Thursday, September 28, 2006

Banned Books Week

We're always celebrating something aren't we? This week is the official Banned Books week. The American Library Association keeps track of those books most frequently banned. I was looking at the list and saw many classics (To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies...), some that I just think are gross (Captain Underpants) and some that would be good discussion starters as to why people don't agree with the material (Harry Potter). I've read 11 of the 25 books. Three I read as required reading in high school. One I read to my 2nd grade class a few years back. It makes me wonder about the rights of free speech and what good banning books does anyways. I understand objections to some of these books, but I also believe in learning from them. Banning something does not make it go away. You may not agree with the portrayal of African Americans in To Kill a Mockingbird, but does that change history? The book was written to capture a part of America's past. And was one of the best books I've ever read. You may not want your child reading Harry Potter because of it's associations with witchcraft and wizardry, but why not take it as a opportunity to discuss your objections with them. They are well written books.
Here's the list of the top 25 "objectionable" many have you read?

"Harry Potter" (Series) (J.K. Rowling)
"To Kill a Mockingbird" (Harper Lee)
"The Color Purple" (Alice Walker)
"The Outsiders" (S.E. Hinton)
"Lord of the Flies" (William Golding)
"Of Mice and Men" (John Steinbeck)
"Goosebumps" (Series) (R.L. Stine)
"How to Eat Fried Worms" (Thomas Rockwell)
"The Catcher in the Rye" (J.D. Salinger)
"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (Mark Twain)
"The Giver" (Lois Lowry)
"Brave New World" (Aldous Huxley)
"The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" (Mark Twain)
"Captain Underpants" (Dav Pilkey)
"The Anarchist Cookbook" (William Powell)
"Carrie" (Stephen King)
"Flowers for Algernon" (Daniel Keyes)
"The Dead Zone" (Stephen King)
"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" (Maya Angelou)
"Go Ask Alice" (anonymous)
"American Psycho" (Bret Easton Ellis)
"The Chocolate War" (Robert Cormier)
"James and the Giant Peach" (Roald Dahl)
"The Pigman" (Paul Zindel)
"A Wrinkle in Time" (Madeleine L'Engle)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

She's Here!

Everyone, I'd like you to meet baby Sadie, our new neice born on Monday, Sept 25th at 5:50pm to Jim and Andrea. She is a tiny thing, weighing 5lbs, 13 oz at birth and was 51 cm long. Congratulations Jim and Andrea! We can't wait to meet her in person!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Chick Flicks

This Saturday was the re-birth of my bible study group. We used to meet quite regularily and what happened??? I think we broke for the summer in 2005 and haven't met since. We all agreed that we needed to start it up again, but how and when? Usually, "we'll talk about it" and "definately soon".
This summer I happened upon a book in the BBR (Baptist Book Room for you non-SJers). The book was called Chick Flicks designed for women's small groups. I bought it thinking, if nothing else, it's a good resource to have. Well the other girls seemed to love the idea of it. The concept is simple: dinner and a movie. Each movie chosen in the book has underlying spiritual themes, or themes/issues that we encounter as women. There is a discussion guide and relevant bible passages for each movie.
Our first girls night happened this weekend. The movie was Fried Green Tomatoes (and I couldn't believe that the girl at Blockbuster had no idea what I was talking about...aren't the people who work in movie stores supposed to know something about movies?). The menu was southern (and yummy!). We all brought something: Fried Chicken, Lemonade, Baked Beans with Rolls, Potato Salad, Vanilla Fruit Salad, and Peach Pie. (I'm sad to report that no one attempted to actually make the fried green tomatoes, although I have made regular fried tomatoes once in the past).
I forgot how good this movie is. If you've never seen it, I highly reccommend it (although I am giving it a Kleenex warning). The discussion after was good and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. It looks like we'll have more with us next month for All About Eve (NY themed food). Looking forward to it!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

My 2 year old's view of the world

*aka* note to Jill

Today Elijah climbed on my knee as I was perusing my friend Jill's latest "photo spam" at Yahoo Photo's. At each picture I patiently answered Elijah's questions about who the people were and what they were doing. Several of these pictures were of Jill and Dave's son, Andrew, who is 6 weeks younger than Elijah. After we finished, Elijah said, "I want to see him"..."Who honey?", "me want to see Andrew"...I complied and re-showed him one of Andrew's pictures. " No Momma, me want to see him!"..."that is him honey"..."no Momma, me want to see him now. Andrew and Elijah play"..."Well, we can only see him in the picture honey, he lives far, far away in Saskatchewan"... "No Momma, me see him now! Andrew my friend!"
So Jill, our dreams of our children one day getting along have come true, they are friends, even if it is only virtually and in Elijah's mind.
Incidentally, Elijah and Andrew have played together once before, they were 7 and 6 months old respectively!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Never in Canada?

