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  1. Clara and Connie becoming best friends! The playpen is so useful.

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    Calvin grew up! Here he is registering for homeschool.

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    Here's his everyday wear. Fundies love polo tops!

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    It really is the SOTDRT in the Parker home.

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    You can obtain a violin from the Sims 3 Store. Chloe loves playing instruments!

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    Calvin gets stuck into household chores.

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    Chloe makes a birthday cake for Caleb.

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    There's another teen in the house! He looks pretty handsome. It'll be a lucky young fundie maiden who gets him as her husband!

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    Of course, only boys can get part-time jobs. Because penis.

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    Family band! Excuse Chloe's sluttish pyjamas. There aren't many modest options for fundie teenage girls. 

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    "OH MY GOSH MOM WHAT IS GOING ON?"

    "It's totally normal, Chloe, this is what happens when you have a baby!"

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    Of course, Chris is working. A* father skillz.

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    Amanda had twins again, one girl and one boy, called Callie and Carl. This is officially my first "overstuffed" household, with 9 Sims in total. Dutiful sister-mom Chloe feeding her newest sister.

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    Caleb steps up and becomes a brother-dad.

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    Callie started crying and I caught Chloe looking like this. She likes her siblings, but wishes that they could at least sleep in her parents' room when they were babies...

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    Clara and Connie are due to age up soon so that'll be another two members of the SOTDRT

    Chloe is maintaining an A grade in homeskool, which is great! I'm debating on whether to send her to university... I mean, some fundies let their girls go. I'd have her live in a private house, and seeing as I eventually play God in this game, I'll be controlling her actions and can prevent her from doing anything dodgy. And besides, I could treat it as the Parker parents saying "Look! Our kids did GREAT in homeschool and are just as well educated as those people who went to public school! We trust our children to conduct themselves in a Godly manner whilst obtaining their degree. Chloe will be teaching her future children, so it's worth her getting a good education."

     

  2. I've been to private school, public school, and homeschool. I never thought much of it but now being older, I realize that it's a bit unique to have experienced it "all." I figure I would make a pros and cons list based on my experiences. My experiences - that is a big flaw itself, right? Private schools are very different from one another. Public schools can be totally different worlds from each other. And obviously homeschools can be DRASTICALLY different. So take these lists with a grain of salt. It is highly unique to me and I am mostly doing this for entertainment purposes. 😉

    Finally, I was homeschooled for high school....this is going to be the one that will be the most highly unique because each family is different, each homeschooling experience is different. 

    The Pros

    Pros of my homeschooling experience:

    • My educational plan (initially) was tailored specifically to me. I got to spend a lot of time reading what I wanted to read and writing what I wanted to write about, researching the history I wanted to, studying geography as much as I wanted. These were my favorite subjects and it was amazing. I felt I learned a lot, even though I was teaching myself (in 8th grade, I had my academic levels tested and I was placed at college level for these subjects, so my parents though it was appropriate to give me autonomy here). I was at an average level in math and science for my grade/age, so my parents hired a private tutor for those subjects. 
    • Schedule - besides tutoring lessons 2x/week - was whatever me or my parents wanted it to be. I could do schoolwork at night instead of during the day if I wanted to. I could decide to do my work on Saturday instead of Friday or on Sunday instead of Monday. For the first two summers, I worked through them. The "only 3 hours of schoolwork required" law/rule was very nice. 
    • A LOT of free time to do whatever. I got to do extracurriculars like archery and sewing. I spent much time at home blogging and helping take care of (and even at one point homeschooling) my younger nieces/nephews. I could hand out with my other homeschooled friends in the middle of week, during the day. 
    • Very little homework, the only work being from my tutoring lessons but even that wasn't much. 
    • No bullying or feeling social pressure to dress or act a certain way. If I didn't like someone, then I never had to see them again. 
    • The homeschool community is really tight and supportive. Even now as an alumni, you feel an instant camaraderie with other homeschool alumni. 
    • I saw how much my parents did for me and for our family, and for a teenager, I had a newfound respect for them and we became a lot closer during those years. 

    The Cons

    Cons of my homeschooling experience:

    • My tutoring sessions were 30% school work and 70% stories from my tutor's childhood in Transylvania. I told my parents I no longer wanted to go as I completed the requirements and I didn't feel like I was learning anything else and it was a waste of time. My parents stopped the lessons but then never replaced it with anything else. 
    • As with many homeschooling families, my educational plan eventually fell into disarray. After a while, I was soon doing nothing. While one could argue it wasn't THAT big of a deal since I technically did my graduation requirements by then, I think it's just not good to have a 16-year-old kid who is still technically "in school" just laying around doing no school work. My parents had always been exceptionally resistant to teacher's suggestions that I skip grades while I was in regular school, so they were not ready to hand me my diploma early while I was being homeschooled. They did not want me taking dual-enrollment classes in community college. However, they also didn't supplement me with any extra work.  So I literally spent my last two years of "homeschool" helping my parents raise their grandkids/my nieces & nephews. 
    • Without outside forces telling you that you are smart and capable, I stopped believing it. My parents never said that I was smart anyways, but even if they did, it's just not the same. I feel like homeschooling really sank my self-esteem in that regard. 
    • One parent did not finish high school and one parent did not finish elementary school. They didn't teach me any subjects but that they were left in charge of my educational planning for high school seems cringe-y to me now. 
    • The lack of daily social interaction with my peers definitely left me a lot more socially awkward. I was already naturally shy and socially awkward but homeschooling did not help this and only made it worse. 
    • At some point in time, I had completely forgotten how to study for tests. It wasn't a big deal at the time but it has come to bite me in the ass now that I'm in college. 
    • No need for time-management skills, or how to deal with authority figures and other people. I feel I was already lacking this due to being a private school kid most of my life, but homeschooling made it worse. 
    • I feel like if there were better regulations, my family could have gotten some guidance on what the heck to do with me for those last two years. 
    • Still no sex ed or mention of evolution. 
    • A lot of responsibility at home fell onto my shoulders when I was just a teen. While I'm not like some of the people discussed on this site who had to take care of their younger siblings, I did have younger nieces & nephews to help take care of. I was often left at home, all alone with them, for hours and hours at a time. I had several breakdowns of calling up my parents crying that this was too much and I couldn't do it. I was told I was being "an evil and selfish girl" who had a duty to my family to help. Normal kids are in school during these times but instead I was at home being "homeschooled" with my parents refusing to give me my diploma and hoping that if I behaved good enough, they would give it to me.  
    • I was actively encouraged by my parents to make bad decisions, like not going to driver's ed due to anxiety (I'm now 28 and still never learned how to drive....), not recording transcripts of my schoolwork, not going to college, etc.
    • My parents straight up refused to give me my diploma at all. I was suppose to graduate in 2009. I was scared to look for a job or go to college without my diploma so I spent yet another 2 years at home, still helping take care of my nieces & nephews, and also caring for my sick sibling, waiting for my parents to give me my diploma. I begged and pleaded with my parents for two years. I finally got my diploma from my mom when I told her I was going to get my GED if I didn't get my diploma soon. She said it wasn't necessary, she'd order it for me. I was excited! Then the day I got it, my heart sank. Not only did my mother put 2011 as my graduation year, she also put down my high school name as, "[Lastname]'s Super Awesome Magical Home School!!!]. My diploma looks like a ridiculous joke. I am so embarrassed of it. To this day, I have no idea why my mother would do this to me. 
    • All blame for anything that went wrong during my homeschool years is blamed on me. There are a bunch of other decisions and events that went on during these years that I'm not going to mention because they are a bit too private. But I made certain decisions that a CHILD should not be making and PARENTS are suppose to be PARENTS making these decisions *for* their children. But the blame is put back on me. My parents say, "You wanted this, remember? You loved homeschooling. You didn't want to go to tutoring anymore. Maybe if you had behaved better, you would have gotten your diploma sooner. This is not our fault. Everything was your fault." I feel like this is my parents absconding their responsibility that they should have done at the time. 
    • I feel like I'm gaslighted about certain things. I literally have video of my parents telling me seriously that they did not want me to drive or to go to college. This was something they told me often. Now, they say they "always wanted" me to go to college and learn how to drive, and that I am just "lazy" for never doing these things. Again, I think this is just them trying to feel better about themselves now because maybe they realize they were wrong for doing these things. 

