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Blogs

 

That's what I call driving!

Quick update: While the final decision will be made on Monday after another lesson, my heart is already set on switching to Automatic. That means getting another car. But my Grandpa said he will help me fund it.  Driving today was so so much better. I was at the right speed most of the time (50 when there is 50 allowed and not 40 like before), I drove quicker into roads. I felt better. It was fun to drive and for the first time I was pleased with myself after a lesson. My instructor said that in the future, there will only be Automatic cars. And even now, many upper class cars are Automatic. (Given that electric cars are also Automatic...) He prefers driving in Automatic as well. It is more relaxing. And he said that sometimes it is quite nice not being able to drive every car. EDIT: I blame my Autism for the problems with a manual car. Too much to do at once.

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

Stalling

Nothing new to report driving wise. I still taking my lessons. Still in the norm with how many I have. (Saying that, because there can be a huge difference between cities and countries. Traffic here is hell.) I will have my 30th lesson this week. 30 is the average, including especially young men who drove illegally before.  My instructor explained that I'm currently near the peak of the mountain, waiting for the last improvement. Still struggling quite a lot with shifting. It should be a bit better by now and it harms other parts of driving because I need so much attention for it. At least that is our assumption. Plan is to take two or three lessons in an Automatic car to see if that is my problem. If it is, we know what we have to train hard. Because in the end, I want my license with my manual car. I want to be able to drive every car, not just automatic ones. I'm very good in a couple of other things, emergency braking or knowing the rules. So it is not all bad.  Taking the lessons in the other car is still training. It has more power (200 PS) and is a bit smaller. I'm looking forward to driving it. Traffic is the same, so I still learn, just one less thing to worry about. But in the end, I need to figure out driving a manual car and my instructor believes that I can do it.

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

Non-Fundie Family: The Taylors

Meet the Taylors. Yes, I know I use this surname a lot, but it is very common!! Here's Isabella. She's a Comedian. Here's her husband Mark. He's an Artist. This is eldest daughter Brooke. She wants to be a Chef. This is adopted daughter Brianna. She's a Nerd Brain. Isabella then had triplets: Brynlee, Brittany and Bradley. Brynlee is pink, Brittany is yellow, and Bradley is green. Isabella was up late one evening. She decided to have some strawberry ice cream. Because reasons. Each kid gets their own bedroom (except for the eldest two, who share). Bradley is a Genius and has a cool science kit in his room. And yes, I do the colour thing for every family, not just my fundies. Mark woke up sad and lonely one morning. Luckily for him, it's Love Day! (I recently downloaded Seasons).  These two are adorable! Mark is an artist, and has a mini studio.  Brynlee gives big sis Brooke a tulip. Here's a photo from back when the triplets were babies. Dang that was a LOT of screaming.
 

