It's kind of ridiculous that I've never blogged about my quilting.

Or the fact that I had my baby (!!!).

Or about all the recent fun we've had with our family coming to visit.

But alas, I do not feel like blogging about those things right now. So you'll have to wait.

Actually, mostly I just feel like blogging about a couple random things:
1. There is almost no time to blog anymore. Checking email, on the other hand, is something I can do as easily as checking a text, from my phone. Writing an email back is another story.
2. I realized through some emailing with one of my awesome cousins that the main reason I was so annoyed about the anti-SAHM rhetoric I've been sensing is because I don't like other people telling me that I can't be happy as a SAHM, or worse, that I'm not. Um, excuse me, who are you to tell me how I feel? But I removed those posts because they didn't adequately express that idea.
3. Just learned about "baby farming" in the mid/late 1800's. Sick, sick, sick. Google it if you dare.
4. On a similar vein, I've been reading the archives of the Berkeley Parent's Network. Not because I have any connection to Berkeley (although I just realized that is the school where my dad has been teaching an online math course for the past little while, so technically I do have a remote connection) - but because the answers the people give are far more mature/satisfying to read than the stuff 12 year olds write on Yahoo! Answers (which is also fun). But anyway, nursing in the middle of the night, I had taken the habit of reading from those archives. I can't read when I nurse during the day because I spend most of my time shielding Baby Dan's head from the monstrous attacks of my enormous 14 month old Jane, whose version of nice pats is pretty violent. But so, I saw a thread on "Terminating a Pregnancy" and was too curious to see what kinds of questions/responses to be sensible enough to ignore it, and after reading it, I came to this conclusion: not everybody will be held to the same standard of accountability when it comes to abortion. That's something I obviously knew, but just hadn't really processed before.
Here is why I came to that conclusion: the kinds of things the other parents said were just so completely clueless/ignorant/deluded that there is no way they can really know exactly what they are doing when they choose to kill their kid. I mean, most of the posts said something like, "I'm so sorry for your loss!" The same kind of language that people use for people who have miscarriages. What?! You can't have it both ways, people! Either the fetus is a person who, when he/she dies should be mourned, and in which case you have to come to grips with the fact that abortion is killing a person! OR a fetus is not a person, and you shouldn't need to mourn or feel guilt for them. I think the guilt felt after an abortion is the first clue that hey, I did the wrong thing.
But Danny says that he thinks people can repent from having an abortion, just like some people can sometimes repent for murder. I think it has to do with the kind of knowledge that people had when they committed the sin. For example, I don't really think there would be any way for me to repent if I were to have an abortion, because of my understanding of the plan of salvation and the worth of a soul.
Suddenly, though, I was filled with compassion for these people who are so lost that they consider an abortion as "the responsible option" for their family! There's no way they can be held as accountable for their actions; Satan has them totally deluded, so much so that their understanding of right and wrong is scewed.
Though it horrifies me to think about how people can believe such obvious lies, I am very comforted with knowing people will be held accountable to the extent of their knowledge, because SO many abortions happen every year, and if people couldn't repent of that, wow it would suck!! But Christ is a merciful judge, and will hold us accountable to our degree of knowledge.
Sometimes this line of thought makes me wonder if it wouldn't be better to just not have any knowledge of the gospel at all, because then I wouldn't be as accountable. But that's for another post...
Anyway, those are my thoughts on that.
And now Jane's breakfast is done and I need to clean up a million cornflakes from the floor. Yay!


"The Hunger Game" "Catching Fire" and "Mockingjay" by Suzanne Collins

No point in writing a review on just one of these fantastic books; if you read one, you have to read them all. And the back cover of "Mockingjay" is right; the sequels DO make the story better. I think it's because it's not the kind of sequel that is episodic. It just continues the story, sort of like the Harry Potter books. And like the Harry Potter books, I am so sad that I am done reading these.

All though, I will say, the night after I finished "Mockingjay" I had the most terrifying nightmare of my whole life. These books are not for the very young, or the very faint of heart. They are serious, and increasingly more violent as they progress. Nothing sexually explicit. But just when you think that things can't possibly get worse, or more demented, or scarier, they do. And that combined with my postpartum hormones made for very, very scary nightmares. Maybe it wasn't the best choice of books to read right now.

If you like Greek and Roman history, these books will be especially interesting.

If you like dystopian worlds, this will also be interesting. I felt like the book was kind of a cross between "The Uglies" and "The Handmaid's Tale" and even a hint of the last book I read, "Seeing Stars." Well...sort of. It really was its own thing.

I will say that the love story in these books is by far the most moving love story I've ever read! Very believable. And as the books go on, you realize that Collins is very good at showing rather than telling. But be prepared to read every paragraph; it's not one of those books you can skip ahead a few sentences to read the exciting dialog; if you do, you will miss something. Also, you need to pay attention the first time she describes a character; often that half sentence is the only description you will get. There was one character (Darius) who I had totally forgotten about, and when he came up again, I was confused and did not remember who he was.

She does a great job with showing the "panem et cirenses" idea. It's basically the idea that people will exchange their political freedom for cheap/free food and entertainment. If I were a High School English teacher, I would have my students analyze the meaning of hunger in the book. She does a great job with the entertainment part to the point where it's eerily spooky to actually read the book: after all, reading a novel to be entertained is pretty similar to watching the hunger games. I think it would be even more ironic if they end up making "the Hunger Games" a movie. I don't see how they can do it without it being one of the most disturbing rated R films in existence. So far I've resisted the urge to look up reviews of this series online, or anything about it online, so I can write my thoughts about it unbiased-ly (is that a word?).

I am so glad that Collins left out religion from her books. If she hadn't, it would have been so depressing. But because she did, she leaves us an alternative to her scary world which so closely resembles ours. The truth is that death is not the end, and if you have faith, you can hope for a better world. Not a dystopian, scary world. She does kind of leave it open as to whether or not you just witnessed the evolution of mankind, but it seems doubtful.

Interestingly, my husband seems to relate and like Gale more than Peeta, which is just so bizarre to me. Like, how could Gale possibly think that the prep team deserved to be punished the way they were? And how could he set up a death trap in that mountain? So horrible. Danny says he thinks they are totally justified. I have to keep my mouth shut so that I don't ruin the series. I can't wait for him to finally finish, which hopefully he will today!

I keep thinking about one of the things Peeta was supposedly coerced into saying, about how Katniss needs to find out who she is working for. I think he's right. But honestly, I'm not sure if that would actually be possible, given the circumstances.

The scary part is realizing at the end that they are still basically in the "Hunger Games", but the cirenses part, the entertainment part, is the current events. It's so spooky to think about how similar this is to our lives, and our world. Is this how our government controls us, by the "spectacle" of war? By distracting us and feeding us, so that we are willing to sell our political freedom - by becoming complacent?

What a warning. It's taken several weeks of reading scriptures and serious thought to stop being spooked by this book. I'm so glad that she didn't put religion into it; that way, the real world has the opportunity to be better.

I actually felt really sad when I finished this series because I felt like I knew the characters deeply. Collins is an excellent writer, and I think her books will stand the test of time. It would be so fascinating to see how the characters with Roman names relate to their real life versions. Like, is Plutarch really Plutarch? Hmm.