     

     

  3. The old saying here in Iowa is if you don’t like the weather forecast just wait 24 hours.  It’ll either ge much better or worse. 

    Case in point tomorrow. Yesterday it sounded like we were going to get hit with a snowpocalypse here. Fast forward 24 hours and now it looks like most of it is going south of us. 

  4. Aridity

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    I need away from where I live. I came here to finish my college education when I was a single mom in my 40s. I finished it and ended up staying because my children were in school. They are out now, my youngest just turned 20, and I need to go.

    Some years ago I became aware that one of the biggest events in this town is a particular festival that is supposed to celebrate the diversity of this community. I'm ashamed to say it's really all about showcasing the wealthy white families - and there is a HUGE income disparity here. The highlight of the festival is a ball where a queen is crowned, debutante style, and once my kids got into high school I really began to understand the real function of this ball. It showcases the white daughters of the rich. There are no kids of color. This is embarrassing in today's world. I really hate it.

    Then, one of my children was involved in a school activity that requires fundraising. Because this activity requires clothing and equipment, of which new must be purchased every year. The students must travel long distances to stay a week in expensive hotels to properly train, never mind the same exact camp is offered IN THIS TOWN as a day camp at a considerably lower cost. The main fundraiser is the Dad's BBQ, which assumes right off the bat that every participating child has an active father. No amount of asking or persuading would change the minds of the wealthy white parents who locked down the booster club which funds the activity. Tradition. Child must come from the right family, even though this was a public school. So we live through that marginalization, for which I had to pay several hundred dollars in fines because there was no dad to appear for my child and I could not be there that day because I couldn't take off work.

    Part of the fundraising is to sponsor a trip to sunny Los Angeles, half way across the country, every other spring break. I had to pay money to the booster club to support this, then my child had to try out for and didn't make the activity the following year, so she didn't get to go. Bitter? You bet.

    So now Daddy/daughter dances have started up - as part of the local public schools. I live in a primarily rural area where the small city has the biggest school system in the county, but numerous small communities have their own districts within the county, and it's the small districts that have picked up on this.

    I don't want to be here anymore. When I was in college, one of my jobs was as a student worker in the dean's office. The Dean, a woman, got her daughter into cheer in 8th grade and she was talking about how they had to start going to church because all the cheerleaders are active in a church. And she did it! A professor turned dean, but there's no lack of educated people around here. It's just that even with public school education and state college education, everyone still seems to fall into the black hole of church.

    I'm having a bad weekend. This soul sickness from Trump's acquittal has seeped into my soul and it drowns me. I need out of Cruz country. When Teddy was running for office, his signs permeated the landscape and they all prominently featured "God." Recent local elections showed Republicans running for Jesus. This place is blood red and I need out of it.

    Until I can get out, you bet I'm voting for any and everything possible, and it won't be anybody Republican.

  5. Here is the post about our second and last day with Kiki. We picked her up at around 10am, the Grandma gave her to us, because her foster mama was at work. We decided to drive into the little town first and go to our apartment after.

    We walked around the pedestrian zone, went into the tourism office, a few stores and whatnot. She was the star once again. First a mail lady stopped and talked to us and her, then another older couple. The wife was afraid of dogs, but she was okay with Kiki.

    Kiki showed her cheeky personality too. Her foster mum does not allow her to jump up and down the stairs, but on our way back to the car she literally jumped on every little step (not really stairs, just a small step in front of stores due to the old buildings) and she was so happy doing that. We noticed that a few hours later. Haha! Good thing we only have her for a few days and are allowed to be a bit more relaxed about rules and treats.

    We went to the apartment to have tea and coffee and rested for a bit on our bed afterwards. She was allowed to join us (big sister is also allowed to join us in the bed here at home) and she had the best time. She rolled on her back and snuggled with us.

    We decided to go out once again and so we drove to a pet store and a hardware store. She was perfect again in both stores. Especially seeing her walking around the big hardware store was amazing. She acted like she lives there. Really confident in herself. The automatic doors were also no problem. In the pet store we put her in a dog bag and a dog stroller to test how she would look like in them and she let us do it with her.

    And that was the last day. We don't know yet when we will be able to visit her again. Maybe in April/May? We are already planing what we are going to do with her.😊

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  6. BlackberryGirl
    Latest Entry

    well, MIL died Sunday, not unexpected. She was 90 and all in all had a good healthy long life.

    bitch

    that being said, I told BlackberryBoy that we need to write our obits now, to have them on hand so as to prevent the travesty that passes for obits in his family.

