Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Our friends the Emmons Sisters and two Deems kids...aka friendly Indian warriors.
Airsoft target practice is serious business for Creighton Deems aka Pilgrim, er, maybe Myles Standish?
And the Deems family in their garb. Mark is the one pretending to be Pilgrim Barney.
We all look rather un-authentic, but Alexa comes closest with her newly-acquired braces :).
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
It's been a month since my son Nathan was married to Colleen McMurray. The new Mr. and Mrs. Sleadd came home from their honeymoon two weeks later and found out she was pregnant! They had hoped for such a result. YippEE!! I realize it's a shock to the sensibilities of some folks that two people getting married might want to start their family right away, but I have said to my children: If you're not ready for a family, you're not ready to get married! It is quite different advice than we received when John and I married, and we thought we needed to "wait" since that was the prevailing wisdom, after all, "You need some time for just the two of you". My answer to that now is, "Well, they always get nine months!"
With our children following the courtship model, and their dad doing his job, they known their future spouses from the get-go much better than most marrying couples do nowadays. We help them determine if they are ready financially and spiritually, so when all lights are green, we say, "You're ready for children!" So far, our two married children, Naomi and Nathan, are following our advice. Naomi is expecting #2. I'll have two more grandchildren in 2009. What a lot of fun!
For pictures of the wedding see Alexa's blog: mylifecompiled.blogspot.com.
I have some more blessings to enumerate. I am teaching--no, facilitating a Physics class for five teens in my home, two of which are my own. These young people are joy to work with. We have fun and laugh in the midst of some pretty heavy, heady discussions about Newtonian physics, Einstein's theories, and how God is in all and through all without being part of His Creation. I am thankful for Tait, Dylan, Jachin, Aaron, and Alexa as they bring added spice to my life. Thanks, you guys!
It is time to count up my many blessings. In spite of a looming economic crisis and Obama presidency, our lives continue much the same, so far. Our needs are well-supplied in abundance. We are paying our mortgage down ahead of schedule, even while increasing medical expenditures and ordering orthodontia for Alexa. The gas prices are back down below $2 a gallon after exceeding $4 just weeks ago. And all my children are in the faith, by all appearances and professions. What more could I ask for?!?
I do pray that America will return to its heritage. That's why I wrote a Pilgrim Trivia quiz to use on our feast day; my children and grandchildren will know the truth of their forefathers and hopefully emulate them. If you would like the file of the quiz, email me for it at email@example.com.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
However, I can't help but wonder what is happening to your family. I can relate to you somewhat; I grew up and attended public school in Alaska; I have five children in the same age range as yours; I have been politically active and pursued a teaching career. But I have found out the hard way that it it is not in the best interest of my children to have my best hours spent away from home. It is not good, even when they hit high school, as your now-pregnant-out-of-wedlock daughter demonstrates. I have heard it said that most teen pregnancies occur between the hours of 3 and 5pm--after school, at home, before Mom gets home from work. You weren't at the gate, watching for your daughter.
Titus 2 tells us women to be keepers of the home. The greek word for "keeper" means a guard, like a doorkeeper that guards the door from hostile entry. A mother needs to guard her home, and those who God has entrusted to her care. It has become nearly impossible to properly guard our children while they attend public school. The sexual pressures are far too strong for even Christian young people to resist.
When I shared my opinion about this to my mother, she said, "Now Arden, you know there are a lot of Christian parents who have had this happen to them." I realize that--and they too can probably look back and see where they made mistakes--when they let their guard down, and how they lost their children. I too am fallible. I rely on my good Christian mom-friends to help remind me to stay on top of the blogosphere my children use for virtual socializing. They can lose their hearts just as easily over the net as in person. (At least they can't get pregnant.)
But I digress. Sarah Palin, do you have your children's hearts? Do your children know they have your heart? And what will you do when you realize their hearts are slipping away? Do you have the courage to resign from your place of power and come home?
For what does it profit a woman if she changes the world but loses her own children?
