The Way Women are Portrayed at Arcades: This BUGS me!!!

IMG_1002

Look closely.

Am I the only one annoyed by this? We try to be good parents. We monitor every single thing that comes into our house. The boys only get to play video games on the weekend, and even then, it’s Mario, Sonic, or Lego characters.

But what happens when you take your children to a restaurant/video game arcade? And not just one particular one, but pretty much all of them?

Scantily clad women waving flags on the motorcycle game. Ughhhhhhh. Why? Who is this for? Let’s look at this picture, shall we? Who is playing this game? A young girl and two young boys. Who just goes and stands around, occasionally getting to throw in a token ourselves? The grown-ups.

These games are mostly played by children, so why do we have showgirls waving flags? This is teaching this young girl “This is what you need to look like. This is hot. Aspire to this.” And this is teaching young boys, “Whoo-hoo! Women! Yeah! Don’t take us seriously.”

This doesn’t need to be set up as an accepted society standard of what womanhood means. My boys don’t need to deal with sexy images of women yet. They are young. I would never allow an image like that in my home or computer screen, so why would we want it in the arcade? Just because something is prevalent in our culture doesn’t mean it’s right, and the portrayal of women is one of those things.

This is how women are packaged in our society: as sex objects. Could we please get this out of our video games? Could we get this game out of arcades that are mostly frequented by children? Am I not the only one highly annoyed by this??

 

 

 

The Writer,the Adder, the Brownie Thief, and Joshua #2

Joy.

This is my picture of the year for 2015. This totally sums up what I’m wanting this year to be like. Last year was all change, change, change, and more change. It was WORK. It was learning to teach again. It was so much learning I thought my brain would bust.

Nothing against work and learning, but I’m still exhausted.

Let’s make work and learning a little more fun for all this year, especially me.

This year we will not:

1. move

2. change schools

3. Go whole weeks without leaving the house.

4. give birth

5. wean a baby

6. Say good-bye to all of our friends.

 

This year we WILL:

1. Go to the beach more often.

2. Have lots of guests!

3. Keep on home schoolin’.

4. Potty train J.D. (later this year…not now)

5. Finish our first year of home schooling.

6. Go to Legoland.

7. Visit the San Diego Zoo. Oh yeah, baby, that is so happening soon!!!

8. Have my lesson plans done BEFORE the new school year starts. That’s a benefit of being a second year CC’er. I actually have some clue as to what is going on. That statement is probably something only a Classical Conversations family could understand. It’s just a whole other method of schooling that will shake up your brain and fill it with tons of new information and ideas.

 

I’ve captured a few of our recent 2015 adventures on camera:

Batman went to Joshua’s basketball game with us.

My friend Jennifer showed me a ‘meme’ online that had a picture of a Batman mask. It read, “Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Always be Batman.”

Daniel is following in Caleb’s steps of costume love. We often hear Caleb ask Dan, “Dan, do you want me to go dress you up in a costume?”

They have quite the super hero collection.

Do you know what else Caleb likes to do? He makes up math problems on the board. In his free time! Never have I ever.

Caleb likes to make up math problems to work on the board.

Did you know that we sometimes call John David “Joshua #2”? It feels like raising Joshua all over again–a more aggressive version. Anyone with three older siblings will come out kickin’.

What makes him like Jman? So many things! He loves books. He’s allergic to nuts. His face is very similar. He’s the same size that Joshua was. He’s high maintenance. They have all been high maintenance, except for Caleb.

Let me take a moment and thank God for the one low maintenance child….

haaaa! Of course, Caleb is a wild card. You never know when he’s going to take some freak notion to try to walk to school by himself, like he did in Kindergarten, BUT I will say that I’ve never seen a more self-reliant child. He almost never asks for help.

JD LOVES books. I think most kids do.

Beach Day #2 with Jennings. This time we went prepared for the soaking.

I already wrote about Jennings’ visit, but I didn’t share pics from beach day #2. We were much better prepared. All boys had on swim gear. Caleb wore very little, and I really don’t know how he didn’t freeze to death, but he didn’t.

Happiness!

Sometimes I wonder why we don’t just go to the beach every day.

When small people steal brownies

Last weekend, we prepared Daniel a perfectly good lunch. Then we went upstairs, and left him alone in the kitchen to eat it.

We also left a pan of cooling brownies on the counter. So there you have it.

