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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Issue #4, Part 1, Feb 1, 2000


Nurturing our children in the freedom of Christ
#4, Feb, 01 2000
Sr. Editor & Publisher: Elissa Henry
Assistant Editor: Teri Brown
Contributing Editor: Patricia Moon


1. Welcome from the Editor
2. Jon, Paul The Apostle, and The Love Thing, by Patricia Moon
3. Oh the People You'll Meet Here on Glifdiddle Street, by Kim O'Hara
4. Courtship?, by Jeanne Musfeldt
5. Contest Winner and runner-up; Why I Like Reading
6. This Month's Contest: Yummy recipes!!

Part #2

7. Links on Courting
8. A Visit With a Courted Gal by Terra Minerd
9. Closing letter from the editor
10. Subscription Information
11. Reprint Information

1. Welcome from the editor

Hi all, hope this newsletter is received in the manner it was love and through God!!

So, we made it through the holidays, the Y2K Valentine's Day is approaching. Do these holidays get more gimmicky year by year or is it just me? What happened to good old LOVE?? Here's a great little article on the
history of Valentine's Day.

Valentines' Day: Not Like it Used To Be

February 14 is Valentine's Day. Although it is celebrated as a lovers' holiday today, with the giving of candy, flowers, or other gifts between couples in love, it originated in 5th Century Rome as a tribute to St. Valentine, a Catholic bishop.

For eight hundred years prior to the establishment of Valentine's Day, the Romans had practiced a pagan celebration in mid-February commemorating young men's rite of passage to the god Lupercus. The celebration featured a lottery in which young men would draw the names of teenage girls from a box. The girl assigned to each young man in that manner would be his sexual companion during the remaining year.

In an effort to do away with the pagan festival, Pope Gelasius ordered a
slight change in the lottery. Instead of the names of young women, the box
would contain the names of saints. Both men and women were allowed to draw from the box, and the game was to emulate the ways of the saint they drew during the rest of the year. Needless to say, many of the young Roman men were not too pleased with the rule changes.

Instead of the pagan god Lupercus, the Church looked for a suitable patron
saint of love to take his place. They found an appropriate choice in Valentine, who, in AD 270 had been beheaded by Emperor Claudius.

Claudius had determined that married men made poor soldiers. So he banned
marriage from his empire. But Valentine would secretly marry young men that
came to him. When Claudius found out about Valentine, he first tried to convert him to paganism. But Valentine reversed the strategy, trying instead
to convert Claudius. When he failed, he was stoned and beheaded.

During the days that Valentine was imprisoned, he fell in love with the blind daughter of his jailer. His love for her, and his great faith, managed to miraculously heal her from her blindness before his death. Before he was taken to his death, he signed a farewell message to her, "From your Valentine." The phrase has been used on his day ever since.

Although the lottery for women had been banned by the church, the mid-February holiday in commemoration of St. Valentine was stilled used by
Roman men to seek the affection of women. It became a tradition for the men to give the ones they admired handwritten messages of affection, containing Valentine's name.

The first Valentine card grew out of this practice. The first true Valentine
card was sent in 1415 by Charles, duke of Orleans, to his wife. He was
imprisoned in the Tower of London at the time.

Cupid, another symbol of the holiday, became associated with it because he
was the son of Venus, the Roman god of love and beauty. Cupid often appears on Valentine cards.

Copyright © 1998-1999 by Jerry Wilson

What a powerful love he God's love for us. God wants our marriages to be like this, loving, and strong, with Him in the lead. Too often in this era, we have forgotten how God wants love to be. Society is taking it's toll on even the least suspecting of us. For this reason, I want to bring up the issue of courting. As I will be referring to it, courting will be a practice that is GOD-led, very family involved, group outings, brain based versus lust based. Add all these components together and you get a marriage made in heaven!!!!!!!!!!!

