The Scoop on Granny


Dreaming of the mountains...

Who is Granny?

I'm the incredibly blessed mother of 9, "Granny" to 16, and wife of "The Papa," the knight-in-shining-armor whose loving support has made it possible for me to stay home and give my life to mothering, homemaking, and 26 years of homeschooling. Life at Granny's House is full of laughter, friendship, books, music, lively debate, writing, and good things to eat. My days are made even more meaningful by coming alongside other moms, giving them the support and encouragement that I lacked as a young mother and helping them to network with each other in ways that strengthen homes and families. A few times a year I board a plane to visit my "away" kids, to attend the birth of a grandchild, or to enjoy some lazy days with my best friend, but I always love coming back to...Granny's House.

My Complete Profile

On Granny's Calendar
  • August 15 - SAC Day begins
  • August 16 - Sam is 7!
  • August 20 - Kristen's birthday
  • August 30 - THE WELTYS ARRIVE!
  • Sept 3 - Chris' birthday
  • Sept 5 - Henry is 9!
  • Sept 7 - Isaac is 10!
  • Sept 17 - The Papa's birthday
  • Sept 23-30 - Granny and Papa go to Hawaii
  • Sept 26 - PawPop is 88!
  • Sept 29 - Tim is 15!
  • Oct 2 - Cheyenne's birthday
  • Oct 4 - Liam is 5!
  • Oct 7 - John Caleb is 17!
  • Oct 18 - Tony's birthday

  • Email Granny!

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  • Tuesday, September 30, 2008

    I'm the first one to admit that the mortgage lending mess is too complicated for most of us to grasp completely. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't all attempt to understand the basics--we all bear responsibility for what we allow our government to do, and in this case that means we're all responsible for a massive mess.

    Here, then, is an explanation (with viewpoint) for "the rest of us," those of us who don't have a degree in economics from Harvard.

    The current mess would never have occurred in the absence of ill-conceived federal policies. The federal government chartered Fannie Mae in 1938 and Freddie Mac in 1970; these two mortgage lending institutions are at the center of the crisis. The government implicitly promised these institutions that it would make good on their debts, so Fannie and Freddie took on huge amounts of excessive risk.

    Worse, beginning in 1977 and even more in the 1990s and the early part of this century, Congress pushed mortgage lenders and Fannie/Freddie to expand subprime lending. The industry was happy to oblige, given the implicit promise of federal backing, and subprime lending soared.

    This subprime lending was more than a minor relaxation of existing credit guidelines. This lending was a wholesale abandonment of reasonable lending practices in which borrowers with poor credit characteristics got mortgages they were ill-equipped to handle.

    Once housing prices declined and economic conditions worsened, defaults and delinquencies soared, leaving the industry holding large amounts of severely depreciated mortgage assets.

    On this much, most everyone agrees. These are the largely undisputed facts. Where politicians (and some economists) part company is in discerning what should be done to "fix" the problem and ensure that we don't end up here again.

    The fact that government bears such a huge responsibility for the current mess means any response should eliminate the conditions that created this situation in the first place, not attempt to fix bad government with more government.

    The obvious alternative to a bailout is letting troubled financial institutions declare bankruptcy. Bankruptcy means that shareholders typically get wiped out and the creditors own the company.

    Bankruptcy does not mean the company disappears; it is just owned by someone new (as has occurred with several airlines). Bankruptcy punishes those who took excessive risks while preserving those aspects of a businesses that remain profitable.

    In contrast, a bailout transfers enormous wealth from taxpayers to those who knowingly engaged in risky subprime lending. Thus, the bailout encourages companies to take large, imprudent risks and count on getting bailed out by government. This "moral hazard" generates enormous distortions in an economy's allocation of its financial resources.

    There is a solution.

    So what should the government do? Eliminate those policies that generated the current mess. This means, at a general level, abandoning the goal of home ownership independent of ability to pay. This means, in particular, getting rid of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with policies like the Community Reinvestment Act that pressure banks into subprime lending. [emphasis mine]

    Despite the pain that Jeffrey Miron's approach would cause in the short term for you and me and much of the country, it's the only thing that's more than a band-aid. Yes, it will seem to egalitarian Americans to be unfair to poor and some middle-class families. But life isn't fair. And no amount of government Ponzi scheming can create fairness. But once we bought into the fact that everyone deserves, at taxpayer expense, a minimum standard of living, public education, etc., it's a short step to making sure that every man (or woman) can "buy" a house even if the taxpayer ends up buying it for him.

    Sorry, folks, there's no free lunch house.

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    has spoken at 11:07 AM
    9 Backtalks to Granny

    Tuesday edition of the Snippets...
    Look for the next iteration of the bailout bill to be called something like "Economic Rivitalization and Stimulus Plan of 2008." Yeah.

    Steve Doocy looked great in his chartreuse tie this morning.

    The trip to the Corn Maize got a lot more popular all of a sudden.

    My baby turned 12 yesterday. Does that make me old?

