a nice day, y'all.

Happy Father's Day

To my husband:

Happy Father's Day! I love to watch you with the boys, I love that you play your reindeer games with them (and not me!), I love to see in their eyes how much they love you.

Thank you for being the chocolate to my peanut butter. Together we're a team - and we need to be to raise these 2 crazy monkey children!

I am so glad you'll be around more soon to do more father-ish stuff; it's the best present you could give any of us, including yourself.

I love you.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Premium Death

We've having a freebie on premium channels for Directv this weekend, and Husband is of course making the most of it. Although honestly, the thing he's liked the most was today's showing of The Man Who Went Up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain. Otherwise, everything on after dark seems to involves piles of dead people. I don't know - maybe 30 minutes worth of TV last night with Husband surfing around - and we saw at least 20 people die. No stopping at horror movies, but nevertheless, death on a plate - every channel out there.

Yuck! I'm glad we save the money each month.

Confessions Of A CF Husband: BLOG HIJACK - Happy First Father's Day Nathan

Happy First Father's Day to Nate Lawrenson!

Confessions Of A CF Husband: BLOG HIJACK - Happy First Father's Day Nathan

and to all you new dads out there.

and Marcus!!!!!!!!


Husband is off right now to shop for my birthday tomorrow, and I have sneakily convinced the boys they want to accompany him. Why? Because if they shop with him I will not receive lingerie for my birthday. Want to learn to dodge bullets - just ask me: I could teach classes.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Our State Religion

Maybe I've been reading too much Frank Schaeffer (and Jesus for President) but this Voter Values Kit for Churches really gets my farm animal. They suggest in their promotional email that churches order soon, so they can host a "Christian Citizenship Sunday" around 4th of July. The email goes on to say:

"Just imagine the impact Christians could have on the direction of our government, the character of its leadership, and the moral health of our nation if we simply applied biblical principles to every aspect of our lives--including our participation in the democratic process. Remember, how you vote today impacts tomorrow!"
How exactly does voting in the USA involve "applying Biblical principles" to one's life? Where in the Bible are Christ's sermons on establishing democracy around the world (somehow I thought it was the kingdom of God we were to work on ...?)

I am tired to death of the idea that this is a nation run on Biblical ideas, or that it should be a nation run on Biblical ideas. From a secular perspective, I love this country: I love the freedom it has given me financially, socially and, yes, religiously. But I don't for one second mistake the freedom I have here to practice my religion as a religion in and of itself. And I also don't think that all that wonderful freedom (to make money, to spend it however I want) has made me a better Christian; in fact, all that lovely "pursuit of happiness" has more often than not driven me farther away from what God has planned for my life.

I wish religious leaders would get out of bed with politicians once and for all. The lie that we are serving Christ by serving the needs of US politicians needs to be tarred and feathered and run out of town. People around the world are suffering and we as Christians are called to help them. Christ sends us out into the world to give people physical and spiritual comfort, not market-based economies, sweatshops and iPods.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Prayers Welcome

Please pray for Tricia, Nate and Gwyneth Lawrenson:

Confessions Of A CF Husband: Plans

"People with their minds set on you,
you keep completely whole,
Steady on their feet,
because they keep at it and don't quit."

Isaiah 26:3 (The Message)

Mealtime with Children

The more children you have, the funnier this is:

It's sweet whether you have kids or not, come to think of it.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Power of Imagination

I am not in love with the J.K. Rowling adoration that goes on these days (I mean, really, the whole Doctor Who/Shakespeare episode last season was ridiculous!) but she is, nevertheless, a very good writer. Here is an excerpt from her Harvard commencement address:

"If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped transform for the better. We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better."
Great words, lofty goals - that's what graduation speeches are made of. But her essential point is just that - essential. We are uniquely gifted in our ability to put ourselves in the place of others. God has given us this empathy in order to pull us together as the Body of Christ. We are such disparate beings: without the imaginative ability to understand one another across borders, cultures and oceans we cannot work together to accomplish His work.

Read the whole address if you have time - it's all good. And thanks to Instapundit for the find.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Schlitterbahn and the Inking of America

We went to Schlitterbahn yesterday - all 4 of us - and WOW, what a fantastic trip! One rode everything in sight, no matter how high in the air; he and his dad took on several rides that Two wanted to sit out. Otherwise, we went on everything together; Two was the bravest 5 year old I've ever seen. He rode everything that wasn't a tunnel, and was especially fond of the "body chute" style rides, where you lie down with your arms crossed over your chest and fly to the bottom. He also rode the long tube rides alone, in his own black "big boy" tube (he hated the covered little kid tube with the bottom we tried to make him ride). I can't say enough good about the park itself - it was clean, covered with lifeguards and beautiful (especially the original part of the park). At one point we were walking along the Comal and saw a doe and fawn drinking on the opposite bank.

The only unfortunate part of a visit to a water park is that it uncovers the general unloveliness of ones fellow countrymen. I am no delight to the eyes in a bathing suit, but my modest "mom suit" at least covers all those parts I'm least fond of and tucks them in as much as possible. I wish the same could be said of the countless teenage girls in way too little bikini for their girth (or cup size). I also wish there were fewer tattoo parlors in the world. For a while I thought it was just a generational thing, but after seeing enough people my age and older sporting what looked like fairly new ink, I guess not. All in all, not a pretty sight.

But overall it was an amazing day. Seeing Husband wet, sunburned and tired with a big smile on his face was the best early birthday present I could ask for. He smiled all day, his brow unfurrowed, and he basically looked 10 years younger. Needless to say, the Blackberry stayed locked in the car. Oh, and good news to come in the near future about said Blackberry - I have to keep a secret for a while longer, but soon I'll get to spill my (happy) guts.

Hope your weekend is as good as ours is so far!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Juno, reprise

Had to go to Kelsey Seybold's 24 hour clinic on Friday night (double ear infection - One gave it to me) and while I was there I watched a 8-10 year old girl watching Juno while her parents sat unconcernedly on either side of her. They didn't have horns growing out of their heads, and she was a modestly dresssed, quiet young thing. But someone in the family apparently decided that pregnant, sassy 16 year old Juno was just the thing for this little one. I wasn't shocked, just worn out sick (from massive ear pain) and discouraged by the whole thing. I don't like it; I don't like it one bit.

Today Lileks writes about a grocery store trip that bears some resemblance to my Friday night waiting room experience. Read all the way past the cereal boxes.

Eight: the New Thirteen?

One has an attitude. Oh my yes, such an attitude. Things come out of his mouth and we continually think "is this puberty? - God help us!" He says whatever he thinks about everything (usually negative things in a sassy voice) and continually lectures anyone he can get his hands on until they put their hands over their ears and run screaming from the room. He's always been pedantic and stubborn - he once argued through an entire meal that he wasn't stubborn - but he has reached new heights in the past few months. I wish I could give you specific examples, but right this instant he's behaving himself, and I prefer not to start drinking before lunch (which is what I would do if I recalled all of his recent sins). decribes the 8 year old as follows:

"The eight-year old has much to learn about character this year. He can be rude, obnoxious, critical, and impatient. He thinks that he knows more than he really does, and comes off as a know-it-all. He likes to argue and is critical of others. He tends to blow up at his mother, friends, and especially siblings."
Yup. That's him. Please pray for me - especially that I can find a babysitter to put up with him now and again! :)