    ONE paragraph. Nothing about her as an individual. Hell even I could come up with 4 or 5 sincere, kind, comments about her.

    to add insult to injury 

    they misspelled BlackberryKid1’s name when mentioning predeceased loved ones.

    they misspelled BlackberryGrandKid2’s very common name

    they left out our DIL after asking about her name and when they married

    they misspelled 2 of MIL’s siblings names.

     

    I noticed they didn’t make any errors about SIL’s family, kids, spouses, grands.

    these are well educated people with 4 + postgraduate degrees among them, including 2 teachers ffs.

    The funeral is in Chicago, 600 miles from us. we aren’t going. I figure they didn’t come to our daughter’s funeral, we can skip hers.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  7. Maggie Mae
    Latest Entry

    By Maggie Mae,

    Veruca in the Nut Room

     

    Spoiler

     

    You've got to hand it to OG Veronica. She inspired this.

    Spoiler

     

    Alas, this is the book. Wonka warns his guests about the NUT ROOM by saying "Whatever you do, don't go into THE NUT ROOM. If you go in, you'll disturb the squirrels."

    Seems straightforward.

    Wonka explains that the squirrels are trained to shell walnuts. Mike Teavee, being the reasonable one in the room, asks why squirrels instead of Oompa Loompas. Let's not get me started on food safety standards and efficiency of using a series of trained rodents to shell food that is supposedly meant for human consumption. Or that Wonka's "reason" is that Oompa Loompas always break the "walnut" into two pieces. I'm not sure that's true. Growing up, my grandmother always had a bowl of whole roast nuts and a nutcracker. It wasn't a cool, fancy one that came to life at night, though.

    It was this one.

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    And we all had to share it, so me and my mom and dad and cousins and aunts and uncles would be (insert current slang for "hanging out" or "waiting") around the kitchen table, probably playing cards, catching up, or even passively "watching" daytime TV or breaking news on an 8 inch black and white TV and sharing this bowl of roasted nuts. And a relish tray. There would be bread and butter pickles (Recipe to come), pickled apples, pickled peppers, pickled olives and maybe if I was lucky, a cracker or two.

    Anyway, so Wonka is an idiot who insists on only using whole walnuts that have been in squirrels mouths. The squirrels tap each nut to check for freshness, then they toss the bad ones.

    Veruca, predictably, wants a squirrel.

    Squirrels are very cute. My very spoiled cat also wants a squirrel. I no longer leave youtube videos of birbs and squirrels on for him when I leave the house after the great TV disaster of 2018.

    All Veruca has at home is two dogs, four cats, six bunny rabbits, two parakeets, three canaries, green parrot, a turtle, a cage of white mice, a bowl of goldfish, and a "silly old hamster."

    Veruca sucks. But her parents suck more. I hope her staff is taking good care of this menagerie.

    Veruca begins to throw the temper tantrum to end all temper tantrums. Her parents try to appease her - her mom promising a squirrel later, her dad trying to buy one from WIlly Wonka, who won't sell. Veruca sees this and charges into the squirrel room to try and grab a squirrel for herself. Silly girl has clearly never seen a squirrel before. Presumably London has squirrels. Maybe she just is so sheltered that she never noticed the noisy, destructive rodents.

    She enters the room, and 100 squirrels attack her. The lead squirrel knocks on her head and declares her a "bad egg" and down the chute she goes. Her parents soon follow suite. This is after a discussion about what chute it is and what it contains. Mike is concerned about who is eating potatoes and fish and cabbage, which I suppose is an adequate question if you assume that Mr Wonka's living quarters are separate from the factory as is standard in the US. Nevertheless, Wonka responds sarcastically.

    Regardless, the chute goes to the incinerator. Mr. Salt is "extremely cross about this" despite the fact that his daughter might be "a bit of a frump" (Is that a kindle error? Should that say "Grump?") I do applaud Mr Salt's ability to remain a shady business mogul thru and thru. "I think you've gone a shade to far this time, Wonka!" Anyway, as I said, they follow her down the chute. Both parents lean over the hole, calling for their child, and the squirrels knock them in, head first.

    Oompa Loompas sing a song about the garbage that Veruca is covered with and how smelly it is.

    Seriously. She's like, the worst, and somehow she gets off the easiest. Probably because she's playing the Carmelita Spats game. She's cute enough that she even enchanted Wonka a bit.

  8. Escaping SAHDhood

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    I have been a part of two churches in my life: One was a toxic church which drove to seek fundamentalism in my teens as my parents insisted in being of part of it. The other was a perfectly decent and kind church that was pleasant for me, but this experience drove me away from church due to my family’s drama. At the former, my parent’s excuse was that they felt like they were “missionaries” to that church.

     

    I am starting to realize more and more that my parents’ determination to be the “true Christians” in their churches is a way for them to bond in an otherwise dysfunctional relationship. Of course, the fact that they were/kind of are still participating in such a strange mission is quite a dysfunctional act itself. Although it was hurtful at the time, it’s been fascinating in retrospect how they would twist bad behavior of my dad sometimes into attacks of satan through people in the church. While it was annoying my mom stayed with my father, I am grateful she would call him out on most of his shit. But sometimes, things went very awry...

     

    As silly as this sounds, I have a hard time sharing this story with my husband because he already has such strong opinions about my parents, but I remember my ex at the time was a lot more sympathetic to my family and he was astounded at this situation: My dad apparently was checking out a woman at church (no surprise). This took place at the good church, the one I went to as an adult with family. So my mother thought the only logical explanation for this particular situation was that... 

     

     

     

    the woman is a witch. 

     

     

     

    I know. The most embarrassing part? I believed it for a minute. Now, this turned into what is an almost 4 year long battle. I quickly realized what bullshit it was after the first couple of months, but I have since been neutral in appearance and intensely skeptical on the inside. I once even went to my church’s parking lot in the middle of the night one night to “anoint” a place the woman would usually stand with frankincense and a prayer so she would leave the church. Oddly enough she didn’t come to church for several months. Anyway, it’s all completely ludicrous and I am ashamed of my brief participation of what is basically an out-of-control coping mechanism for my mom. But things kept getting worse: my mom believing this gal put curses on people in the church, how she would not walk past the woman so she herself would not get cursed. 