    Candace is one of the the .004 % of people in the country who knows how to spell "shoo-in." I'm smiling.

    $700 billion may seem like chump change by next week.

    Nancy Pelosi's political capital dropped farther than 777 points.

    Sleeping with the windows open is a very good thing.

    My new dryer arrives this morning. And yes, it's on a 15" pedestal so I don't have to bend over so far. My ceramic hips will love me.

    Shelley got a 92 on her first college essay. And she's a high school junior. And it was the highest grade in the class.

    The trash man comes too early.

    I'm researching Pycnogenol. I am very impressed. And that doesn't happen easily.

    Algebra is not my strong suit but I like it better all the time. I love the peek into God's mind.

    We have a shiny new library and very nice library ladies. And purple library cards.

    New red earrings. Yeah, and a bracelet to match. Happy fall :-)

    has spoken at 6:58 AM
    6 Backtalks to Granny

    Monday, September 29, 2008

    My thoughts on the (surprising) failure of the bailout:

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    has spoken at 3:12 PM
    5 Backtalks to Granny

    Time's up, put your pencils down.

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mathematicians at UCLA have discovered a 13 million-digit prime number, a long-sought milestone that makes them eligible for a $100,000 prize.

    The group found the 46th known Mersenne prime last month on a network of 75 computers running Windows XP. The number was verified by a different computer system running a different algorithm.

    "We're delighted," said UCLA's Edson Smith, the leader of the effort. "Now we're looking for the next one, despite the odds."

    It's the eighth Mersenne prime discovered at UCLA.

    Primes are numbers like three, seven and 11 that are divisible by only two whole positive numbers: themselves and one.

    Mersenne primes — named for their discoverer, 17th century French mathematician Marin Mersenne — are expressed as 2P-1, or two to the power of "P" minus one. P is itself a prime number. For the new prime, P is 43,112,609.

    Thousands of people around the world have been participating in the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, or GIMPS, a cooperative system in which underused computing power is harnessed to perform the calculations needed to find and verify Mersenne primes.

    I just thought I'd include this little story in case your math students hadn't heard and were still trying for the $100,000 prize. You can now go on to other things.

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    has spoken at 8:27 AM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday, September 28, 2008
    Just in case there are 2.4 readers left here who are still under the naive impression that Granny's House is the abode of a slew of serene, sedate, studious, scholarly button-downs, this video should quickly disabuse you of that notion.

    Get popcorn and stay through the credits.

    Cheap Thrills at the Warren House

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    has spoken at 10:44 PM
    6 Backtalks to Granny

    HOPE floats!
    HOPE is one of the loves of my life.

    No, not that kind of hope. HOPE is our group of San Antonio homeschooling moms that is entering its eighth year together. I sometimes succumb, for lack of more descriptive terminology, to calling it a "support group," and although it is in many ways that, I dislike the term because it smells to me of weakness and a soft, victim mentality. HOPE, standing for Homes of Parent Educators (and a score of other interesting variations), is a group of more than 30 strong women, mothers whom God has inspired and equipped to take responsibility for the education of their children. But in our group, education is only a part: these gals give support and strength to each other in countless ways every week. The group represents several churches and is made up of large families, small families, single-parent families, both English- and Spanish-speaking families, young moms, older moms, moms-to-be, long-time San Antonio residents and military families who stay with us for a few years and then break our hearts...

    Each fall, HOPE kicks off our school year with a family picnic. This year for the first time we had a combination cookout and swim party, and I haven't heard a single dissenting opinion: it was our most successful, satisfying, and fun picnic ever. Sixteen families gathered to enjoy a beautiful late September day and would have stayed into the night if it weren't for kids needing naps and teens sporting a little too much pink on the cheeks and shoulders. It was just one of those perfect days.

    Wanna peek in?

    I didn't get a good shot of the food when we started. By the time this one was taken we had pretty much demolished the setup.

    I am not sure what the story is about Pete's handful of food here, and not sure I want to know...

    ...but whatever it was he had to wash it down with something.

    The gals sat around in groups, enjoying the sun and each other's company...

    ...pairs of teens popped up here and there...

    ...the guys talked sports and...and...all those other things guys talk about. Theology. Yeah, that's it, theology.

    I'm beginning to see this look often. Hollie was looking into the future and KNEW she was going to end up on my blog.

    Even the big kids enjoyed the kid pool....

    ...and the littlest ones were having a good time, too!

    CJ spent the afternoon conducting rigorous academic research for an upcoming paper on homeschooling...

    ...and Rowan led his dad around the pool several times.

    Some of the little ones gave out early...

    Some took a little longer...

    ...and you can't tell from this picture, but Tiff was nearly gone here.

    It was a blessed day. These families truly enjoy being together and it shows. They dare to love, to serve, to put their lives and resources on the line for each other every day.

    And THAT'S the audacity of HOPE :-)

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    has spoken at 9:00 PM
    4 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday snippets...
    It was a slow Sunday morning for me. I wasn't able to make it to church this morning so I'm alone in a quiet house, nursing my hurting legs and drinking good coffee and reading.