Calvinism as I Knew It

Calvinism for my family wasn’t just an abstract theological concept. It informed every aspect of our lives, painfully so. The RPCNA, which I grew up in, is definitely Calvinist in their beliefs. They hold the Westminster Confession of Faith as subordinate only to the Bible in terms of doctrine. And the WCF is strictly Calvinist in doctrine. The TULIP acronym is a useful aid to what we believed and what our church believed: ·         Total Depravity: the doctrine that humans are completely unable to do anything good whatsoever. As in, even your thoughts are evil. I could go on forever about this; the belief was that the unsaved were incapable of doing any true good in the sight of God. Example: an unsaved man risks his life to save a child from drowning. Good, right? According to this belief, no, only “less evil” than letting the child drown, because the unsaved man was not performing this act “to the glory of God.” He was performing it for less pure motives than God’s glory, and therefore he was sinning. Saved people were only capable of true good insofar as the Holy Spirit inside of them was motivating them and purifying their sinful actions. ·         Unconditional Election: the doctrine that God has chosen, from eternity, those people that he will save; and that he has chosen them not for anything that they have done, but just because he can. (Sort of like Thanos randomly decimating half the universe’s population). ·         Limited Atonement: the doctrine that Christ died ONLY for the elect (the ones that God had already chosen to save). John Doe is not elect; therefore, Christ did not die for John Doe’s sins. This doctrine is kind of disgusting and pisses me off. Christ, the figurehead for love, salvation, and forgiveness in the Christian religion, LIMITED his salvation to the elect. Ugh. Gross. You might as well praise Thanos for leaving half the universe alive. He was so merciful! ·         Irresistible Grace: the doctrine that God’s decision to make you elect cannot be changed or resisted. Free will is not a thing for Calvinists. You don’t have free will. If God wants to save you, wants to make you believe in Christ for salvation, you will not be able to resist it. On the other hand, if God hasn’t chosen you, you will never be able to have saving faith in Christ. ·         Perseverance of the Saints: the doctrine of  “once saved, always saved” except for Calvinists. Since they were chosen from eternity, it’s more like “always saved.” Since God is all-powerful, never changes, and has chosen you, you’re either elect or not. There is no crossover. This leads directly into the “no true Scotsman” fallacy, as people do leave the faith. They are seen as having never been true Christians in the first place. (There are differences of opinion on “the unpardonable sin” mentioned in Mark 3: 28-29, and other passages. Some Calvinists would say that I have committed the unpardonable sin by leaving Christianity and following another path. But those Calvinists would consider me to have never been regenerate to start with.)   This is Calvinism as it was taught to me and as I understood it. There are shades of Calvinism, of course, just as there are shades of all religions. The effects of this doctrine were, to start with, guilt. Everything I did and thought, every breath in a literal sense, was either evil or highly suspect of being evil. Coupled with my OCD, this led to years of muttering under my breath “oh-God-please-forgive-me” for the littlest action that might have been sinful. I dragged my guilt with me everywhere I went, crippled by the sense of sin. I didn’t understand people who talked about the burden of sin being lifted. Sure, I could hope that I was one of the elect and would escape hell; but that was about it. I was simultaneously told to avoid sin, and that sin could not be avoided. It was painful, painful beyond belief. Coupled with mental illness, it was nearly unbearable. Another effect was prejudice against others. Our doctrine was special: the only true doctrine. People who were not Christians were evil, incapable of doing good. My motives were suspect: theirs were undoubtedly sin. People who were not Calvinists, even though they were Christian, were seen as “less than,” not having the whole truth. I learned to doubt the salvation of people who believed in free will (Arminianism). The prejudice and doubting may not have been an intended effect, but I have never known a Calvinist congregation that did not have an extra helping of arrogance. An arrogance that corrupted my mind and poisoned me against others. I think that Calvinists often see themselves as “special,” and “intellectual,” because their doctrines are convoluted and require a lot of study and understanding to grasp. The idea that “Jesus died for my sins,” and a simple faith in that idea, is seen as being a “baby Christian.” Calvinists pride themselves on being more advanced. They like discussions on the “act” of justification vs. the “work” of sanctification. They like infighting over the nuances of the Westminster Confession. They like debating the positions of tiny splinter denominations. (I knew of a Calvinist preacher who refused to enter an alliance with another tiny Calvinist church because the second church refused to force the women to wear headcoverings. They were aligned on salvation doctrines and worship practices.) Yet another effect was fear. Paralyzing fear. If I was elect, everything would be ok in the end. I would go off to Heaven, which sounded horribly boring, but at least it was devoid of flames. But if I wasn’t elect? Nothing could save me from Hell. And there was no way to be 100% sure that I was elect. No literal book with my name written in it. To counteract this, the church talked about “assurance,” which was supposedly the Holy Spirit comforting our souls with trust in God. It wasn’t very comforting, as Satan was also waiting, ready to trick us into false assurance. Determining which voice was speaking to our hearts was difficult. I had no “assurance” until I was about 18 or 19, at which point I formally joined the church I’d been attending since I was 6 or 7. It was an intense, traumatic time for me, knowing that refusing to join could be a sign that I wasn’t elect, but that being admitted to Communion and taking it “unworthily” would bring down unpleasant heavenly consequences. (I took the membership vows very seriously, but I now consider myself to have been coerced. I was brought up to believe that Hell awaited people who refused to join the visible church—because refusing membership was most likely a sign that you were not elect. And Hell as a literal eternal fiery pit is a pretty powerful motivator.) Good works, to the Calvinist, are seen as a sign of being elect. Oddly enough, they become massively important for that reason, because they serve as the only outer barometer of being elect. If you claim Christianity and run a charity, take care of your kids, go to church, and dress modestly, you’re probably elect. If you claim Christianity but have an addiction, don’t go to church, or have sex outside of marriage, you might be unregenerate (in certain people’s eyes). Instead of seeing hurting people as brothers and sisters, this kind of Calvinist sees them as either unregenerate or as sinners not yet filled with the Holy Spirit. As I said before, this is how Calvinism was for me, and my birth family, and my church. It was an ugly, ugly system full of arrogance and othering and guilt and doubt and fear. If you have questions, feel free to ask. I realize I’ve written a novel here, and it still doesn’t cover more than the surface of this issue!