     

    One time, service was over and I was in the front of the sanctuary talking with the only other person my age in the entire congregation. My family have always been backseat people, and they were gathering their things there and talking with various folk as everyone filtered out. I noticed my parents come and sit towards the front, a little ways from where this girl and I were standing. They both looked annoyed, so I ended my conversation to see if they needed to talk with me (my brother and I drove separately from them most of the time so there was no need to leave together). No, the “witch” was standing by the exit speaking with the pastor, and they did not want to walk past her. I KNOW. 

     

    Now, I do not care for this woman in the first place. She does come off as ingenuine and there is something that rubs me the wrong way, but I do not possibly think she is witch. What I disbelieve even more than that is the power she could have on folks in the church if she was. I quit attending regularly after an incident that deserves it’s own blog post took place, but I have gone periodically since. One time during one of these visits I was in

    line for food talking with a family friend and the gal was standing near me, so my mom comes up behind me and puts her hands on me and says “I’m protecting you”.

     

    No, you’re not mom. You’re protecting your false sense of security by demonizing this woman. And you wonder why I won’t go to church with you. 

  9. Welcome back to 66 Goodbook Avenue! We've now followed the Edens for two decades, and the f*n is only multiplying

    As the Edens continue to expand rapidly, they rejoiced that God their pastor changed his mind about bunkbeds! They are allowed again (I found a mod that worked with the updates). Behold the truly space-efficient boys and girls dorms. 

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    It's a good thing there are a lot of teenagers ruling the roost now, as the littler Edens are out of control. The girls in particular really have a lot on their plates. Here, Deuteronomy does laundry while Genesis cooks, Chronicles does dishes, Ruth practices the violin, and Numbers entertains the useless boys.

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    Similar to the Duggars, the first five Edens have actual identities and personalities, and after that, they all run together. Also similar to the Duggars, there is a group of middle boys (with one girl in the middle, Ruth!)  who run completely amok. #7, Judges, is a particular PITA. Here he is on the left with a fellow Howler, making one of 666 messes this year. Timeouts have done little to curb his destructive tendencies, so Adam and Eva are praying for a fundie behavioral remedy. Look out Judges!

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    The eldest of the Howlers, #6 Joshua (not that anyone cares), became a teen this year. He was a very good, nondescript kid who became a little romantic. Guess we'll check up on you in 5 more years, Josh! 

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    Meanwhile, the above-16s were invited on a mission trip to scary Salvadorada with their youth group.

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    Exodus was delighted that the Lord laid it on Maya's heart to attend as well! They spent their first evening revisiting their baptisms swimming in the vacation home pool. Genesis was relieved that Maya at least tried to cover up her rockin' bod. 

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    I mean, damn, girl

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    Over the trip, Exodus was really attracted to Maya's COUNTENANCE and heart for working out the Lord, and they got to know each other much better. 

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    Exodus truly was pleased that the Lord led them to be of service in...he can't remember the country. 

    Genesis enjoyed it as well. Not only was it a break from her regular duties, but also she got to see how modestly and non-sluttishly the other women there dressed. She made sure Eva shared her [Genesis'] thoughts on Facebook.

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    While the group was on the missioncation, Eva gave birth to #16 (a full TWO YEARS after #15!) Welcome the world, Psalm! We can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for you!

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    Fortunately, the teens were back in time to make birthday cakes for the twins' fourth birthday (the blondes in turquoise).  For the first time since Genesis, the Edens only had one toddler at once! They are indeed slowing down! (since the fertility decrease when Eva turned 35)

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    Notice I said slowing down, not stopping. 

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    The sweet fellowship continues, and Eva's womb hasn't quit yet! Adam and Eva are the only ones who still seem surprised that yet another blessing is on the way!

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    Ok but back to the teens we really care about. At the end of 2029, Exodus was turning 18 (Genesis is already a legal adult I guess, but with no romantic prospects in sight she may as well be 14 to her parents). He and his parents thought he was ready to enter the next season of life. So he invited Maya to the art museum...

    "Doesn't this painting of the outdoors remind you of when were outdoors helping those poor people in...Albuquerque?"

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    gave her a rose...

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    and asked her to enter into a courtship relationship with him. She said yes!

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    How exciting! No word yet on how the rest of the family feels about her pants and short hair, but Exodus thinks she is fiiiiiine inherwalkwithChrist. 

    So there you have it. We go into a new decade with baby 16 and one more in the oven, a missioncation, a courtposal, and everyone growing up! Until next time, Edens out!

     

     

  10. Last week my daughter's school called to let my husband and me know Twin B was going to be tapped in to National Honor Society. This is a goal B has worked towards for years. She was nominated last year and was devastated when she didn't get in but she took that disappoint and she was determined to make it in this year; and she did it!

    My mom was still alive when Twin A was selected for National English Honor Society a few months ago and we are all proud of both of them; however, NHS has a ceremony and more prestige than NEHS. 

    When we got the phone all from school about B's NHS tapping my first thought was "I have call my mom so she can come to the 'tapping in,' too!" Then I realized right after that I can't call her. I cried the entire tapping ceremony because I know my mom would be so very proud. 

    On an another note, I have a friend whom claims she is a medium and offered a session as a gift to me. She met my mom a couple times seven or eight years ago but we never really spoke of my childhood nor does she know my family. We met in rehab and were in the same group but she didn't know anything about my parents nor did we ever speak of the really personal things in our lives, that was saved for one-on-one with our councillors and doctors. We have kept in touch as a group but I haven't spoken with just her in years. I went into her house with skeptical optimism and with an open heart. Well, l was able to voice record the almost 2 hours I was with her and she knew so much, in such great details, and even answered questions I had written on a piece of paper in my pocket that I didn't tell anyone about. I figured if she was the real deal I would get the answers because my mom knew what I wanted and needed to know. 

    And one last thing, I was always told my parents planned their pregnancy for me. I asked my dad and he refused to give me any other answer except this: When your mom found out she was pregnant she wanted a girl. I said "Yes, Dad, but was I a PLANNED pregnancy?" He just said "Your mom was so happy when you were born and the doctors said you were a girl." I said to him "Yeah, Dad, I get it, I wasn't planned, I was a surprise!" He just chuckled. LOL!!