    Someone emailed and expressed surprise that I hadn't commented on the debate Friday night. I guess I don't have much of anything to say...honestly, I was bored to tears. And whereas I usually enjoy the post-debate commentary, this time it gave me a headache and I turned it off early. The move in the polls concerns me...I'd like to say I don't understand Obama's appeal, but sadly, I do. The kind of voter we are producing in this country is moved by emptiness, by faulty logic, by promises of something for nothing, by centralized government control of the economy (read: everything), by the idea that it's right to take away your money and give it to me, and most disturbingly, by disregard for precious human life before and after birth. Why wouldn't they like Obama? What's not to like?

    And didn't you love the ad claiming that McCain is probably going to die of cancer while in office? Or the one that claims he doesn't know how to email, when the truth is that pain and immobility from war wounds keep him from using a keyboard? Weren't those great?

    Well, moving along to happier thoughts...we're even closer today to the recovery plan bailout plot that will keep us all from knowing, for a couple of years, just how dangerous it is to have government involved in helping deserving people buy homes they can't afford. It's been a house of cards that has stood high for way longer than it would have except for the cloak of secrecy and deception that has protected it. Now we can go on down the road with our blindfold securely in place, since Congress is going to shield us from the unpleasant consequences for a bit. Until it gets worse. But hey, if both Bush and Obama are in favor of it, it must be right, huh?

    I think at one point I gave Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth a very high recommendation. I won't be doing that for the sequel, World Without End. The graphic and completely gratuitous sensuality, combined with an attempt to project a 21st century "sensibility" of feminism into 14th century England is pretty nauseating. It still has a lot of good material on the medieval church, social customs, feudalism, and economics...but not good enough to wallow through the mud for. Skip this one and go for Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror.

    We're the proud owners of a new basketball goal, for maybe the third time. It's a visible testament to the fact that our two youngest are boys and that we have five grandsons who live in town, not to mention lots more boys who frequent our driveway...and if I had to guess I'd say there's a good chance that some of the girls who are here on Fridays are going to enjoy it too!

    In the meantime, I've been checking out season tickets for the San Antonio Symphony. I'm torn between being cautious, given the uncertain economy, and the desire to indulge myself in this rare pleasure. This year's concerts look almost too good to resist....and this on top of the fact that we have one of the most delicious theatres in the country in which to enjoy them!

    If you're interested in the continuing problem of reverse discrimination and inequities in hiring, especially in academia, read Marty Nemko's post, This I Believe.

    Since it was a day that I missed hearing a sermon, I particularly appreciated running across this quote this morning. Seems that since the fervor experienced by The Passion of the Christ has worn off, many folks are looking for a "cleaner," more "positive" theology. Mark Driscoll, in his book Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches, reminds us:

    The curious paradox of the atoning death of a bloody Jesus rising above the plane of human history with a mocking crown of thorns is that he is offensive in an attractive way. It is the utter horror of the cross that cuts through the chatter, noise, and nonsense of our day to rivet our attention, shut our mouths, and compel us to listen to an impassioned dying man who is crying out for the forgiveness of our sins and to ask why he suffered. Tragically, if we lose the offense of the cross, we also lose the attraction of the cross so that no one is compelled to look at Jesus. Therefore, Jesus does not need a marketing firm or a makeover as much as a prophet to preach the horror of the cross unashamedly.

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    has spoken at 2:23 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Friday, September 26, 2008
    Some of our Fab Friday parents get worn out here.

    Some arrive that way...especially ones whose wives have been out of town for several days...

    R.I.P., Greg :-)


    has spoken at 2:10 PM
    3 Backtalks to Granny

    What to eat while watching the debate...

    See folks? Sometimes politics is downright fun! Get in the kitchen now and get ready for tonight :-)

    Partisan Party Food

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    has spoken at 12:22 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    I cringe to think that by Monday we will have saddled ourselves with another near-trillion dollars in national debt. Have you noticed that now the auto industry, credit card issuers, and street hot dog vendors are clamoring for a piece of the bailout? While I applaud John McCain for standing up to the president and others who insist that government must keep business from drowning, I believe that Bush, his party the Dems, Sec. Paulson and the Great Grasshopper Conspiracy will win. At least in the short term.

    You're not familiar with the Ant and the Grasshopper fable, 2008 version? Let Michelle Malkin introduce you:

    With what looks like imminent passage of the Mother of All Bailouts (following on the heels of a year's worth of government-funded rescues of private homeowners, lenders, insurers and automakers), Washington has turned Aesop's famous fable about prudence and hard work on its head. The time is ripe for a revised 2008 edition of "The Ant and the Grasshopper:"
    Read the fable. There will be a test.

    The Ant and The Grasshopper, 2008 Edition

    hat tip: Pam Y.

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    has spoken at 8:02 AM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Thursday, September 25, 2008
    With friends like these....

    ABC News' Teddy Davis Reports: Florida Democratic Congressman Alcee Hastings pointed to Sarah Palin on Wednesday to rally Jews to Obama.

