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


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??




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


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…



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.

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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?






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


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



“Look, Mom!!  A real snail!”




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

Three Seals and an Otter

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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.


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Joshua got a call from Xavier

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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. “


I love you, Californians.


The Gulpers

So apparently, Joshua borrowed my computer and published this photo and title, so to all of my email subscribers: I am so sorry.  :/

Here’s the actual post….

Joshua is the world’s greatest researcher. I’m completely serious. Don’t get too excited, though. He spends all of his precious research skills on…..Skylanders.  The amount of information in his brain about this series of video games probably occupies 90% of the space in his brain.

When we were kids we played video games like this:

Us:  Mom, can we play Nintendo?????

Mom: Okay.

Us:  Yes!!!!  And we’d play until we got mad, bored, or restless.

Then next time we’d have to start back over at level 1, so it was rare to ever win a game.


Kids: Mom, can we play Wii???

Me: Okay.

Them:  Yes!!!

They play for a few minutes.

Joshua:  *running upstairs*  You keep working on it. I’m going to go find out how to get past this level!  Mom!!!  Can I borrow your computer??

Me: Okay.

Joshua:  YES!!!

He spends 2 minutes on the internet, obtains the info required and runs down to tell Caleb. Then they “team work” kick the villain’s rears. Then Joshua runs outside to jump on the trampoline. Caleb starts as another character,  until I eventually make him quit playing.

Therefore, they beat every new video game within 2 weeks of purchasing it. Every. single. time.

They are only allowed to play a little bit per day. Don’t worry about that.

These two are the dream team, Joshua, the researcher, and Caleb the tireless gamer. That boy never gets frustrated. He just keeps going until you make him quit!!

The whole research thing has been going on since Joshua was younger than Daniel. Do you remember? First, it was whales. He knew more about whales than almost any adult by the time he was 3 1/2. He could tell you the differences between belugas, narwhals, orcas, and humpbacks even before he began using forks properly.

After whales, it was just animals, or as he used to say, ‘angimals’, in general. He used to watch polar bear documentaries every day. Every day. We still have them. I highly recommend Arctic Tale. I put it in a couple weeks ago, and we were all still mesmerized. That love is still there, it comes out every once in a while, but he doesn’t research it anymore.

When Joshua was still 3, he used to pretend to be a polar bear pushing on the ice to get to the seal underneath all the time. It was so cool. He carried about 4 animal beanie babies around with him everywhere he went, and Diego was his personal hero.

Then we moved to DC. He met other kids, and by the time he turned 4 LIFE was all about Batman. When he turned 5, a friend of his even gave him the cartoon of it. So now we know all of this useless Batman trivia….That love is still there a little too. It comes out in his drawings sometimes, and his Bat cape is still one of his treasured possessions.

After Batman, we did K4 home-school, and he returned to his love of animals. This time he was primarily obsessed with badgers, raccoons, and opossums. We would go to the library for pre-school hour, and Joshua would say, “Mom, I only want books about badgers. Badgers, Mom. No, we read that one last week. Aren’t there any new ones?”

So we read every book that small town library had about badgers, raccoons, opossums, or fenec foxes (It’s a desert fox with large ears). Nonna was teaching science at the time, and she brought him books called things like “Strange Animals of Australia” and “Extraordinary Mammals” and “Marsupials.”  I feel like I could pass a zoology exam, all thanks to the year I pre-schooled Joshua.


Joshua and his animals


Joshua’s 5th birthday cake was all about Batman. (I was pregnant with Daniel!)

Once we returned to Virginia, and entered regular school, the rage was suddenly all about Ninjago and other Lego things. Alan would call from Afghanistan, and Joshua would tell him, in detail, about every single Lego set he’d read about in advertisements. Poor Alan.  😉

First grade brought us Mario and Luigi. SECOND grade brought us Skylanders, and here we are, one year later, and still stuck in this same obsession. When will it end???? It’s like the Skylander people know about us because they keep releasing new video games on Joshua’s birthday.

This year it’s “Trap Team”.  Yesterday, Joshua found a website that had a song for each individual villain on Trap Team, and he and Caleb have been jammin’ out. Sheep Creep has this bluegrass-y theme song, and Joshua was like, “I don’t like this one. It’s weird.” I laughed because it’s all banjo, and I told him his Granddaddy would love that one.

So they formed a band. Joshua and JD played drums, Caleb made a football, two pencils, and a ruler into a guitar…..which broke pretty quickly…..and Daniel SLEPT though it all. Amazing.

Isn’t he cute? I know. The number of rugs is ludicrous. We are trying to save the carpet from these renters who have a whole lot of little boys…..yeah, that’d be us.

So the boys have been very seriously discussing the name of their band. I’m not allowed to tell you what Joshua wants to name it b/c he’s a little bit blog shy, but Caleb wanted to call it the Gulpers, only his brother wouldn’t let him.

Hope you all have a great weekend!  We’ll be rockin’ out to the tunes of Skylanders…

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