  11. I truly do not know some days what I am supposed to believe anymore.

    I believe in God, and I believe that Jesus is the only way to God, which will probaby get me into trouble with certain people.

    But people can, have, and do use the name of Jesus to lie, to manipulate, and to exploit.  I've been there.  

    People use the Bible to "prove" that they are right about everything. 

    I am supposed to support immigrants and open borders .  . . Or I am supposed to support border security.  

    I am supposed to support women in ministry . . .  Or I am supposed to follow the versesthat say "women can't preach"

    I don't dare post this onFB because I don't want to get into an argument with people there.  But even here, I'm afraid of coming off as too conservative or too fundy.  

    And it just seems that to know what the Bible really says, I have to do university-level study.  And I am just too overwhelmed at the moment to do it.  

    News these days is fake.  I don't know what fact-checking sites to believe. And even when I share fact checks, there are the people that scream that "they're liberal and they're biased!"  All news seems biased and I don't know who's telling the truth.

    "Think for yourself" carries the undercurrent of "as long as you come to the same conclusions I do".  

    "Let love lead" translates into "you don't love me if you call me out on my behavior, so you have to agree with everything I do/say."

    There's no one I can really tell everything to, except for God.  There's some subjects I don't want to delve into even with my BFF even though she's assure me that I won't lose her friendship.  

    It has become exhausting just trying to live from day to day at times.  I don't know who to trust.  And the day in, day out of living is just exhausting.  I have to do work for pay this afternoon.  I can't keep the house clean.  I'm trying to write and I'm stalled.  I'm 55 and running out of time to write everything I want to.  I have a son with a disability that needs to be provided for and the mechanisms of doing so are just plain overwhelming.  And the longer I put stuff off, the harder it's going to be for him.  My husband talks about "We" doing this stuff, but it usuall ends up being "me" because I'm the one with the time to do it.

    And I haven't done any sewing or knitting or crocheting in months.

  12. Imrlgoddess
    Latest Entry

    It's our baby's birthday today 😊 He's had adventures, a,new fridge to scale, & a new doggie to argue with.  He & Mina are still working out their lap domination dynamic. 

    Our favorite kitty decided to help himself to daddy's muffins I made the other night.  I woke up to discover a shredded zip lock, and half a muffin clean gone. He'd left tooth marks in several others.  Honey discovered said muffins halfway down the hall into Thor's room.  

    The muffin destruction was great. 

    I lub my baby. 

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  13. So, a while ago I mentioned in my last entry, that my sister and I share a language we have made up ourselves. We were chatting again as usual, and I noticed that we sometimes write cities and countries as they should be in Finnish or English, and some we turn into our language. I'll list some of these down - have a guess and/or a laugh!

    1. Kostawika

    2. Tsäpön

    3. Nuujook

    4. Ooswewija

    5. Montwiä

    6. Washa

    7. Nooskäwowiinä

    8. Uwanbato

    9. Assöbashan

    10. Bwyssewi

  14. miscellanea

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    AKA Beyond Jordan

    - I’ve gotta say, the aerial shots are enjoyable.

    - PP says the goal of the trip is to visit as many biblical sites as possible. I do not believe that showcasing the holy land was ever the only goal of the film from the very beginning based on what I already know. Like the #FreePalestine he attached to the description of the film on Youtube.

    - PP isn’t even 100% sure the Israeli govt will let him in.

    - Watching PP and Roger Jimenez joke about all of the countries PP has been banned from is eye roll worthy. It’s not really something to be proud of.

    - Airplane shots are pure filler. We get a shot of a random Jewish guy donning tefillin on the plane.

    - They let PP in. It’s almost as if he’s not as important and (in)famous as he thinks he is. 🙄

    - The generic ~eastern~ music is predictably here to remind us we’re in the Middle East.

    - PP washes his face with water from the Jordan river. He says it’s kind of salty.

    - Listening to Jimenez preach at Herod’s fortress is such a snooze fest.

    - We see the Dead Sea and a member of PP’s entourage points out how there is all this salt on the shore, but the first thing I see is litter. PP dives in headfirst and gets salt in his eyes. They all then proceed to float in the Dead Sea like you’re supposed to, and it’s supposedly one of the weirdest things EVER. 🙄

    - They go to the Church of the Nativity and PP manages to avoid making an ass of himself on camera. We get to hear the tour guide sing the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic which his kinda neat.

    - PP gives Bethlehem’s water a rave review.

    - PP moans about all of the idolatry in Bethlehem and the “false religion.”

    - I start passing skipping the mini sermons that come with each site around this point.

    - At Petra PP talks about why he was hesitant to visit the holy land before now; He doesn’t support the “modern, fake state of Israel.” Blah, blah, blah. Then he goes into how all of the sites they’ve visited so far aren’t even in Israel. He makes it a point to tell the viewers that at this point, they haven't even gone to Israel and everything we’ve seen so far has been in Jordan or Palestine.

    - They hit the rewind button to show us how this trip REALLY went. They arrived in Amman, Jordan and crossed into the West Bank.

    I paused at this point because I'm tired and can only watch the Pisser for so long. The film is almost 2 hrs long. I can tell the focus is probably shifting from "look at all of these cool holy sites" to PP whinging about Israel real soon.

  15. clueliss
    Latest Entry

    By clueliss,

    I posted this in the coloring club (or whatever it's called).  But I'm conducting a bit of an experiment since I've managed to find my way to where I can post a blog entry.  (it doesn't appear as an option now under Create - well it does but it comes up blank)

    This is my most recent project.  I've got a couple of smudges that make me batty when I see them.  Otherwise, I've very happy with how this turned out. IMG_20190317_064139.jpg.a2378d5049d788552f19f741c3dbfaab.jpg 

     

  16. Casual Gaming Adventures

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    Hi guys! This is my first blog post and I hope some of you will find this content intriguing. Apologies in advance for poor grammar - hopefully I get better with time. The two games I'm considering playing are vastly different from one another. Harvest Moon (recently renamed Story of Seasons) is a series of life and farm simulation games with the main objective of each game being to rebuild a farm and/or town and to befriend the townspeople. Corpse Party is a horror adventure RPG - decidedly different from Harvest Moon. More about their plots and origins below:

    Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town:

    Mfomt.jpg.dd8542340152a0dfc4a92d03534019fd.jpg

    Originally released in 2003Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town (henceforth referred to as MFoMT) is the third Story of Seasons game that focuses on the female perspective. 