I will get personal for a moment and share about my "courting" experience.
(Get ready to say CONGRATS!!) I met a great Christian man online in a
Christianity Forum. We started chatting and the next thing you knew, we were
sharing our goals, our wants, our LIVES, with each other. He just flew my son
and I out here to Las Vegas, to meet him, and he PROPOSED at the airport!!!!!! By the time you read this, I will likely be Mrs. Christopher
Wahl!! How did this happen? Well, we both know what we want for our lives,
for our kids, and we communicated our feelings well enough to know that our
fundamental beliefs are the same. We built a solid, unshakeable foundation by talking and sharing (versus seeing/lusting/dating). As ours is a long
distance relationship, our families were not too involved, other than the
updates and the support we both needed. I am committing myself to someone that needs nothing changed, YEAHHHHHH...this is what courting is to me..the chance to get to know someone, no pressure, and if it develops, RIGHT ON!! God truly is a good God.

I want to recommend two books. One is by Joshua Harris I Kissed Dating
Goodbye , it is about courtship and dating, and God's will. The second is a
book that I surprisingly found at my public library (have since seen in Bible
bookstores). it is called When and How to Tell Your Kids About Sex , by
Stanton and Brenna Jones. It is Christian in nature and starts from babies
through teens, talking about how to raise our kids with the knowledge God
made us sexual beings, and his reasons for this. Totally good book.

Well, I hope this is all food for thought. Read on and be blessed!!

2. Jon, Paul The Apostle, and The Love Thing
Patricia Moon

It's all Jon's fault! My 10 year-old son is the one who started it all. He has been questioning the media's preoccupation with the "love thing" for several years now. Jon is my "Mom, have you ever noticed..." child. Many a homeschool project has started with those words, so when he started in on
the "love thing" it really made me pay attention. Technically, the "love thing" is the romantic love element used as the base for so many stories. I began to watch for the "love thing" everywhere. Boy, did I find it! It's in movies, books, fairy tales, cartoons, comics, advertising...heck, even Miss Piggy promulgates the "love thing" with her persistent chase to catch her beloved Kermie.

We've settled that the "love thing" does, indeed, permeate most adult and
children's entertainment. What we may never settle is why? I tried to stay clear of my feelings about love's perfunctory use in the hands of the mass
media. I finally chickened out and laid it on the doorstep of human nature.
However, that answer is so close to the dreaded, "just because" answer, that
I felt compelled to continue our search. We discussed the fact that love
makes us feel so good inside. Ahh, now we're getting somewhere. We took out the Bible to begin a "love" search. Before we opened it, I told Jon some of my favorite bits and pieces about love that I remember from the Bible. "Love one another, as I have loved you." "Love is gentle. Love is kind..."

So, off we went in hot pursuit of "love" in the Bible. Jon got so excited
when we found the ones that I had partially quoted. The next thing I knew, I
was briefly transported to that awesome-mom pedestal. (You know the one,
where we permanently sat during our children's younger years before our
flaws began to be noticed.) I basked in my temporary position, for only a
few minutes, before we continued our search. In the end, we decided that the
"love thing" was very different, and not nearly as great as the love which
is written about in the Bible. The concordance lists many places (an entire
column and a half!) where love is mentioned in the Bible, however, apostle
Paul's teachings truly struck a chord with us.

We talked about how much better the world would be if Paul's definition of
love were as pervasive as the "love thing" is. What if nothing mattered
unless its base was love? No book, no movie, no deed worthy without this
base. Paul goes even further in his teachings when he tells us, in
1Corinthians 13:1-13, specifically what love is and isn't. Love is patient
and kind, it always protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres. Love rejoices
in truth. Paul boils it down to three things: faith, hope and love. Of the
three, he declares love to be the greatest. The same sentiment can also be
found in Matthew 22:34-40, when Jesus tells some bad guys that love is the
greatest commandment, that none of the others can be had without love.

As you may have noticed, I gracefully got out of the "love thing" discussion, and my son and I had a wonderful afternoon exploring real love. If you have a child who frequently asks, "Mom, have you ever noticed...," and it turns out to be about the "love thing," just pull out the nearest Bible!