    "If Sarah Palin isn’t enough of a reason for you to get over whatever your problem is with Barack Obama, then you damn well had better pay attention," said Hastings. "Anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks. So, you just think this through."

    Hastings, who is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, made his comments in Washington, D.C., while participating in a panel discussion sponsored by the National Jewish Democratic Council.

    Asked what the congressman meant, Hastings spokesman David Goldenberg told ABC News that he was trying to argue that Palin is an "extremely conservative woman who is out of touch with mainstream America."

    After saying that Palin "don't care too much" about Jews and blacks, Hastings argued that African Americans and Jews should come together behind Obama because there are many issues on which they agree.

    "Just like Jews, blacks care about affordable health care, energy independence, and the separation of church and state," said Hastings. "And just like blacks, Jews care about equal pay for equal work, investment in alternative energy, and a woman's right to choose."

    Asked about the Hastings criticism, Palin spokeswoman Maria Comella said, "We’re taking a pass."

    At least Obama has some great men on his side.

    Palin Don't Care Too Much

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    has spoken at 11:26 AM
    4 Backtalks to Granny

    Wednesday, September 24, 2008
    Think I'm stickin' with the Blue Bell.

    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, cofounders of Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc., urging them to replace cow's milk they use in their ice cream products with human breast milk, according to a statement recently released by a PETA spokeswoman.

    "PETA's request comes in the wake of news reports that a Swiss restaurant owner will begin purchasing breast milk from nursing mothers and substituting breast milk for 75 percent of the cow's milk in the food he serves," the statement says.

    PETA Urges Ben & Jerry's To Use Human Milk

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    has spoken at 9:03 PM
    8 Backtalks to Granny

    Words on Wednesday

    Do you know the difference between an expression and an idiom?

    W.O.W. to the rescue!

    Well, rescue may be too strong a word here, as there is some overlap between these two terms and you may be left scratching your head. But the most important distinction, in my book, is that an idiom is an expression whose meaning is more than the sum of its other words, the meaning of an idiom cannot be deduced simply by understanding the definitions of its components. Usage does strange things to words, and sometimes a word or group of words develops a meaning that makes no sense; it just is.

    As an illustration of the difference:

    "Lo and behold" is an expression that dates to the middle ages. "Lo" is a shortened form of "look," and so the expression literally means "Look and behold" and expresses surprise as it calls attention to something. (And please...don't write "Low and behold"!!) But both words means exactly what they say, even if not everyone is clear on what "lo" means.

    "All of a sudden" is an English idiom. It means something different from what might be suggested by just a definition of the words themselves. It is an alternate way of saying "suddenly," but what in the world is a "sudden"? Its introduction by the indefinite article "a" brands it as a noun, one we don't ordinarily use in writing or speaking. And what of the "all"? (And don't even start with me about the abomination, "all of the sudden." I might have spasms. Instead I'll send you to this all of a sudden.)

    When trying to understand the concept of an idiom, it's helpful to think of yourself as a non-English speaker learning the language for the first time. You run across the phrase, "Time's up," and you look it up in your English/Bornistanian dictionary and you read the definitions of "time" and "up." Do you now have an accurate sense of what the phrase means? I didn't think so. It's an idiom, and idioms are the bane of the student of almost any language. They simply have to be memorized and/or absorbed, not defined.

    One of my favorite idiom anecdotes: We have a family friend from Lebanon who was hard at work on his English. He was aware of many idioms but didn't always use them appropriately. One day, after a particularly filling meal, he pushed away from the table and declared, "Oh, I'm fed up!"

    Have an idiom that is especially amusing or baffling to you? Share it in the comments!

    Labels: ,

    has spoken at 8:02 AM
    10 Backtalks to Granny

    Tuesday, September 23, 2008
    God's Clean-up Operations

    I've been giving a lot of thought lately to the process of sanctification and why its characteristics and its timelines are so varied in the Christians I've known.

    Why, for example, are we always told that we will know believers by their fruits, and yet Peter tells us that Lot was "righteous"? If there was a "lot" of fruit in Lot's life, it's certainly hidden from readers of Scripture. I have to believe that there was, since the Word declares that he was righteous, and that he was distressed by the "sensual conduct of unprincipled men." And yet God chose not to let us know much about that side of Lot's life.

    Could that be because He wanted us to accept that this sanctification we're undergoing is not...formulaic?

    Throughout the New Testament, the spiritual maturing process is likened to the physical one, with immature believers being compared to children. There have been many times when I've wondered why my children are behaving so much like....well, like children. But I step back and remember their ages and remember that I, too, was once where they are and sometimes insufferably childish. God has continued to shape and grow me despite my early immaturity.

    And yet often I expect a young or new believer to be instantly transformed into the likeness of Christ. At least, I reason, I should be able to SEE some progress toward maturity. When my imperfect eyes don't see progress, I naturally assume there is none. It's easy for me to deny that God can be working His "treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places" out of the line of my sight.