This is Boone, Grandpa John, and Danny the cockatiel, the latter who sadly has passed from this life. He belonged to my parents, and they have a new cockatiel as of this week. Then another picture of Boone in my front yard--is he adorable or what?!? Lastly, my sons Aaron, Nathan, daughter Alexa, husband John and I pose in the colonial outfits Alexa sewed for all of us after many an hour slaving over the sewing machine. Didn't she do a good job? We wore these to a colonial play our homeschool friends put on in August. What a wonderful evening of celebrating our nation's heritage.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Is this a jaw-dropper, or what? First he insults the audience by his unwillingness to answer a fundamental question, which any aspiring Presidential candidate ought to be able to answer. Then he tells us, essentially, that he is unqualified to serve as our future president, because such a question is above his pay grade!
I ask you, what IS Obama's pay grade? Banker? Janitor? Airline pilot? Certainly he should not be a legislator, or anyone involved in writing, applying or interpreting the law to a citizenry which he cannot even define.
I am reading The Obama Nation by World Net Daily Editor Jerome Corsi. I recommend it. Pick it up at WalMart or on worldnetdaily.com.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Here is my lovely daughter Alexa, about to turn 15 next Monday. We will be throwing a birthday party for her Saturday with several families splashing in the pool and eating barbecued delights. Hopefully the heat will be more moderate. John and the boys have slaved away around the pool, putting in a cement walkway and improving the landscape. Sprinkler systems and hoses are in constant need of repair and replacement, so it is taking up much of John's time.
Here also is my son Nathan with his intended. He and Colleen were engaged last Friday while overlooking the Grants Pass sunset on the end of Highland Drive. Sigh.
And then, there is my daughter Naomi with baby Boone. Naomi and Nathanael informed us Saturday that she is expecting number 2! What a perfectly blissful weekend for this grandmother!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
I am adamantly pro-life, and have always felt that the least the doctors should do is feed and hydrate the patient to the very end, however artificially. Now I know that it is not so easy. A feeding tube may cause the patient to aspirate and vomit; an i.v. may repeatedly "fail" in fragile blood vessels, emptying its contents in the subcutaneous layer and causing great pain.
Then there is the issue of the role of the state. With the availability of Medicare, private insurance companies often refuse coverage until the state coverage has run out, leaving those (like myself) who have a principled objection to state involvement in a quandary.
There is no doubt that my dad would have expired by now without Medicare-funded intervention this month. It has allowed him another chance to prepare for the hereafter. For that I am grateful.
On the other hand, the same conditions that threatened his life (diabetes and cholesterol blockage in the vessels) remain, and he will still die from complications caused by them. His legs which were on the verge of amputation have been saved by stenting, at least for now. For how long, we don't know. He complained bitterly about his treatment in the hospital and rehab facility, though he got decent, pleasant service and they did save his life. The costs may approach $100,000 by the time all bills arrive. Was it justified?
If Medicare hadn't been available...private insurance would have kicked in. If my parents couldn't afford insurance...my dad would have stayed home, cared for by my sacrificially-loving mother, and suffered greatly in his slow, "natural" death.
We surely need an extra dose of wisdom to know how to apply Biblical principles in this modern age.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Here is an article I submitted to my local newspaper as a guest editorial. They published it Friday the 13th :).
Population “Bomb” May Not Be What You Think
By Arden Sleadd
Is the human race the “global equivalent of a swarm of locusts destroying and devouring everything in its path”, as one writer to the Courier described? I wonder, does she live in Oregon? When I look out my window I see towering 100-foot pine and fir trees between my neighbor’s acre and mine. No visions of swarming locusts, that.
Population growth has been getting a bad rap. Paul Erlich popularized the Malthusian theory that population would exceed the earth’s sustainability with his 1968 book, The Population Bomb, and since then environmentally-conscious folks have regarded humans as weeds, consumers and destroyers. Never mind the fact that nearly every prediction made in Erlich’s book failed to come true. Most notably, the “hundreds of millions of people” he predicted would die of starvation due to overpopulation in the 1970s and ‘80s, didn’t. Still, the overpopulation myth has become so embedded in our thinking that any facts to the contrary are ignored.