3. Oh the People You'll Meet Here on Glifdiddle Street
Kim O'Hara

In one of the houses on Glifdiddle Street,
There's a wrap-around porch, and a swing with a seat,
And a garden that grows only good things to eat
or the family there, by the name of Meskeet.
And even though five kids live there, it is quiet.
I've heard that it's said, and no one will deny it,
That there is no fast food at all in their diet.
And they don't go to school. They learn things at home.
Their mailbox gets letters from Chile and Rome,
And a little-known town on the outskirts of Nome.
And in their back pasture, they're raising a Yeet
(A kind of a deer with no horns and big feet).
But they're only one of the families you'll meet
If you visit the folks here on Glifdiddle Street.

Just up the block, and a long block it is,
Live the Sprizz kids. They're normal. Not one is a whiz.
Their mom lets you know you must not call her "Ms."
When kids ask her name, she says, "Mrs. Sprizz."
You might think she's stuffy, but no, not at all,
She's the one who holds footraces in her front hall.
When her kids smashed the window in front with a ball
(Not even a homer, but just a three-base hit),
She laughed, then she taught them all how to replace it.
Then she taught them the cost, and she taught them to face it.
In just a few months, they repaid her, because
While other kids went off to school in DeLuzz,
They invented and retailed a soap they called Suzz.
And their mom called it "school," and I guess that it was.

Next to them are the Queddings, a couple whose son
Doesn't know how to read. To him, it's not fun.
Instead, he builds Fassle Towns second to none
Out of sheets, ropes, and trees. And when he is done
He lets us all play there. He builds motors, too,
And one day he set up a huge walk-through zoo.
This boy has the time of his life. (Wouldn't you?)
He doesn't watch TV; his dad reads aloud,
And sometimes invites us, the neighborhood crowd.
Both his mom and his dad are ever so proud
Of their son, who has learned that it's better to wait
Till he's ready to read, whether early or late.
But he calls all the books that his dad reads "first rate,"
And he says that he'll read them next year, when he's eight.

At a bend in the road, where last year in the fall
The Zulfglender family built a rock wall,
The Pling and Zang crew came last week to install
A plinger, and do a complete overhaul.
The littlest Zulfglender stopped her hopscotch
And called her whole family to come out and watch.
And they came, and they thought that the crew was top-notch.
In fact, they invested a week on the street.
That was their school, and they thought it was neat.
They found out that plingers are backed with concrete,
And how cracks are repaired, and what zangers are for.
They gave so much help that they lessened the chore
For the workers, who, sadly, aren't there anymore...
But a Humtuckle crew has begun work next door!

At the end of the street, in a cul-de-sac there,
Live the six Tiffle-Zoors. Their back yard is bare,
And their front yard neglected, but none of us care,
For we know why it is. They give more than their share.
In dozens of causes, their mom volunteers.
From church to theater, she's up to her ears
In meetings and projects. She's done it for years.
There are weeds in the garden and leaves on the lawn,
But her kids aren't neglected. They all rise at dawn
And volunteer with her! Every last one.
From fund-raising auctions to singing at teas,
To sorting through stuff to be sent overseas,
From hand-painting murals to planting new trees,
They learn academics in volunteerese.

On Glifdiddle Street, you'll meet folks by the score,
Folks by the hundreds, folks by the corps...
Homeschooling families, behind every door.
And they all have a parent-to-kid type rapport.
Maybe you've found it. It's not very far.
I'll bet there's a Glifdiddle Street where you are.
You can get there by bus, or on foot, or by car.
The people who live there are neighbors of yours,
Or church-friends, or playmates, or library-goers.
You'll find us at parks, and you'll find us indoors;
You'll find us on farms and among the high-brow.
In fact, you can find us most anywhere now.
We'll live on the moon... once we figure out how!

Kim O'Hara

4. Courtship?
Jeanne Musfeldt

How does Courtship fit in with an Unschooling newsletter? Oh, many, many
ways! First, think about all the times that you have heard that unschooling
has as many definitions as there are unschoolers. Courtship can mean almost
anything; from betrothal, where the parents choose the future spouse of their
children, to parent-approved dating.