    I wonder how many people would seriously consider the claims of Christ if they knew the standards to which God's people would immediately hold them once they came to Him, and how they'd be kept in some dubious "provisional" status until the mysterious fruit appeared. Yes, we're often very patient with new Christians, but when do you cease to be new? Three months? Three years? Ten?

    And then I wonder how many years Lot hung around with no visible "fruit" of his righteousness. Granted, Lot's righteousness, as ours, was imputed to him and doesn't mean he acted righteously all or most of the time. But isn't that the case with all of us, sometimes for big chunks of our lives?

    Actually, the teaching about "knowing them by their fruit" is often taken out of context. Matthew 7:15-20 says,

    15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

    16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

    17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

    18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

    19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

    20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. [emphasis mine]

    Now, make no mistake: I want you to see fruit in my life as evidence of the Tree into which I'm grafted. I am called to holiness, and so is every other child of the Father. But this passage that we so often use to condemn struggling Christians was not talking about struggling Christians. Clearly the "them" here is false prophets. We will know whether a prophet is false by the fruit he leaves behind. Lot wasn't a false prophet. He was a weak, sometimes despicable, immature believer whose behavior was often corrupted by the culture around him, but he was also a man God declared righteous by the same means that you and I are declared righteous: by faith.

    John Piper describes the process of sanctification which begins with a believer who is still walking in the flesh:

    But even though they are treated as being "in Christ" Paul calls them "fleshly" ([1Cor] 3:1). What does this mean?

    It means, first of all, that a deep spiritual walk with God does not usually happen immediately after conversion. When the Holy Spirit invades the enemy territory of our lives and sets up Jesus Christ as King in the capital city of our heart, his strategy for conquering the rebel forces of the flesh that keep up their guerrilla warfare is different for each person. It may be fast or slow. God's clean up operations are very strange.

    There are things I did (and indeed, didn't do) for much of my life after coming to know the Lord that were surely looked upon by mature (or just older) Christians as evidence that I couldn't have been saved. As I look back on some of those things, I'm embarrassed. But many of them I committed in ignorance, not yet convicted as I am now of their "wrong-ness." I am thankful that pilgrims who were farther along on the path of obedience than I was showed grace to me and didn't refuse to include me in the community of faith because of my immaturity. And now, I want to extend that same grace to those in my community of faith who don't share all my convictions but whom God isn't finished with yet.

    If I mistake an unregenerate man for a regenerate one, I may help give him a false sense of security for a while but in the end my mistake will not affect his destiny or even much about his life here on earth. My increasing understanding of God's sovereignty is relieving my fear that I could keep a man from being saved by assuming, and therefore helping him to assume, that he is already "safe."

    If, however, I err in the opposite direction and treat an immature believer as though I don't believe he could possibly be saved, I can easily crush his spirit and discourage his growth by placing hurdles in his path he isn't mature enough to scale. I may also be attempting to relieve myself of the responsibility to engage in the often frustrating and exhausting process of guiding an immature believer, "new" or not, to spiritual maturity. It's easier to write him off as lost.

    In Matthew 13, Jesus gives us some sobering words about the dangers of our assumptions.

    24Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

    27"The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?'

    28" 'An enemy did this,' he replied.
    "The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?'

    29" 'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.' "

    Did you ever think about why we'd be in danger of uprooting the wheat, or true believers, by trying to pull the weeds? Wouldn't the weeds be self-evident and easy to pluck out without endangering the wheat? Evidently not. Our eyes are not the best judge, and Jesus is warning us that in trying to make the distinctions ourselves we can cause great damage to young, immature believers who might still look a lot like the world.

    Just as we are called to evangelize the world not knowing who God's elect are, let us offer grace and dispense mercy not knowing where God may be in the sanctification journey with a soul. As Piper says, His "clean up operations" may seem strange and they may seem slow. But they lead inexorably to making His people into a perfect portrait of Christ...and not always on our preferred timeline.

    Labels: ,

    has spoken at 10:45 PM
    5 Backtalks to Granny

    UPDATE: After I and hopefully thousands of others complained, the article has been rewritten, sort of. It's still not good writing, but some of the nausea factor has been removed. I'm going to place the relevant versions under what was posted earlier:

    It's a sad day for The Language when you find writing like this coming out of Time/CNN. I am so appalled that I hardly know how to comment. I'm going to reference some paragraphs from an article I was reading online this morning. I'm not commenting on content here; I intend only to show my disgust at the lack of care in the writing, editing, and proofing of a piece put out by a major American publication. (If you haven't had your morning complement of caffeine and can't figure out what's wrong with these, email me privately.)

    But now, as voter registration winds down in the next two weeks and the impact of John McCain's running mate Sarah Palin becomes clearer, the Obama campaign has apparently scaled back its outsized electoral ambitions. It is already shifting staff abandoning some states, and putting others on notice. If they once technically played in all 50, they're now down to 48 you can cross Alaska and North Dakota off the list and two other states, Montana and Georgia, are on life support. The choice of Palin not only crushed Obama's hope of winning the Frontier State the campaign has withdrawn most of its staff and ceased advertising there — it also had repercussions in North Dakota, another hockey-crazed northern state where snow mobile racing and moose burgers apparently resonate. The Obama campaign announced this week that they are redeploying their staff estimated in some press reports to be more than 50 people.