While it is true that population has grown more in the last century than at any other time, this is more a result of longer life spans than of high birth rates. Quality of life has improved, food production has improved (also defying Erlich’s predictions) and people are generally healthier. This is a good thing. However, it is also true that the number of children in the population has been steadily dropping. We are aging at a precipitious rate. The implications are not pretty.
While an educator, I first heard about the world’s “birth dearth” in 1988. This very real trend, also dubbed the Demographic Winter, has been gaining steam for at least three decades.
I quote from the website www.demographicwinter.com: “Worldwide, birthrates have been halved in the past 50 years. There are now 59 nations, 44% of the world’s population, with below-replacement fertility. Sometime in this century, the world’s population will begin to decline. At a certain point, the decline will become rapid. We may even reach population free-fall in our lifetimes. For some countries, population decline is already a reality. Russia is losing three-quarters-of-a-million people a year. The term ‘nuclear winter,’ popularized in the 1980s, alluded to the catastrophic environmental impact of a nuclear war. The long-term consequences of a demographic winter could be equally devastating.” (emphasis added)
Imagine a world in which 80% of the population is in retirement age, and 20% are working or in childhood. Imagine hospitals and nursing homes bursting at the seams with old people, and not enough young doctors and CNAs to care for them. Imagine thousands of old people dying in their beds and left there for days or weeks because there is so few people remaining to carry them out, or who even know they’re dead. Imagine the rampant disease that would result. Imagine ghost-towns full of McMansions going back to the coyotes. The population bomb is coming, but it may not play out the way you think.
One letter to the Courier has attempted to paint population growth as analogous to lily-pad reproduction. Since it actually takes two humans to produce one new one, this analogy presumes a human birth-rate at a constant of 4.0, or double the replacement rate, along with a death rate of zero. The truth is that population growth has proven to be linear, not exponential. The U.S. fertility rate is currently only 2.1, or just enough to maintain our current population. Western Europe’s birth rates are much more dismal—Italy is at 1.2, Spain at 1.1, and so it goes. The governments of these countries are very worried, and are offering large sums to induce women to have more children. Few are taking the carrot.
Recent data shows the primary culprit of resource waste has not been overpopulation, but family breakdown. Divorce causes one household to become two, resulting in more capital destruction and consumption, to the tune of $112 billion a year, according to a recent study. If we really care about being “green”, we could start by keeping our love alive and our marriages intact.
Not all humans behave alike. While some are over-consumers, most people learn to produce or contribute at least as much as they consume over their lifetimes. The key is training our young people to be responsible and caring, and the onus is on parents to be diligent in their training.
How should we be truly “green”? 1. Get married and stay married. 2. Have children (at least four, to make up for lost time). 3. If it’s too late for you, adopt a few. 4. Devote your life to loving and training your children (and grandchildren) to be good stewards of our planet. 5. Treat flora, fauna, and humans alike with kindness, and 6. Work sacrificially for those who cared for you.
It may not be the easy road, but it is the high road. The future of our civilization depends on it.
Arden Sleadd is a home-educator, mother of five, grandmother of one, and former school teacher. Her blog is womancomehome.blogspot.com. She and her husband founded Covered Bridge Family Ministries (www.coveredbridgefm.org). They reside in Grants Pass, OR.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
With Father's Day coming up, I decided I needed to honor my father and spend this week here to be available and help them in whatever little ways I can. We never know how many more days we have together. John is holding down the fort at home, finishing up the last week of homeschool with the kids. God Bless him.
