Thursday, December 29, 2011


Today's topic for our Thursday post is:

In 2010, the Denver Broncos drafted Tim Tebow, a quarterback from the University of Florida. Tebow, a devout Christian, would wear biblical references such as "John 3:16" on his eye paint during college games. Recently, there has been a lot of talk in the news about Tebow and how he kneels and prays after a game success. "Tebowing" has become a widespread phenomenon to the point that it has been accepted as a word in the English language.

With all this in mind, should professional athletes be able to publicly display their religious beliefs during games? What other thoughts do you have on this phenomenon?

I don't usually cut and paste the topic, just summerize, but I didn't think I could do it justice.  I had no idea what Tebowing even was until a few weeks ago.  I did a run in Ventura, Ca with an old friend of mine.  She is not a runner and she was a little nervous about the whole thing.  (She should have been the race was bizarre, but more on that later.)  She joked, "When I cross the finish line I am going to Tebow."  Mac explained the reference to me as he rolled his eyes.

Here is my take on this, it will probably surprise you.  But first a history lesson.  This country was founded by people escaping religious persecution.  See, those on the ships headed out of England contained on them people that did not want to follow the preaching of the Church of England, and some felons thrown in for good measure.  Because these folks did not follow the Church of England, they were punished, by law.  Yes, some of the people escaping persecution were probably also felons, but let's not split hairs.

This is why there is a seperation of church and state in our constitution.  People forget about that.  The Christian Collation forgets about that.  See, government can not endorse one religion over the other, period.  It is not a debatable point.  It is a point of fact.  That is why I get all worked up when tax payer funded, governement operated schools and other programs appear to have a religous agenda.  They can't, it is unconsitutional. 

Private institutions can have religous points of view (let's not get into a discussion on how some of them are funded with tax payer dollars, ok.)  People can have a religious point of view.  People have a constitutional right to express their religious point of view.  If you or I disagree, we have a constitutional right to disagree and engage in that debate.  I don't begrude Tim Tebow his right to paint what ever he wants on his face.  He can pray all he wants.

Now for the sticky wicket.  I am ok with all the hype and attention about this, if and only if, Ryan Braun can paint a Star of David on his face and have that be acceptable.  As long as it ok for Shaq can pray to Allah during a game, or thank Allah when a three-pointer is played.  (As an aside, finding the sports stars has sparked quite a debate of who is better in my household; and I realize that Shaq is not a current player.)  I am not sure if it would be acceptable.  No one has really tried, but my feeling is that there would be backlash. 

Christian stuff is ok, because it is "cultural."  Other stuff is religious.  The attitude frustrates and annoys me, because of the history lesson I just gave.  It is ok for one, it needs to be ok for all.

Want to see what the other ladies have to say?  Check them out at:  Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Re-duex

A couple of years ago I wrote this in response to an email.  It was relevant then, and still is today.  Enjoy.

I have a friend who has children who are grown. The wisdom in starting early is that when you are young enough to enjoy it, the kids are gone. She emailed me, said it was 1:00 pm and she had nothing to do but knit. The house was clean, the dinner was prepped, the kids were gone. She asked me about our day, and this is my reply:

1:00 in the morning the parade begins, little children in stocking feet to check and see what Santa may have brung. Shuffle, shuffle, sneaky feet, as the creep by my room loud as elephants in heat.

2:00 things start to wind down, children tucked snug in their beds, as visions of sugar plums dance in their heads.

3:00 one more check to see if the ho ho ho on the street was Santa stopping by for a quick slice of meat. (Seriously, that is what the excuse was, they wanted to know if Santa wanted cold cuts.)

4:00 Everyone settled, mommy finally can sleep. Children threatened with cancellations if they utter a peep.

6:30 It is light out, time to awake.

6:31 Gifts all open, children crying, why isn't there more? This is not what I wanted. My Christmas is ruined. Oh, why don't you love me?

7:00 All settled down to look over Mommy's credit card bill to show that she spent more than she should so they would have their fill.

10:30 Brunch with family, come one come all. Brother David winds up the children and watches them fall.

11:30 Grandma has had it, take your kids and your stuff and get out of here. We all leave, mostly out of fear.

1:00 House is cleaned, preparing for more, dinner will bring them all ringing at the door.

2:30 Return home from the park, all is better. Sunshine...

3:00 The dinner for 15 is now down to 5, we think left-overs rather than roast and all that jive.

My friend's response: This is why some animals eat their young.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Today's topic is about the new NSTA recommendation that cell phones not be used in cars, at all, not even with a hands-free headset.  The question, is what do you think about that?

It is a sticky wicket.  I understand that when you are driving you are distracted when you are on the phone.  I know I am distracted when my kids are demanding my attention when we are driving.  The rule in our car is that you can not talk to me when I am driving unless I say it is ok.  There can be no fighting, no talking, no arguing, no screaming, etc, when we are traversing a crowded parking lot or driving in lots of traffic.  They must be silent, or I will crash the car. 