    But now, as voter registration is expected to wind down in the next two weeks and the impact of John McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, becomes clearer, the Obama campaign is apparently scaling back its outsized electoral ambitions. It has already shifted staff, abandoning some states and putting others on notice. If it once technically played in all 50, it's now down to 48 — you can cross Alaska and North Dakota off the list — and two other states, Montana and Georgia, are on life support. The choice of Palin not only crushed Obama's hope of winning the Frontier State — his campaign has withdrawn most of its staff and ceased advertising there — but it also caused repercussions in North Dakota, another hockey-crazed northern state where snow-mobile racing and moose burgers apparently resonate. The Obama campaign announced this week that it is redeploying its North Dakota staff — estimated in some press reports to be more than 50 people.


    Georgia is another state the campaign once had very high hopes for and is now uncertain whether to continue to invest in. They stopped advertising there before the conventions and last week redeployed some of its 75 staff to neighboring North Carolina a southern state with a large African-American electorate that has seen one of the highest levels of voter registration this cycle, with more than 400,000 new voters on the rolls. If the campaign can register enough new voters in the Peach State and they have already registered more than 300,000 in Georgia than it believes that it could still be in play, since former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr's libertarian candidacy could steal some of the Republican vote.


    Georgia is another state in which the campaign once had very high hopes but is now unsure whether it should continue to invest in it. The campaign stopped advertising there before the conventions and last week redeployed some of its 75 staff to neighboring North Carolina — a southern state with a large African-American electorate that has seen one of the highest levels of voter registration this cycle, with more than 400,000 new voters on the rolls. If the campaign can register enough new voters in the Peach State — and it has already registered more than 300,000 in Georgia — then it believes that the state could still be in play, since former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr's libertarian candidacy could steal some of the Republican vote.

    I am speechless.

    Teach your children to write. There will always be a market for good writers and proofreaders. There is obviously a shrinking pool of qualified applicants. Increasing demand + decreasing supply = economic opportunity.

    (The offending article: Obama Scales Back)

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    has spoken at 6:30 PM
    11 Backtalks to Granny

    Oh yeah, baby, here's what we need:

    NEW YORK (CBS) ― Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday she worries that taxpayers could be left "holding the bag" with plans for a $700 billion government program to stabilize the country's distressed financial markets.

    Interviewed on Tuesday morning on CBS's "The Early Show," she said she agrees that the situation is critical and that something must be done quickly. She said, "the house is on fire and we've got to call the fire department and put the fire out." But Clinton also said that Congress should not "give the Treasury a blank check" to straighten out the problem.

    "What we also have to do is make sure that homeowners get some relief, that it's not just for the banks and the lenders," she said. Clinton added that "we also must begin to look at the root cause of this, which is these mortgages that people cannot afford."

    The senator said she didn't think all responsibility for solving these problems should be vested in the Treasury Department, suggesting that "once we get through this immediate crisis," the country should look at some Great Depression-era type of governmental entity to deal with it. [emphasis mine]

    Let's be honest here. She doesn't want to put the fire OUT, exactly. Okay, the house may go down but there are things more important than putting the fire out. Let's organize a whole new breed of fire department and set it up right there in the house so we have better access to the crisis...staff it with bureaucrats, fund it with taxes on the wealthiest Americans, regulate the amount of water that can be used to put out the fire, put sanctions on the homeowner since his fire increased global warming, and then top it all off by starting a rumor that the very last copy of the Constitution got burned up in the fire.

    'at'll fix it.

    Hillary's answer

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    has spoken at 3:55 PM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Monday, September 22, 2008
    Ah, Granny loves to read the Canadians...and especially when they, unlike the NYT or the WaPo, assume a reading level higher than seventh grade.

    The incredible shrinking Obama


    has spoken at 12:20 AM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    I'm starting off the week with an excellent viewpoint from a self-described "pro-choice atheist." I'm an equal opportunity linker :-)

    Hear, hear.

    The fundamental right to refuse

    hat tip: Trish

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    has spoken at 12:18 AM
    3 Backtalks to Granny

    Sunday, September 21, 2008
    Sunday snippets...

    It was a great week. Last Saturday I flew to California to spend a few days of Lyric's (rare) vacation with her. While we hadn't planned a hugely active week, we were immediately slowed down by a sinus infection she woke up with on my first morning there. No matter...we made the most of the days anyway by filling her freezer with meals...cooked a little each day and in short order we had a couple dozen chicken, pork, and beef meals stored away. We also watched our usual stash of movies (DO see The Bucket List), a little bit of shopping, and a whole lot of HGTV. All in all, a pretty good little vacation considering the sickness she was trying to fight off!