    The player is sitting alone in her apartment, thinking about how tired she is of her life in the city. She wants something new, and as she's looking in the newspaper, she sees an advertisement in the newspaper about a farm for sale.

    She decides to purchase the farm, and goes there to see it. Upon arriving, she meets with the mayor, Thomas, who is surprised to see that somebody has replied to the advertisement. Although the farm needs a lot of work, Thomas says that the people of Mineral Town are desperate for a person to revive the farm. The player decides to live on the farm, and the game then begins.

    source: fandom.wikia

    Corpse Party:

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    Originally released in 1996, the plot of Corpse Party concerns a group of Japanese high school students who, after celebrating their school's culture festival, are telling ghost stories when a sudden earthquake transports them to a dilapidated schoolhouse in an alternative dimension that is haunted by the ghosts of people who have been trapped there. The main playable character is Satoshi Mochida, a kindhearted high school student who is teased by his classmates for his cowardly nature. Three of the other characters are students from Satoshi's class: Naomi Nakashima, Satoshi's childhood friend; Yoshiki Kishinuma, an intimidating yet good-natured student; and Ayumi Shinozaki, the class representative. Rounding out the group is Yuka Mochida, Satoshi's younger sister. 

    The game's story is split into five chapters, each focusing on different characters and featuring multiple endings that are achieved based on the player's in-game decisions: a "True Ending" required for the game's progression; and several "Wrong Endings" that are unlocked when the player performs events irrelevant to the main storyline. Characters also possess hit points (HP), which measure how much damage they can take before dying, in some instances leading to a wrong ending. As players progress through the game, they will unlock ten optional "Extra Chapters", vignettes that focus on the game's side characters and expand the storyline.

    source: wikipedia.org

    If I post about Corpse Party, I will include a NSFW warning, trigger warnings, and keep everything under spoilers, as it's quite... disturbing.

     

    Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to nor do I intend to advertise Story of Seasons, Harvest Moon, Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town, Corpse Party, Nintendo, or Natsume.

     

  17. Confetti and Funfetti

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    cascarones
    Latest Entry

    I mentioned in one of the threads that I'd attended a charity dinner where JK was speaking and had a theory that I wound up defending in a Tumblr challenge a few years back. 

    My theory is that Molly Weasley had her own Deathly Hallows in the final battle. 

    While viewed as a children’s story, or a physical quest, there was much more to the Deathly Hallows than that, the mastery of death could lie not just in objects, but in the right mix of people. The theory, hotly debated amongst vigilant believers, was in current contest as those three Hallows were united as they dueled against Bellatrix Lestrange.

    There was Luna, the Resurrection Stone, the girl who fed thestrals, missed a mother and danced in and out of everyone else’s version of reality. The girl whose haunting alternate ways so often helped others get back to themselves when feeling lost or alone asking nothing in return, helping them resurrect who they were when they vulnerable.

    There was Hermione, the Invisibility Cloak that had shielded others so many times, often invisible and unthanked in her constant support of everyone. The cloak’s true gift lay in the ability to shield others, not just a single wearer and never tired out. For Hermione had never left Harry’s side, had helped Hagrid for ages on his case for Buckbeak, had knit hat after hat for house elf rights, had been the constant plan maker to hide them from trouble. The girl who was tortured to shield others.

    There was Ginny, the Elder Wand. The girl who stood toe to toe with Voldemort in a very private battle for months on end and ensured the only causality would be herself. If it is assumed the castle wasn’t doused with Flelix Feliciats, then Ginny was actively thwarting the giant, murderous creature she kept releasing while blacked out from killing.  Chamber opening, rebellion leading, unmastered Ginny who showed Tom Riddle having a thing was not the same as being able to use it.

    Their mistress was one Molly Weasley, who could selflessly possess the attributes. A daughter by blood, a daughter by heart from across the hill, a daughter to be. When faced with a depraved killer who had felled notable duelists, Molly could not be beat. The mother in her, the fresh grief she had might have been enough, but her Hallows ensured Bellatrix would never harm again.

  18. HerNameIsBuffy
    Latest Entry

    By HerNameIsBuffy,

    I want to preface this by saying I am kind of embarrassed that this is my third blog post here in a row and if other people don't start posting let my insecurity be on your heads.  :)

    Also - I am well aware that I'm FJ's Jill Duggar of food photography.  I'm terrible ... snark away, judgey people.

    I love cranberry-orange muffins and in company meetings I'd make sure they ordered one for me from Panera, but I prefer mine because they are slightly less sweet.

    The three bears reference is because I always bake these in 3 sizes:  Jumbo, regular*, and mini muffins.

    I have three kids and this is one of the few things they all love.  Sometimes they like the jumbo when grabbing one as a breakfast muffin on the way to work or school, we all love the regular, and mini-muffins are great when you want just a little bite without eating a whole one...because for me breaking into a whole muffin means I'll try to save for later but will finish it in short order so mini-muffins are perfect for those times you need a little taste of happiness without making a cupcake sized commitment.

    *regular being typical cupcake tins.

    This is my grandma's recipe.  I am sure she got it from Ocean Spray originally and tweaked it as it's similar.  This is for a double batch which will make a tray of each size (6 jumbo, 12 regular, and 24 mini.)  It is also good in loaf pans as cranberry bread, but muffins leave less crumbs on my counter.  Those of you who have neater families who wipe up their own counter crumbs may enjoy the bread, this recipe makes 2 loaf pans.

    Ingredients:

    • 4 cups flour
    • 2 cups sugar 
    • 1 tbsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1.5 cups orange juice
    • 4 tbsp melted butter (or Imperial margarine)
    • 2 eggs, well beaten
    • 4 cups fresh cranberries* halved or lightly pulsed once in food processor. 

    (*I do not use nuts in this recipe.  If you prefer nuts then cut the cranberries to 3 cups and add one cup of pecans)

    • Preheat oven to 350
    • Butter tins or line with cupcake liners...I'm a big fan of spray butter
    • Sift together dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.)
    • Mix together wet ingredients (OJ, butter, and eggs.)  Add melted butter to OJ before adding eggs so they don't scramble from the heat.
    • Pour wet ingredients into the dry and mix together by hand until just combined. Like with all such muffins do not over mix or you will get a very tough end product.
    • Fold in cranberries until evenly dispersed throughout the batter, again don't over-mix.  You don't want them whole, but not minced - big chunks are best.  I use my food processor on all 4 cups at once and pulse it once.