At age 50, family life is coming at me from both directions, as it is for my sister. Motherhood seems to only grow in its job description with the passing of time. On my plate are such things as: 1. supporting my 18yo son's courtship and developing a relationship with my prospective daughter-in-love; 2. helping my 20yo daughter as she grows in motherhood and raises my grandson; 3. raising my three left at home, including homeschooling my 11yo son, training my 14yo daughter in homemaking skills, and helping my 16yo son venture into moneymaking and career-planning; 4. being a secretary, helpmeet and hostess to my husband's pastoral work; 5. care for aging grandparents. I must remind myself that all mothers have walked this road before me and managed famously. So I will stop patting myself on the back for how much I do. It's God plan for shaping and moulding us. And what a ride it is.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Find out what TANSTAAFL stands for. Find out what really causes inflation. Find out why a $50,000 profit can really be an $8000 loss with inflation. Read this book!
Sunday, April 27, 2008
'housewife' covers it,' Said the recorder emphatically. I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself In the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall. The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, Efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like, 'Official Interrogator' or 'Town Registrar.' 'What is your occupation?' she probed. What made me say it? I do not know. The words simply popped out. 'I'm a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations.' The clerk paused, ball- point pen frozen in midair and Looked up as though she had not heard right. I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words.. Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written, In bold, black ink on the official questionnaire. 'Might I ask,' said the clerk with new interest,'just what you do in your field?' Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, 'I have a continuing program of research, (what mother doesn't) In the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out). I'm working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family) And already have four credits (all daughters). Of cou rse, the job is one of the most d emanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree?) And I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers And the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money.' There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she Completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door. As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby) in the child development program, Testing out a new vocal pattern. I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy! And I had gone on the official records as someone more Distinguished and indispensable to mankind than 'just another Mom.' Motherhood! What a glorious career! Especially when there's a title on the door. Does this make grandmothers 'Senior Research associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations' And great grandmothers Executive Senior Research Associates?' I think so!!! I also think it makes Aunts
Associate Research Assistants. May your troubles be less, Your blessing be more, And nothing but happiness come through your door!
We do need a new acronym for moms. I’m working on one myself. HBWW—Home-Based Wonder Woman? MASID—Mover and Shaker In Disguise? Or maybe a CRACKWR—Cradle-Rocking Agent of Change and World Ruler. As in “she who rocks the cradle rules the world”. But no, those are all too long.
The best one I’ve come up with so far is GOH—Guardian of Home. That’s what the original Greek in the Bible (Titus 2) means when it’s variously translated “keeper of the home”, “worker at home”, etc. It really means a guardian, just as a gatekeeper guards a gate and keeps threatening robbers and strangers away.
Our jobs as guardians have become increasingly complicated with the advent of internet and other gadgetry. Negative influences find their way in right under my nose. I get lazy sometimes and don’t filter everything I should. But I keep trying.
We also guard the tenor, tone, and ambience of our home. Is it full of sweet-smelling candles and conversation; are there signs of beauty on the walls, and music to bring out the best in us? Right now, my house is characterized more by clutter than care, but it does show that life is going on in our midst, that loving ,busy beings house this place.
Does anyone have some other ideas of new names for us homemakers/keepers?
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Another good resource for finding ways to earn college degrees at home is Brad Voeller's Accelerated Distance Learning, a book written by a homeschool graduate who used his life experiences to count as college credit. There is information on testing-for-credit, online colleges, etc. A great resource. See www.globallearningstrategies.org.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
She expressed her feelings of rejection by being uncooperative whenever I came to take her home from the babysitters. I got her message loud and clear as well: “If you reject me by dropping me off here every day, I’m rejecting you when you take me back.”
|The Sleadd Clan. Back Row, l-to-r: Caleb, Nathanael and Naomi Phillips, |
Colleen and Nathan Sleadd, Emily and Aaron Sleadd, Alexa
Front Row, l-to-r: John; Voyla Steves, matriarch; Arden
Update, July 2014: Naomi is now the happy mother of four children, and my best friend! My younger daughter Alexa just turned 21. She works for my son Nathan at Ziplinegear.com as a marketing graphics designer, outside the home, while still living with us. She intends to quit working when she is married. She has not lost her vision as a woman come home. I am thankful for that.