Granted this "rule" was born out of necessity.  Mac would talk endlessly when we were in the car and I just needed him to shut the f*&^ up.  As more kids entered the scene, I didn't want to listen to fighting in the car.  But, now, I realize that I can not pay attention to what is going on around me when I am trying to listen to them and understand what they are saying.

With that in mind, I agree that it would be safer for most folks to not chat on their phones while they drive.  I don't generally talk on my phone while I am driving because I like to enjoy the silence.  When I am on the phone, I am not in difficult driving situations.  If I am, I hang up.

My husband spends a good deal of time in his car.  His argument would be that the lost productivity would be too much to recover from.  I wonder if perhaps spending the time listening to a book on tape or the radio and just relaxing would be a better use of his time.  While I understand his argument, as a society we have gotten just a bit too impatient.  Does he really need to return that call immediately?

Remember the dark ages when we did not even have fax machines and things had to be mailed, through snail mail?  Remember when overnight delivery seemed like the best thing since sliced bread?  Then the fax machine, then email, now smart phones.  We get more and more instant communication.  We don't need to wait anymore.  I often wonder if it is a good thing.

Sadly, until as a culture we can accept waiting a bit for a response, we will probably not give up our cell phones in our cars.  I just don't see that recommendation changing how we function.  I have a hard time believing that legislators would ban the use of cell phones in cars.

It is not a good idea to text, surf the net, play words with friends, or really chat on your cell phone when you are behind the wheel of a 3,500 pound vehicle.  Next time you get in the car, ask yourself, is your life worth the text you are about to send or the call you are going to make?  Like they said on CHiPs, be safe out there people.

Want to see what the other ladies have to say?  Check them out at Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Today's topic in our Thursday blog project is who do you look like?

I look like no one I know.  Yet, people come up to me all the time and tell me I look like so and so.  They ask if I am a sister, cousin or mother of someone.  I decided a long time ago that I must have one of those faces.

Being adopted, when this first started happening I thought, maybe these people are my "real" family. As it happened more and more and more, I came to realize that the over all blandness of my features makes me look like someone else.

I know that this is cheating, but this story is so appropriate for the question and I have sand in my underwear, so here is a replay of a blog post from 1/1/10.  Enjoy!

In the airport on the way home I was stopped by a woman in the airport. "Are you famous," asked strange woman in airport (swa)?

Me: "Not on TV. But my blog is read and loved by millions."

SWA: "Are you sure, you look just like the woman on that TLC show, the one with the 12 kids."

Me: "I am pretty sure I don't have 12 kids, just the 3 you see here."

SWA: "Oh, well you sound just like her."

I have no idea what this woman sounds like, but I imagine she yells at the kids a lot? Cuz I was a yellin' at the kids while we were waiting to get on the plane.

The woman in question is Betty Hayes, in Table for 12 on TLC. Her picture is below, let me know what you think, do I look like her??

Anyway, I am used to being the face that everyone knows. Sometimes this is good, it puts people at ease. Sometimes it is bad, I would like to be me! I guess yesterday I was famous.

Who does everyone else look like?  (ps, I bet they didn't cheat either!)  Check them out at Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Interview with Melissa

So, it is Thursday.  Last week we wrote about a person in our blog group.  This week we got to interview them.  Below are the answers Melissa provided to my interview questions.

How did you meet your husband? Did you immediately like him?
We met through one of his friends. I was out with a bunch of friends, Froggie included. It’s a long story involving Froggie in some ways, but we got to a point where it was super late and his closest friend overheard me say that I had to bowl the next morning. He laughed and then told me that he had a friend who was single, Jewish and liked to bowl. Not only that, but we lived in the same suburb! I gave him my number and said it could be besherte. Even though his friend was drunk, he remembered me saying “besherte” and relayed this to my husband. (Apparently, he used that word a lot too!) He also called his cell at 3:00 am to give him my contact information. Whatever he said worked because I got a call less than 12 hours later! We talked the next night for three hours and met in person a few nights later. I think the fact that he didn’t wait long to call me and that he sounded so sweet and genuine really drew me in. When we met in person, I felt like I had known him my whole life. So yes, I liked him immediately.

What is your favorite story about your kids?
I like telling everyone how each of my children was born in a different state. It's somewhat unique!

How you think you are like/different from your parents?
I think we have a nice blend. I’m very charismatic like my dad. He and I like to joke around a lot too. And my mom and I have tons of things in common, especially our love for books. I think my religious observance definitely separates me from my parents. However, they’ve become more interested and involved in their own way when it comes to Judaism.

Do you have a favorite saying or expression and why?
“Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor.” It comes from “Into the Woods.” It just means that when something good comes along, you should seize the opportunity because it might not be there for long and might not be available again either.

If you could have three wishes what would they be?
Financial security for myself and my family (not outrageous, just comfortable with the ability to splurge sometimes), an all expense paid trip to Disney World and that everyone I love and care about will live a long and healthy life. (No particular order to this list!)