    I got home just in time to unpack and be present for the second Fab Friday Co-op, and it went off just as smoothly as the first. It's turning out to be something all of us enjoy immensely! Next was the birthday/Pirate Day (pictures below)...I'm sure Pirate Day is an acquired taste and not all of our friends share our sense of humor, but we had a blast!

    Then last night we went out as a family to a high school football game, thanks to the free tickets provided by our friends with a special connection to one of our area schools. I love the atmosphere of football games, and though none compares to a Fighting Irish game, this one was fun indeed!

    I missed the
    cool front that came in while I was away, but the weather has definitely turned cooler in the past couple of weeks. We're enjoying our deck and having the windows open occasionally, and I'm looking longingly at the sweaters and boots in my closet. Soon, soon...

    Sky Harbor airport is vastly preferable to McCarran. Go there instead.

    The Papa will be doing a whole lot of traveling this fall: one trip to Las Vegas and two to Hawaii before Thanksgiving. So now tell me what you think--don't you agree that a loving wife would drop what she's doing and agree to make the sacrifice to be with her husband on at least ONE of these trips? Yes, that's what I knew you'd say, and so I've reserved a flight to Honolulu at the end of October. No, I'm not looking forward to it at all, especially not the water-view room at the Hilton Hawaiian Village for a week. But I do love that guy, and there's nothing I'm not prepared to do to make him happy.

    While I was in California, Lyric got me hooked on Dunkin' Donuts coffee. I'd heard raves about this coffee from EVERYwhere but this was my first taste. It's the closest "smoothness" I've ever tasted to pure Kona. Yeah, very special. Don't know what it is, but it beats Starbucks by a mile!

    I'm not a BIT envious of the fact that my Virginia girls got to go apple and berry picking without me yesterday. I'm SURE they're going to put pics on their blogs.

    San Antonio Public Library cards now expire after a year. Mine didn't say that anywhere on it. I kept one for 14 years and it never expired. And I'm now persona non grata. I'll need to take care of that this week.

    Other tasks for the week: buy a new dryer. Locate a really great basketball goal. Get a haircut. Take a load of books to the...the....I don't know, ANYwhere! Want some?

    And...I have a hoard of books to read and listen to! Lord, please don't let me die before I get everything read! (Will there be a Kindle in heaven?)

    Have a great week!

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    has spoken at 4:22 PM
    6 Backtalks to Granny

    Friday, September 19, 2008
    Who said it's no fun at Granny's House???
    So today was National (International?) Talk Like a Pirate Day...and yes, it's a bona fide holiday here at Granny's. Well, let us say, at Papa's. We sometimes celebrate his birthday on Pirate Day, and this year we celebrated Blair's birthday as well. All kinds of excuses for a party! Just 27 of the finest pirates on the high seas...Here are a few scenes from our evening:

    Josh, the meanest pirate ever to sail...

    Tiffany and Rowan...
    The sweetest little wench in these parts, Piper...

    Bethany, beautiful as ever despite being a bit "cheeky" from her wisdom teeth extraction...

    Piper with our authentic peg-leg pirate!

    There was some disturbance about who was going to clean the galley...

    ...and then there were the two friends...

    ...who were soon engaged in combat.

    Time to dish out the Bone Soup, raw potatoes, hardtack, limes, and other assorted pirate delicacies....

    ....and I do mean HARDtack!

    ...and I do mean BONE soup!

    ...followed by birthday Skull and Crossbones cake.

    And now it's time for group shots...

    Unfortunately, we still seem to be having a problem with a couple of the wenches in the back who can't agree on kitchen issues, so we will leave you wondering just who will walk the plank.

    Until next year, Ahoy, mateys!

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    has spoken at 8:31 PM
    3 Backtalks to Granny

    The kids aren't the only ones who get worn out on Fab Friday!

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    has spoken at 4:39 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    If you never
    click through and read another link I post, I'm asking you to read this one. Better yet, read it OUT LOUD to your spouse or your family.

    We must not leave The City Undefended.

    hat tip: The Papa

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    has spoken at 3:48 PM
    3 Backtalks to Granny

    Those of you who have more than, say, 1.9 children should probably read this...

    Put a Stop to Large Families?


    has spoken at 3:34 PM
    3 Backtalks to Granny

    Wednesday, September 17, 2008

    According to Lifehacker, Granny is using (and way hooked on) the best calendar app out there. If you're wondering which one is best, you can quit wondering: the folks who read and respond to Lifehacker's polls are the savviest around. And their consensus is GoogleCal.

    (Note that if you have to use Outlook for business or other purposes, you can sync to GoogleCal. It's worth it.)

    Hive Five Winner for Best Calendar Application: Google Calendar

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    has spoken at 9:49 PM
    2 Backtalks to Granny

    Words on Wednesday

    "Your apple fritters are delicious and go quite well with the roast pork!"

    Did I just pay you a compliment or a complement?

    W.O.W. to the rescue!

    This is another pair of words that can be very confusing. The way I remember is that *I* like to receive compliments, and so I use the word that contains the *I* for that kind of compliment.