The young author needs lots of room to spread out his work.

Joshua has a new hobby. He writes and illustrates copious amounts of comic book stories.  I get a kick out of the way he spreads them all out on his bed.

beginning PreK 4!!!

I’m gradually easing Daniel into PreK4. I love the Montessori preschool style, and we are also doing that with Daniel. I have a whole post that I’m working on about that.  Coming soon!

This pic is of Daniel enjoying an A Beka learning game. Every time he correctly says a letter sound, he gets to put an apple on the tree.

Believe it or not, Daniel will also be a Classical Conversations student in the fall. Too cute. My expectations for that are pretty low. I’ll just cheer on whatever he does learn and not spend a single second concerning myself with what he doesn’t learn. Entering as a K4 student, he will learn Cycle 1 memory work 3 times!

JD had a ball playing with Aunt Jennings at the beach.

Day 2: These two never did get wet.

Do you remember that pre-teen girls’ sleepover I mentioned? Well, they painted my nails. I haven’t painted my nails since about 2005, so now I have these horrible chipped, purple sparkly nails, and not an ounce of polish remover in the house. I am such a boy mom. Now I have to go buy nail polish remover.

I also learned that when it comes to modern pre-teen pop culture I apparently “don’t know anything at all!!!”

“What is BAE? What does that mean???”

“It means above all else…”

Wait…but wouldn’t that be AAE? Or maybe they said better than all else. I forgot already.

Then, of course, I had never heard of any of their bands/songs/singers. Also, did you know that many of these children have their own smart phones??

I cannot imagine giving a pre-teen unlimited, unsupervised access to the internet.

I’m sorry, but I think that is a terrible idea. Plus, it’s impossible to run any activities with people who are always looking at their phone.

The most startling realization from all of this is that our Joshua is only two years away from being a member of this ‘middle school’ crowd. He’s nine!  Does that mean that some kids his age are already getting their own smart phones??  Giving a kid a cell phone so you can call them is one thing. Giving them a smart phone where they can access porn, snapchat, and anything else in the world is totally different. I’m not talking about 17 year olds. I’m talking about middle schoolers.

Electronic time is such a new dilemma for my generation of fellow parents. Our parents had to deal with Nintendo time. We have to worry about what they might access on an iPad!

Alan and I have stuck to our ‘no electronics during the week’ rule. They can play video games on the weekend. This weekend they didn’t even get to do that, but no one seemed to miss it. We are also very strict about what video games enter our house.

I’d better run. Daniel and John David are ready to get out of the bath tub. When all else fails, baths are the greatest way I know to entertain small children.

 

 

 

 

So we took away the video games and computer fun again.

IMG_4586

I happened upon this sea otter, bathing on a rock, while hiking with the boys at Point Lobos State Park! So exciting!

Ah, Christmas. Yes, I have small children, so a part of me is like this guy:

But the truth is, I can also be April, the stress ball.

I LOVE the idea of Christmas, but I won’t lie.

It’s supposed to be about God’s gift to man: Jesus= salvation=inner peace….a gift freely given and not deserved.

It’s just so hard to remember that.

The truth is I’m a lot more stress ball than I am Buddy the Elf. I spent all of November living in denial that Christmas was in fact upon us, so now I have less than three weeks to do all of my shopping–  all while still figuring out this whole home school thing.

Hopefully, there will be no funerals this year. In my family, Christmas is marked to pieces by funerals. Last year it was Granny. The year before that it was my Grandpa. When I was in high school, it was my MawMaw. So we just have this tinge of sadness that goes along with our holidays…

Thankfully, I don’t blog to whine about my problems. Aren’t you glad? Eh? What’s that? You think I DO whine about my problems??  Well, maybe you’re right, but rest assured that is not my goal!

Actually, I want this to be a very UP-lifting place for all of you during this, what I consider to be, stressful time of year.  I use blogging as an escape from chores–you do NOT want to see the number of toys in my floor right now–and escapes should always be happy. 🙂

Here are a few happy stories from our week that will hopefully make you smile:

 

 

Daniel likes to get out a Bible, or any Christian book really, and sing.

“It’s Christmas. Oh, Lord, God! Oh Loooooord!”

My thoughts exactly, Daniel. 😉

******

 As we speak, Joshua is leading his brothers around the house, all FOUR of them playing some imaginary game together. PRECIOUSNESS. We decided to take away the video games during the week. We are making them less happy in order to make them more happy.