What is the biggest complement you have ever received?
One of the first was when I started going to “Rocky Horror” and became friends with this lovely gay man. He told me that he loved talking to me. The compliment just floored me. No one had ever said that to me before. Nowadays, I love the positive remarks I get at my Chick Lit Central blog.

What do you do for fun?
Reading is always fun for me. I can't get enough of it. I also love watching movies and marathons of a TV show I really like (these days, it's "How I Met Your Mother"), bowling, playing billiards, playing board games with friends, watching my kids do something they really enjoy, etc.

There are some ages we look forward to and some we don’t, what birthday were you least enthusiastic about and why?
None really. I love birthdays. They’re an affirmation of life! I’ve had some birthdays I’d rather forget because they didn’t go so well or passed by unnoticed. All I can really say is that I hope to NEVER have a birthday on Tisha B’Av ever again!!! That was the absolute worst, aside from the small gift of seeing my baby for the first time in sonogram form. I was sick from pregnancy and an ear infection, hungry from fasting and annoyed because I felt guilty being happy on my birthday due to the nature of the holiday. This was my 34th birthday, by the way.

What was the first big purchase you made with your husband, how did you feel about that?
Our town house in Buffalo Grove shortly after we got married. We found it while driving around looking for "For Sale by Owner" signs. It was the perfect size for us at the time and we just knew we had to have it. I was thrilled when the owners accepted our offer and very happy to move in and have a place that belonged to us as a couple. (However, getting off all the wallpaper borders was a huge pain!)

What is it like to have a religious tradition that is perceived by many to be fairly restrictive? Do you ever feel that your tradition is restrictive, or is that a judgment being place upon it by outsiders?
It’s interesting to be where I am. It’s something I chose to do instead of being born into it. I know differently and my children don’t. They’ll never know the taste of a Wendy’s cheeseburger, for starters! In any case, I took baby steps to get to this point with keeping Kosher, family purity and Shomer Shabbos/holiday rules. I don’t feel that I’m 100% strict as I still do some secular things. I like the label of “Modern Orthodox” because it does allow for some secular things and doesn’t put pressure on how observant one needs to be. We go at our own pace. I may be more observant than some people who consider themselves MO and less observant than others in the same “category.” I don’t think it’s as restrictive as people make it out to be. However, I'm careful about what I "like" on Facebook sometimes. The funny thing is, people who aren’t Jewish at all are more understanding about things than people who are Jewish but less observant. There’s a saying that two Jews can still be a mixed marriage. This goes for when one person is more observant than the other. It’s really like two different worlds operating in one home. There have been times when non-Jewish friends of mine have made assumptions based on something they read, but it bothers me more when someone who IS Jewish rolls their eyes about something I do or don’t do and asks where it says in the Torah that we should or shouldn’t do an activity that wasn’t even thought up during biblical times. The only thing within my community that will always annoy me is the expectation that all kids should go to private Jewish school. It's expensive and the days are really long for kids. There's also a lot of politics involved. I like the public school where my older son goes and plan to send my other two there, as well. It has a great reputation for education. I hate having to justify why I am sending my kids to public school to people in my community. I also hate how the public school PTA holds all their fun family events on Friday nights, but that's another story for another time!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sweet Melissa

For this week's topic, we are discussing what we have learned about each other.  In order to make things manageable we have been assigned partners.  My partner is Merrylandgirl (aka Melissa).

I met Melissa through Tracey, we have been virtual friends for a couple of years.  We email periodically and talk about issues with the kids and what not.  While I have only seen Melissa in person one time, I feel like we are still friends.  Strange electronic world we live in!  I guess in days past we would have been pen pals.

Melissa is a Modern Orthodox Jew.  I am a non-Jew trying to raise my kids to be good Jews.  I struggle with how to do that sometimes and Melissa, while she may not know this, is my before I ask the Rabbi person.  If she doesn't have the answer, then I go to the Rabbi.

Being Orthodox, is something that amazes, impresses and confuses me all at the same time.  It is great to talk to someone who has so fully embraced their religion, and is really trying to live a life that enables them to be closer to G-d.  On the other hand, the restrictions would overwhelm me.  While not using electronics on Shabbat would probably not be a bad thing, the thought of not being able to knit would make me sad.  The one question I have always wanted to ask Melissa is how she handles those restrictions.

We also both have three kids, two boys and one girl.  Yet, they only over lap right at the end for me and the beginning for her.  I am a few years ahead of her, but then I am also a few years older.  It is fun to watch her littlest one grow.  It reminds me of my baby, who is really no longer a baby.

Melissa also writes a chick-lit blog that is pretty well known, maybe even famous!  I have a hard time reconciling Melissa with the face of someone famous, she is decidedly down to earth.  But  her blog is actually something that publishers consider when the launch a new chick lit book.  How cool is that?

I am sure that if Melissa lived closer we would probably hang out from time to time.  But, until she moves back, we will have to continue to be cyber-buddies.

Want to see what the other ladies have to say about each other?  Check them out at Merrylandgirl, Froggie, Momarock.