    Fill tins:

    • Regular - 1 ice cream scoop of batter per muffin.
    • Mini - 1 melon baller scoop per muffin
    • Jumbo - 1.5 - 1.75 ice cream scoops per muffin.
    • Loaves  - split the batter between 2 loaf

    Bake:

    • Regular - 25 minutes
    • Mini - 15 minutes
    • Jumbo - 30-35 minutes
    • Loaves - 50 minutes

    Done when tops are golden and butter knife comes out clean.

    (posting now but will upload pics from phone shortly.)

     

     

     

     

     

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  19. Maggie Mae
    Latest Entry

    Earlier today,  I was at work with my Google Play Music on shuffle, and a song from the OBC recording of Annie popped up randomly. Weird, but whatever. It was one of my favorite musicals as a kid and I still have a bit of a soft spot for spunky red-headed orphans (see also PIppi Longstocking, Sansa Stark) Of course I listened to the entire thing, including a bunch of early mixes I hadn't heard before. I grew up in the time of tapes, and we were poor for a good portion of my life. I still remember my first walkman and the first two tapes - Amy Grant, Heart in Motion, and Annie. So I've listened to it a few times. (Eventually I also got an Ace of Base tape, a Madonna Tape, and some early 90s R&B, before moving on to CDs). Anyway, so I'm listening to some early mixes, and it hits me. 

    I love musicals. 

    This wasn't a revelation. But I love musicals because they are political. Every single one I've ever loved is political at it's very core. Annie - wealth disparity, the New Deal, history, Hoovervilles, all wrapped up in a shiny happy broadway theme. Rent - AIDS crisis, HIV stigma, poverty, wealth disparity, journalism integrity, the American Dream. Newsies - history - newsboys strike, Christian Bale singing with Bill Pullman, poverty, journalism, wealth disparity. Cabaret -   rise of fascism while everyone parties. Les Mis, Chicago, even Mary Poppins has a liberal political message/history lesson in the middle of it. Sound of Music. Fiddler on the Roof.  West Side Story. South Pacific. Avenue Q. 

    Hamilton

    It appears that my favorite musicals (other than Mamma Mia, which we should just not talk about because I will fight you if you hate it) are the ones about living in poverty and doing the best you can with what you got. Not throwing away your shot, if you will. 

    Which brings me to a different memory. 

    I was talking to a guy on skype. He had lived next door to a very close friend, and he was dating a different "friend" of mine from high school. This was in the early 2000s and everyone was talking about the election, Bush V Gore, the Patriot Act, Ralph Nader, John McCain, and assorted topics. This guy was literally the first person who didn't even humor me with my "you should vote for x person in the local election." He was just "no. I don't vote." And even with his reasoning, I could not accept that. I still can not accept that. I don't understand that viewpoint, and I probably never will. It's been at least a decade since I talked to that guy, and I just don't get it. What do you do all day when you aren't political? What do you talk about? When you talk about "how to make the world better" what do you say? Is the number of people who hate politics at all correlated to people who hate musicals?

    Which brings me to how does anyone hate musicals? I know they exist and are out there but why? Is it like my hatred of country music? They hear it and have the same full body uncomfortable feeling? That's so sad. I feel like I owe so much of my knowledge of history to my love of Broadway, as these groundbreaking musicals inspired me to study things in history that I probably wouldn't know about otherwise. I wouldn't have read Allan Ginsburg's Howl without Rent. I wouldn't have read The Berlin Stories  without Cabaret.  Fictional characters set during war time give the audience a grasp of what it was like for those who aren't Generals or State Politicians. 

    BTW. If Cabaret comes to your city, go see it. It's topical. 

  20. I remember being about two years old (I have a long memory) and watching my dad plug in Christmas lights. That was probably the last year our family celebrated Christmas. 

    Both my parents grew up celebrating holidays like most of middle-class America, but as they began their slide into fundie-dom they started reading tracts and booklets about the evils of holidays. They believed that Christmas, Easter, and Halloween were evil throwbacks to paganism that had been perpetuated by the Catholics (who, of course, weren't "real Christians"). I'm linking here to something similar to the many booklets we had around the house: http://blowthetrumpet.org/AChristmasDefenseHowGodsPeopleJustifySin.htm

    This refusal to celebrate holidays set my family apart, even from the fundamentalist Christians we associated with, and definitely caused a lot of confusion when people casually asked us kids what we were doing for Christmas, and we told them we didn't "do Christmas." We got asked a lot if we were Jehovah's Witnesses, since that's who usually comes to mind as not celebrating holidays. Sometimes people asked if my parents were Christian, because the idea of a Christian not celebrating Christmas was so astonishing. 

    Birthdays were only grudgingly allowed: we normally had just a family gathering, similar to the Maxwells' descriptions of their birthday celebration. It was often pointed out that the only birthdays mentioned in the Bible were the birthdays of evil men (Pharaoh and Herod). Also it was seen as being likely to draw to much attention to one person and make them self-centered. 

    This story has a bit of a happy ending, at least for me. After I left home, I embraced holidays with a vengeance. Christmas was amazing, my children got Easter baskets from my in-laws, Halloween was a pure delight of dressing my kids and taking them trick-or-treating. Now that I've left Christianity, I still look forward to the holidays. Christmas/Yule/Winter Solstice--whatever it's called, it's a time of joy and giving and yummy food. Halloween--it's a joy to watch my children enjoy what I didn't, with no fear of "Satan" to hinder their steps. The cycle of the seasons is cause for celebration, even if "Easter" isn't really a thing for me. And I want my children to feel special on their birthdays: to know that they're important and valued.

    This rejection of holidays stemmed from anti-Catholic and anti-Pagan attitudes. It was promoted as being "God's way," but all the tracts reviled Catholics and Pagans, making it obvious that the real problem was with other people's belief systems. Of course, we were the ones with the "right" understanding of the Bible. As with everything else. 

    Nowadays, my parents still don't celebrate religious holidays, except for having or attending a Thanksgiving meal (apparently there's some justification in the Bible for "a day of thanks," don't ask me). They are free to do whatever they want on the holidays; meanwhile, at my house, there will likely be a delicious dinner cooking and a living room full of loved ones. 