Heh? Yep. That’s what I said.

Less happy in the moment that they make the video game request = more happy in the long run

I’m hoping this will give them more time to be BORED–more time to play TOGETHER (and that’s definitely working), and more time to focus on learning more valuable things.

For example, if Caleb were allowed to play Mario at this moment, and Joshua were playing an iPad game, the littles would be clinging to my ankles, wanting me to entertain them. It is also likely that Daniel would be moping and whining for Caleb to stop playing Wii so he could watch cartoons.

INSTEAD, they are all “being dogs” together. You can’t beat that!!

There are more toys in the floor, though. : / Ah well.

I told them they could watch a movie if they cleaned up all the toys from the floor. They decided they’d rather not watch a movie…. Don’t worry. They will get the toys picked up later when I turn them into forced labor…

*********

IMG_4508

Did you even know this was possible? Upside down selfie. He can do this now because I found my camera battery charger!!  That’s right! Clear photos are back on the blog!!  Roll Tide.

IMG_4510 IMG_4511

 

Remember the Frumpy Mama post? Well, I finally made it to two doctor appointments. I have not fixed my eyebrows or hair yet, BUT I have worn REAL clothes at least twice this week already. 🙂

 

IMG_4512 IMG_4513 Guess what!!  December is the greenest month we’ve seen in California yet!! When we moved in, in August, everything was brown and full of briars. Now there is green grass everywhere! The high temperature is usually around 65. Haa!!! Not a bad deal, eh?

 

 

 

IMG_4518

 

Point Lobos is our favorite place to go. I took the three oldest boys hiking there last week.

IMG_4523

IMG_4528 IMG_4535 IMG_4545 IMG_4546 IMG_4555

I’m so thankful my camera is back in action!!

 

IMG_4568

“Look, Mom!!  A real snail!”

IMG_4573

 

 

Point Lobos has several beaches that have billions of tiny pebbles, rather than sand.IMG_4582

Three Seals and an Otter

IMG_4580 IMG_4578 IMG_4575 IMG_4584 IMG_4588 IMG_4590

Laugh if you want to, but I’m pretty sure I’ve photographed that seal on the left before. He has some very distinguishing skin patterns.

 

IMG_4593 IMG_4598

IMG_4606 IMG_4607 IMG_4624 IMG_4622 IMG_4617 IMG_4610

Joshua got a call from Xavier

.IMG_4628 IMG_4629

We had Thanksgiving with an incredibly sweet ranching family in Carmel Valley.

 

IMG_4636 I’m hesitant to put anyone’s name on the internet these days. I’ll just say that this is my friend, M. M reminds me so much of myself–only more talented in home decorating than I–that it’s almost scary. Have you ever had a friend that you knew you could say just about anything to, because you know they are thinking it too?  That is a RARE kind of friend, and we only just met this summer, but M is such a kindred spirit, that I can seriously say whatever I want.

 

 

**********

Aside from the, “Augh!!  It’s Christmas already!!” thing, California this time of year is FULL of surprises: it’s the greenest time of year. I know! The highs are like 65 degrees. Glory!

Things are different here than the media might lead one to believe. There are a lot of different subcultures. As you can imagine, I am very much in the homeschool mom/church going/ traditional values bubble. I haven’t met any of the stereotypical hippies that we like to tease this state about, but that’s mostly due to my living in a bubble. Birds of a feather flock together. If I were a drug culture person, all my friends would be high, and I’d say, “Dude, no one worries about right or wrong here,” because like minded people hang together. Do you know what I mean?

 The people I know here, both locals and newbies, are all people I either have a lot in common with or are people I want to learn from.

One stereotype I can tell you is DEFINITELY true. Californians eat better than anyone in the world. They eat cleaner and greener. Even our small city has both a Whole Foods and a Trader Joe’s. Vegetables are consumed heavily, but what do you expect? Veggies are grown here YEAR-ROUND! It’s a delicious place to live!

I’ll leave you with this funny story that would never happen in any of the other places I’ve lived. We were at church, a while back, and they were planning a potluck. The coordinator got up and actually said this sentence, “Please, we don’t need EVERYone to bring salads. We need some people to sign up for beans. We don’t want to end up with 50 different salads like last time. “

BAAAAHAHAHAHAHA

I love you, Californians.

greenchristmas

1 2