Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Things I do now that I didn't/wouldn't do 2 years ago:

1. Watch American Idol
2. Sing regularly in front of large groups of people
3. Enthusiastically play DDR with people without fear of ridicule or embarrassment

I think I can thank my wife for some of these changes, as her personality rubs off on me. But in general, I think these are just general indications of maturing and losing my self-consciousness/critical cynicism.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Valentine Recap

This year, Valentine's Day was very different from the past couple ones...

First, it was the most least stressful Valentine's Day ever at work ever- yea!! Usually, on the night of February 14th I come exhausted- too much sugar, too many presents, too many oversized balloons delivered by parents... But this year, it was a breeze! The key * I bought our party treats. Yes, no party to advertise, no food to collect, and no children with more than the legal limit of sugar in their bodies. For the price of some over-priced pink frosting sugar cookies, some juice boxes, and a bag of colored goldfish- the day was a breeze! I also got my share of gifts- lots of valentines, several boxes of wal-mart chocolate, and some stuffed animals. But the most interesting gift by far was the box of chocolate from one of my boys that said "git-r-done" on it... hmm the last time I saw that it was on my wedding video.

Eric was finishing the good fight against a stomach bug on the 14th, so we had a quiet evening... I mean, we boycott the holiday and all it's commercialism. No, my days of celebrating single's awareness day have long past. The past three Valentine's we had gone to Square One- dating, engaged, and married one year respectively. It was sad to know that those days of fine B/CS dining are over but Eric stepped in to fill the gap. Last night, he took me to a Japanese hibachi grill in Montgomery- so cool! The chef was stinkin hilarious- and the food was super tasty! Thanks, Eric. Today, Eric and I went up to Birmingham to go hiking, which in itself is another story, but we saw a waterfall and got some good hiking in. All in all, it was a great several days- now to get ready for the next major holiday- St. Patty's Day ;)

Friday, February 15, 2008

A Short Political Note

As a general rule I am trying to avoid posting anything political this election season. So, here's just a couple quick, hopefully non-confrontational political notes.

1. Nicole and I missed being able to vote in the Alabama primaries by two days because we weren't on the ball about registering to vote quickly. This was a disappointment to us, but we're sure to be more on top of things next time we find ourselves in this situation.
2. PolitiFact is a fun political website which tries to measure the accuracy of politicians statements. They range from "true" to "pants-on-fire" false (which is my favorite category). You can check it out here.

And just for fun (I couldn't resist), here's a more confrontational one.

1. Why are Republicans on the verge of nominating John McCain (outspokenly pro-war) as their party's candidate for President when national surveys indicate a majority of Americans do not support the war in Iraq nor think we're doing any good there? Isn't this just setting him up to lose versus Obama or Clinton? Are Republicans just banking on the situation in Iraq improving before November?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Eric Has a Fan

Eric is a star to one little boy in my room.

Last semester, Eric came pretty regularly on his day off on Monday's for an hour to tutor students in reading (which I believe is part of the key to my students' good test scores in December). The first couple weeks of the semester, he was busy playing catch-up and was unable to come in... meanwhile back at the ranch, I was having some serious behavior issues with one of my students whom I will now refer to as Stu.

Last Monday, however, Eric was back. As soon as my students saw him, they got very excited and started shouting, "Look Mrs. Anderson! I see Mr. Anderson!" (Believe it or not, they haven't put it together that we're married. They do think it's cool though that we have the same last name!) That morning, I had informed my students that he was coming in and had told Stu that if he did his best he would get to work with Eric in the afternoon. On Sunday, our naughty kittens had scratched us both, so Stu noticed my band-aid right away and wanted to know what happened, which I explained. (In my short experience as a teacher, I have noticed that kids are enthralled with their teacher's injuries)

Well Stu did much better than usual, so as soon as Eric arrived he went off to work with him in the corner of the room. -Why is it that the same activity is 10x more exciting with Eric than with me ;)- As soon as they sat down, Stu noticed a long scratch on Eric's hand and asked what happened. Eric explained, and Stu shouted across the room at me, "Mrs. Anderson, Mr. Anderson got scratched by a cat too!" As Eric was leaving that day, he told Stu to listen to his teacher and to have good behavior during the week.

The next morning on Tuesday, Stu greeted me with "Is Mr. Anderson coming today?" "Not today," I said, "But he will come on Monday." Side note: Stu had a great day. I told him I'd see Mr. Anderson and let him know how he did.

Wednesday morning: "Is Mr. Anderson coming today?" "Not today," I said, "But he will come on Monday." Side note: Stu had another good day. Mr. Anderson was informed.

Thursday morning: "Is he coming today???" This time I got out the calendar. We pointed to Thursday and counted how many days until Monday. He had a pretty good day.

Friday morning: "Is he coming today?" Sad news was delivered. Another decent day.

Sunday evening: I informed Eric that boy oh boy had he better be there on Monday!

And finally Monday, there was Mr. Anderson right after art. Stu was very excited. Even after Eric left, he talked about him the rest of the day... Stu is quite a big fan.

But I'm a bigger one :)


Last week I finished reading the book All The King's Men by Robert Penn Warren (after a recommendation from my friend Lindsay on her blog) and have been wanting to blog about it so here it goes...

I don't want to pretend to be Spark Notes but the basic plot of the book is about a man named Willie Stark who goes from an idealistic laughingstock to a shrewd, corrupt politician. Having an idea of the plot when I began reading, I wondered if would get too frustrated to finish the book since my strong sense of justice can sometimes take over my emotions. However, I found that not to be the case.

The characters were corrupt (very in fact), and they weren't the kind to get sympathy points... yet the author clearly portrayed them as pagan- agnostic at best. I realized midway through the book that I wasn't frustrated that the characters weren't acting as Christians because they weren't. I've realized recently that just as in literature, I feel myself responding to corrupt, anti-Christian actions in our culture in the same way. Let me explain myself better through the wise words of Mother Goose-

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.

Like Humpty Dumpty, our earth and all of its human inhabitants have fallen- splat- dead in sin since the time of Genesis 3. And no matter how hard we try on our own, organizations, politics, laws, social clubs, etc. will do nothing to make our world a truly better place. But through God's perfect plan, Christ came and by his death and resurrection made his children whole again, which will reach full completion in Heaven someday. But for now, those of us who are Christians live in this broken world as pilgrims since this world is not our home. And since this world is broken and is not our home, I wonder if I, if we, should be surprised as Christians when the world makes choices that hate God. I wonder if we should be surprised that prayer is not allowed in public schools or that abortion is legalized or that evolution is taught. This is not to say that we should not engage in our world- after all, we are called to be in it. But perhaps instead of circling the wagons with other Christians and responding in sometimes border-line hatred towards those who promote ideas contrary to Scripture, we should turn the other cheek and then get back in the world loving those who hate us and speaking truth in love.

I do think, however, that we should be dissatisfied when those who we know as our brothers and sisters in Christ act corruptly in big ways or small ways- by not leaving a decent tip, by getting out of a traffic ticket because of who you know, by gossiping, by turning a blind eye to injustice, by scratching the back of the one who's scratching yours. But won't all Christians act corruptly sometimes? Yes, because our hearts are deceitful above all things even as we go through the process of sanctification. But perhaps before turning our eye towards the natural sin of the world, we should turn our shock inward towards ourselves and our Christian community and ask ourselves, am I allowing Christ to use me as a vessel of honor?