A few years back an old friend and I got into quite a heated debate as I refused to sign a petition that he asked me to. My reason for not signing the petition was because one possible implication of this action going through was that it could make reading the Bible in public a hate crime. His response to me was that that would never happen in Canada, no one would ever get arrested for reading the Bible in public.

I subscribe to the e-newsletter from the Voice of the Martyrs, an organisation dedicated to the reporting of and assistance for Christians who face persecution throughout the world ( . Usually the stories I read about concern people and churches in places far away such as China, India and Eritrea. Today there was a story based in Calgary. It is as follows:

Canadian Street Preacher Arrested for Praying in Public
Four years ago, Artur Pawlowski and others began a ministry to establish a church among the street people of Calgary, Alberta. Along with holding services in parks in the downtown, the Street Church is involved in caring for the physical and emotional needs of the homeless.In mid-August, Calgary held a Fringe Festival described as an "uncensored, non-juried theatre festival." For the Street Church, however, "uncensored" did not appear to apply. According to an August 21 article in the Calgary Sun, Pawlowski was concerned about the spiritual influence of tarot card readers and other spiritualist practitioners who had set up displays at the festival. He began talking to the vendors about their practices. Some of the vendors took offense and called the police. The church members were asked to stop talking to the vendors. They agreed. Two days later, on August 16, Pawlowski and others gathered on the street to pray and read the Bible in an area far away from the vendors. Nevertheless, organizers called police who charged Pawlowski with obstruction of justice, trespassing and disturbing the peace. Pawlowski spent the night in jail and is scheduled to appear in court on September 7.Pray that the leaders of Street Church will faithfully carry out the task God has given them (1 Peter 5:1-4). Pray that the Holy Spirit will give them the words they need as they answer these charges. Pray that all charges will be dropped.

Monday, September 04, 2006

No Prayer in Schools

(I lifted this from Jaclyn- thanks Jac!)

After being interviewed by the school administration, the eager teaching prospect said: "Let me see if I've got this right. You want me to gointo that room with all those kids, and fill their every waking moment with a love for learning, and I'm supposed to instill a sense of pride intheir ethnicity, modify their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse and even censor their T-shirt messages and dress habits.You want me to wage a war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, check their backpacks for weapons of mass destruction, and raisetheir self esteem. You want me to teach them patriotism, good citizenship, sportsmanship, fair play, how to register to vote, how to balancea checkbook, and how to apply for a job. I am to check their heads for lice, maintain a safe environment, recognize signs of antisocial behavior, make sure all students pass the provincial exams, even those who don't come to school regularly or complete any of their assignments. Plus, I am to make sure that all of the students with handicaps get an equal education regardless of the extent of their mental or physical handicap. I am to communicate regularly with the parents by letter, telephone, newsletter and report card. All of this I am to do with just a piece of chalk, a computer, a few books, a bulletin board, a big smile AND on a starting salary that almost qualifies my family for food stamps! You want me to do all of this, and then you tell me... I CAN'T PRAY!?!

Friday, September 01, 2006

He's growing up!

This is Elijah on his first day of Daycare. I felt like I was sending him off to school. He is only going 3 mornings a week but I can't believe that he's such a grown up little boy now! I had to get him a whole daycare package of things to take, including indoor shoes and the little backpack you see (Thomas the Train...he loves it so much he wants to bring it wherever we go).

The Zoo

Saint John boasts a very local, very small zoo. A couple of weeks ago my friend Luan and I took our kids to it (the little girl is Zoe). Unfortunately, the lions and tigers (and pot-bellied pigs) decided that they would not be at all social that day and stayed inside where we couldn't see them!


Camp Medley is very close to CFB Gagetown. As a result, Elijah and I saw lots of military things during our week there. We saw Army trucks and soldiers and most impressive to Elijah was the "helicoppers". He just loves them! We saw them on our drives to Fredericton. They flew over the camp. So one morning I decided to take him to the base itself (guessing that there probably was a military museum nearby, and finding out that I was right). He loved it! Now, he wants to see it, meaning up close so he can touch it and play in it...