  21. I'm making my first attempt to cook rice in my Instant Pot. I am completely incapable of making rice that isn't either mush or crunchy, no matter what I do. Here's what I have done so far:

    1 c. wild rice

    2 c. water

    1tsp better than bullion veggie because it sounded good.

    1tsp. butter

    Put in pot and set to 25 min per https://www.platingsandpairings.com/cook-perfect-rice-instant-pot/.

    Prayed Rufus' blessing on my endeavour.

    Blogged about it on FJ. Updates to follow.

  22. Musings of a Former Pole Dancer

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    The title explains it all: My MIL is moving back to the region where husband and I live. We are state line to her home state (and mine), so she will be uber close to us. NEITHER of us is excited or looking forward to this B moving back with her mother (who is also not excited).

    She's not a job type person, and already told GMIL she cannot get a job because she's unskilled. She's not even 60 yet. The unspoken truth is she is going to wait for her mother to die and leave her the trust fund she's expecting. It feels like a page from a fundie soap opera because I cannot even with the amount of laziness bullshit from her.

    I'll have more updates later. She's supposed to be back by October 1st, but we don't know if she's going to cancel and try to "work things out" with her abusive, bipolar, alcoholic husband (for the second or third time). 

    In case you were wondering, my MIL is nowhere near fundie or even religious. 

  23. Wild, Wandering, Wondering

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    wild little fox
    Latest Entry

    I don't know what happened but suddenly my depression has disappeared. I'm looking forward to the future. 

    I have gone as far as starting an exercise program I found on YouTube. It's for people with mobility issues to get them moving forward. I've been able to do the first episode three times. Today I purchased some hand weights designed for walking but they will fit in my hands without exasperating my hand pain. 

    My t-shirt fit better this morning because I'm already tightening up in my upper body. My pants were too long so I know I'm moving forward. I did need to use my cane when walking to and from the courthouse, but overall I'm feeling stronger. I'm looking forward to doing the program tomorrow. 

    Goals:

    Keep at it.

    Find a picture or pictures of bicycles. When I drop some weight I'm buying one! Mobility this winter in SoCal will be so much easier.

     

     

     

     

  • Posts

    • Hello, I've been a lurker for a while but decided to join in the discussion.

      A month or so ago I was watching a live when a discord link popped up in the comments, it was for Toms' "superfans" and it was a chat with about 10 or so people including the infamous Rachel as well as Thomas as moderator. I haven't talked to anyone yet but every so often I go on and watch the chat. It's actually quite sad, these are grown women who are completely fawning over Tom. They have competition to see who can comment last before a live ends, they talk a lot about themselves, Tom, the family, nothing too interesting, they are about 40 years old and play online games with Thomas. I haven't seen Tom interact with them, they seem desperate. 

      The other night I decided to go into the server when Tom was doing a live (I have myself set to offline mode so no one knows when I'm on) and someone brought up the comment Tom made about Rachel being a stalker, they also brought up this site. Turns out Rachel and Tom both read here and other people in the discord are even members. Rachel is a moderator in this discord as well as the leader of them and she very quickly ended discussion about everything but I took a few screenshots but couldn't get everything as Thomas deletes the chat every night. 

      Another thing I learnt is that the person who posted the screenshots is a scorned women of Toms who he rejected, according to Rachel so she doesn't believe that he would say that about her. 

      I've never had direct contact with Tom and wouldn't want to but from other bits and pieces I gathered is that Rachel is devoted to Tom in a scarier way than I thought. I don't think she has much contact with him on her real account but I believe from bits that have been said that there are fake accounts that have been created by multiple women in this group who are talking to Tom but are actually married and in this Discord group. Apparently the accounts also talk to Thomas and have been getting very close to him to help him with his depression. I can't be certain that these accounts are linked to Rachel and the group because they play it off as someone they know is talking to Tom but when they show the accounts it's newly created or has one or two pics and no friends or likes. Which makes me wonder how Tom, an IT specialist is being fooled by it all.

      I have more information but I realise how it all doesn't mean much without much proof so I'll just leave it with what I have said as I don't want to speculate too much, rather stick to what I can prove. Considering Rachel, Tom and their minions read here I expect to be booted from the discord soon if they can figure me out, good luck to them 😉

       

       

      TomDiscord2.png

      TomDiscord1.png

    • JermajestyDuggar

      Posted

      1 minute ago, Hane said:

      Born and raised devout Catholic here (until about age 52), and I always had trouble believing in literal transubstantiation (and the Virgin Birth, and the Resurrection, and basically all the cornerstones of Catholic dogma). I tended to think of them in a metaphorical sense as much as possible. I started thinking, “If these things are true, why don’t they happen anymore? Does the idea of them happening two millennia ago make them any more likely back then?”

      That was a constant thought in my mind when I was a kid when I sat in church every Sunday. Why do all these things happen in the Bible 2000 years ago, But never happen now? At what point did these things stop? Was it immediately after Jesus rose from the dead? 

    • Hane

      Posted

      On 3/30/2020 at 9:27 PM, Carol said:

      I don't think it's fair to talk about how crazy other religions(fundamentalist or not) are  without mentioning the Catholic belief in Transubstantiation...the literal belief that the host they swallow and the wine they drink are truly Christ's body and blood.

      Talk about magical thinking... 

      Born and raised devout Catholic here (until about age 52), and I always had trouble believing in literal transubstantiation (and the Virgin Birth, and the Resurrection, and basically all the cornerstones of Catholic dogma). I tended to think of them in a metaphorical sense as much as possible. I started thinking, “If these things are true, why don’t they happen anymore? Does the idea of them happening two millennia ago make them any more likely back then?”

      • Upvote 1
    • HerNameIsBuffy

      Posted

      10 minutes ago, marmalade said:

      There were non family members there as well. Of course, the Duggars could try to pass them off as relatives if the cops came calling.

      You aren't implying that these fine, upstanding Christian role models would lie, are you?

      • Haha 3
    • marmalade

      Posted (edited)

      1 hour ago, Peaches-n-Beans said:

      Can the police be called? Because the argument could be made that these are all family members, I could see them finding a loophole

      There were non family members there as well. Of course, the Duggars could try to pass them off as relatives if the cops came calling.

      Edited by marmalade
      • Upvote 2


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