    The other kind of complement is used for the way the apple fritters go with the pork--they complete the main dish, so they are a complement (think: "complete-ment").

    "Sarah Palin is a good complement to John McCain. He paid her a great compliment by choosing her as a running mate."


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    has spoken at 4:30 PM
    0 Backtalks to Granny

    Check out the Dem candidate's latest effort to explain how he'd "fix" the economy :-)

    How Come I Would Make the Economy Better?

    hat tip: anne w.


    has spoken at 12:02 PM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Tuesday, September 16, 2008

    Once I get school going at Granny's House and get the fall routine in place, and especially once there are a couple of crisp, cool days, my thoughts turn to the coming holidays. One of my fall rituals is checking the toy section of the Amazon Movers and Shakers list each day. Have you discovered this? It's a ranking of all the toys Amazon sells based on which ones have skyrocketed in popularity, and with 13 grandchildren to shop for it's become one of my fall friends!

    If you watch this list, be careful...sometimes something has skyrocketed because it's got bad reviews and evidently Amazon needs to get rid of bajillions of them, so they mark it down ridiculously low. And since a lot of people "bite" at a low price, disregarding the customer warnings, it jumps up 30,000% overnight. But this IS the place to watch for specials and for new toys you might not have been aware of. If you see something on the list you think you'd like to purchase and the price is right, grab it...often the price goes up thirty minutes later and though it will still show up on the M&S list because of so many people buying it, the price will have returned to a level that doesn't make it worth buying.

    Have a favorite place to find holiday bargains? Share it in the comments!

    Labels: ,

    has spoken at 11:56 AM
    1 Backtalks to Granny

    Granny's Mission Statement
    "...Tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done....that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children."
    ~Psalm 78:4-6

    My Focal Passage for 2011...
    Philippians 2:5-11

    5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

    6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,

    7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

    8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

    9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,

    10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

    11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    ~Philippians 2:5-11 (ESV)


    "The vanity of being known to be trusted with a secret is generally one of the chief motives to disclose it."

    ~Samuel Johnson

    [Oxymoronica, n., A compilation of self-contradictory terms, phrases, or quotations; examples of oxymoronica appear illogical or nonsensical at first, but upon reflection, make a good deal of sense and are often profoundly true.]

    Books on the iPhone, the Kindle, or on the nightstand...

  • The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, Alexander Mccall Smith
  • The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, Arthur G. Bennett, editor

  • Books finished in 2011...

  • Oxymoronica, Mardy Grothe
  • Some Sing, Some Cry, Ntozake Shange, Ifa Bayeza
  • English Society in the Eighteenth Century, Roy Porter
  • One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, Ann Voskamp
  • His Word in My Heart, Janet Pope
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
  • Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi
  • Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God, John Piper
  • Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, Joshua Foer
  • Blue Shoes and Happiness, Alexander McCall Smith
  • The Red Queen, Philippa Gregory
  • Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, Eric Metaxas
  • The Confessions of Saint Augustine, St. Augustine
  • Complete Poems and Selected Letters of John Keats, John Keats
  • Unfamiliar Fishes, Sarah Vowell
  • Words That Work, Frank Luntz
  • NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
  • Poke the Box, Seth Godin
  • Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It, Gary Taubes
  • A Patriot's History of the United States, Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen
  • Song of Saigon: One Woman's Journey to Freedom, Anh Vu Sawyer
  • The Artistic Mother: A Practical Guide for Fitting Creativity into Your Life, Shona Cole
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to English and American Literature, Elizabeth Kantor
  • The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, David McCullough

  • Oh, the thinks you
    can think...
  • Tapestry of Grace
  • Anatomical Charts
  • America's Library
  • George Washington's Mount Vernon - Virtual Mansion Tour
  • Thomas Jefferson's Monticello - Virtual Mansion Tour
  • Hurricane Demo

  • Oh, the places we'll go...
  • The Alamo
  • Majestic Theater
  • The MAiZE
  • Magik Theatre
  • Sheldon Vexler Children's Theatre

  • Granny always says...
    Saying goodbye...
    Sunday snippets...
    Sunday snippets...
    Coming soon to a country near you...
    Making (a) room...
    Just in case this might make an impact on your spe...
    Midweek snippets...
    What's up?
    She said YES!

    Granny used to say...
    October 2005
    November 2005
    December 2005
    January 2006
    February 2006
    March 2006
    April 2006
    May 2006
    June 2006
    July 2006
    August 2006
    September 2006
    October 2006
    November 2006
    December 2006
    January 2007
    February 2007
    March 2007
    April 2007
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    September 2007
    October 2007
    November 2007
    December 2007
    January 2008
    February 2008
    March 2008
    April 2008
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    September 2008
    October 2008
    November 2008
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    September 2010
    October 2010
    November 2010
    December 2010
    January 2011
    February 2011
    March 2011
    April 2011
    May 2011
    June 2011
    July 2011
    August 2011

    Grace Notes

    "Were the whole realm of nature mine
    That were a present far too small...
    Love so amazing, so divine
    Demands my soul, my life,
    my all!"