Let's take a look at some of the different styles of courtship. At one end,
there is betrothal. That is the parents picking whom their child will marry.
The spouse to be has no say in it at all. There are some that do this
today. Sometimes, betrothal will mean that the parents are going to find the
person for the young person, but the young person can object to it, after
much prayer.

Courtship can also mean the two young people only being together in a group
situation. They get to do all the choosing, but can't see each other on a one on one basis.

At the other end, some people call the dating their kids are doing courtship, because they approve of the young man or woman their child is dating.

Just like unschooling! So many styles, so many definitions. Ok, so your next question is, what are we planning on? Good question! First off, let me say, our oldest is only ten and a half. But, we have talked to the children, and they understand and agree with our thinking, so far!

I think that the level of courtship we will follow will not be with us doing the choosing. I think that our kids will get to choose whom they court or are courted by. Anyway, we have talked to our kids. Our plan is for them to bring the one they like to our house. Get to know them with the whole family. Afterall, we are a homeschooling family, and therefore closer than most. We want to check out this person, too!

It is pretty easy to be slick with someone you are dating, but when it comes to dealing with him or her in a family situation, that can bring the true person to light!

How would you like for your future wife or husband to be kissed by someone
else? Then why would you want to do that to your future wife or husband? I
think that if we keep the 'daters' in a group situation, there is less chance of things that are against God's will happening. I know that as a young person, had I had a parent with me, I would have not done some of the things I did and came to regret. And I was a pretty non-wild teen!

Now, this is just some of our plans for the kids as they get older. Check with me in 10 years, things might change before then, who knows? But I have talked with parents that do have teens now. The earlier you start batting this idea around with the kids, the easier it is going to be when they get to be teens.

I have seen people pull this out of the clear blue sky and enforce it to the extreme with their seventeen-year-olds. It backfires, big time! Ease into it, just like you did unschooling. It will come, if it is God's plan for your family.

Jeanne Musfeldt
Feature writer for HELM ; Home Education Learning Magazine

5. Contest Winner and runner-up. Why I like Reading

Why I Like Reading
By Scott D. Warren, age 9

I love reading -- horror, mystery and romance in particular. I am usually the number one Accelerated Reader at my school. I like reading because it increases my vocabulary, spelling and pretty much all verbal linguistic intelligence.

While I am reading, it could be a terribly hot summer day and I could be
reading a book about winter, like the Laura Ingalls Wilder book THE LONG
WINTER that I am reading right now, and it will make me feel much cooler.

Also, I could be in the middle of a boring or extremely boring day and I can
walk and pick up a book and start reading. Problem solved.

I read just about anything. I like reading so much that just about every day, I spend my recess time in the library. The extremely super main reason I like reading is because when I am mad, a joke book can make me happy again. I feel that I would like to read horror to get scared. And if I want to read romance, I've got plenty to choose from (particularly a book by R.L. Stine called THE HOUSE OF EVIL -- romance, mystery and horror all combined in one!)

I have no idea how it came about, but while reading books a long time ago, I
discovered a new talent and hobby. You see now what it is. While seeing
what other authors had written, I began to develop my own imagination and
soon, I was scratching down stories.

Reading is a big part of my life. We can all learn from it.

by Danielle, age 7

When I read I sink into this world of reading. It captures my spirits and it's like I'm standing in front of every scene and I'm really there. Sometimes when I'm tired, upset or angry, I read and that calms me down. I mostly just enjoy the feeling that I'm there and I think that the more you like reading the more books you like. I think the best books for you when you're sad are funny ones. I had a wonderful reading program that taught me about this world and I'm glad it did. If this program couldn't teach me to read I would pray and pray to God that he could teach me about this wonderful place. The Reading World.

6.This Month's Contest: Yummy recipes!!

We have a fun contest this month and a great prize! We want you to send
your favorite kid friendly recipes in. All recipes will be tested by our kid
friendly test kitchens:) and the funniest and tastiest recipe will be awarded
a wonderful cook book. Frozen Assets: How to Cook for a Day and Eat for a Month, by Deborah Taylor-Hough (Champion Press, 1999)

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