Tuesday, February 16

Homekeeper's Journal ~ 2/16

Here’s What’s Happening...

In My Kitchen: Three of the children are cleaning up after a pancake feast. Three carrot cakes are still waiting to be frosted or frozen (maybe both). Later we'll be making meatloaf, potatoes, and asparagus. Yum!

With The Children: The older two are juggling school and additional work responsibilities. Toby is toying with the option of getting his license, and has discovered texting. Jon is looking at the onset of puberty. Mike is outgrowing his clothes. Grace is improving her reading skills... will be in this stage for a while, but it's always exciting!

What I’m Reading: Giants in the Earth, by O.E. Rolvaag. I plan to follow it with the sequel, Peder Victorious.

What I Have Been Learning: Lots of random tidbits! Uh-huh... and my mind is making new connections, too. I just can't put my finger on any of them to share with you.

What I’ve Been Noticing: I tend to think a lot, but not very well.

On The Back Burner of My Mind: Finances. I have a priority list a mile long, and need to make sure it's in order and that I stay on track as our situation changes.

In The Deepest Darkest Recesses: I'm very uncomfortable with several aspects of my life right now, and praying for direction, courage, and strength to press on.

Friday, February 5

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day has never really concerned me. After all, it's all about giving chocolate and red and pink heart-shaped cards to your sweetheart, and since I have never had a sweetheart, it just never really mattered to me. Well, a couple of weeks ago that changed.

Now, before you start thinking that I've gotten a boyfriend and gone all weird and romantic on you, let me explain myself. I love History. I love History so much, that when my Mom asked me to teach my younger siblings World History, I jumped at the chance. Since then, I've been teaching my siblings, and have been learning just as much as they have.

We recently learned about how the Valentine's Day tradition began, and I was surprised when I read it. To explain all this, I'll take you back to ancient Rome around the year 269 A.D. in February. During this time period, Christians were being persecuted for their faith by the Romans, and there was a Christian priest named Valentine who was about to die for his faith. Valentine died on February 14th, the day we know as Valentine's Day.

So what do chocolate and heart-shaped cards have to do with this? Well, the Romans had a holiday known as Lupercalia that they celebrated on February 15th. On this great feast day, young men and women would pair up and spend time together and even exchange gifts. Some of these couples would even marry one another as a result of this courtship.

So what about Cupid? Did he come from this? And how did a martyr and a Roman holiday get put together? Well, Cupid was supposedly the Roman god of love, and if you got shot with one of his arrows, you would fall in love! In 495 A.D. Pope Gelasius decided to replace Lupercalia (February 15th)with the remembering of Saint Valentine (February 14th).

Although it has held the name of the martyr Valentine, we've made Valentine's Day more like Lupercalia. So this Valentine's Day while you're buying chocolates for your honey, or better yet, eating chocolate from your honey, spend a minute and think about Valentine, the priest who died for his Christian faith.


Thursday, February 4

Of Mice and Men

I was recently assigned the book Of Mice and Men to read. I had seen the movie when I was a little younger, so I knew the story line, but reading it really made clear the troubles of the Depression.

Of Mice and Men is about two men looking for work together. George is a smart but rather cynical man, and Lennie is a tall, hardworking man with limited mental abilities. Knowing that the Depression was a hard time to get work, I was surprised when I realized how dedicated George was to Lennie. Not only was Lennie someone that George had to supervise all the time, but he was also a threat to every job George could find.

I was even more surprised when I found that the two weren't even related! So here's a man who could be fending for himself that chooses to look after someone who is even less fortunate than he is! That got me thinking about how self centered our culture has become. We've gone from looking after one another to thinking of ourselves first. Nowadays if people were put in that kind of position, many would choose to leave Lennie behind and worry about themselves. After all, they'd reason, they had it hard enough already. Why go and take on an unnecessary burden?

What about you? Would you be willing to take care of someone you aren't even related to? Even if they cost you your job? Why or why not? Just something to think about.