Lisafer

Lisafer

 

0 points, shaking feet & the Autobahn

A lot has happened since last week, first an most important: I passed my theoretical exam with no mistakes! 1.) Last Thursday I had my exam at 9:15am in a town nearby. We were 15 people at first, but two got send home instantly because they did not have their proof of attending theory classes. (They still have to pay the fees though!) We got each assigned a place at a round table and everyone had a tablet. I was on of the first people who were finished so I have no idea how it went for the others. I passed with 0 mistake points.  2.) Yesterday was lesson number 24 and we drove around the town I hate. We did some parking practice and during that my left foot (the one for the coupling) began to shake like crazy. Apparently this happens a lot during lesson when you are nervous. My instructor told me to bend my foot and try to relax it a bit. It was better after that. Not much to say about the rest. I think the lesson was okay, he only told me to be nicer to the coupling.  3.) Today was lesson 25 and we did another one of the mandatory lessons. Autobahn again. Basically going in and out. It was okay, I was afraid at first because the last time on the Autobahn was not good at all but it was better this time. I found out that talking to myself (like I do in other situations) helps. I told myself what to do. "Look in the mirror, hit the indicator, look back over shoulder, drive in after car XY, turn of indicator." I don't care what other people think, that helped! Criticism this time was the I'm too hesitant and should drive faster.  Next lesson next week!  

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

Throw Back Thorsday

Ya know, cause there are never enough kitty pictures out there. He was a sweet little jelly bean nugget, now he's a straw stealing, drink dumping monstrosity that gives wet nose kissy apologies.  

Imrlgoddess

Imrlgoddess

 

Tomorrow is the day!

Tomorrow at 9:15am German time I have my exam. I had one lesson on Monday, and cancelled the second due to the exam and two activities I have planned for Friday and Saturday. (Meeting my best friend on Friday and Comic Con on Saturday.) The lesson on Monday was okay. We practised parking on a busy parking lot. So the highest difficulty, during the lessons before we only used lots with minimal traffic. Monday was different. The parking lot belongs to a indoor/outdoor swimming pool and it was almost full. Lots of people walking around and due to a children thing nearby also many little kids. I was way too slow and careful said my instructor. I told him that I did not like people, but killing them is not my intention. (He rolled his eyes.) He said several times that he gets the blame if something happens and I should just go a bit faster.  We also decided to go slow and do the exam in September and not at the end of July. (There are no exams in August.) It took me 10 years to get my license so I can wait for a few more weeks.  So, I did everything I could for the exam tomorrow. I revised another 1500-2000 questions today. My learning program says I'm 100% ready. I know all the answers. So if something happens it is due to my anxiety and not due to lack of preparation.  Please send your good thoughts, prayers or whatever for tomorrow. The heck with it, sacrifice a bunny. I'm taking it all. 

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

Happy 2nd Birthday!

Hims twwwooo!!!! Our little nugget is two years old y'all!  Today he gets wet num nums all to himself  & all the scritches & squeezies he can handle... and some he can't....  I didn't have a party hat in my phone picture doodle thing so a top hat will have to do.

Imrlgoddess

Imrlgoddess

 

It's Birthday Week!!

Tomorrow marks 2 years since that fateful day when our favorite baby & his siblings crawled their wee tiny little selves out from under my house.  While his sissy & brother went on to kitty Valhalla, baby Thor stuck with us & has become the darling of the household.  Every morning there are head butts & wet nose kissies, every evening there is good night cuddles & squeezes. He lounges. He plays. He meets us at the door every time we come home from anywhere.  He's my sweet sweet baby cat. Day 1  

Imrlgoddess

Imrlgoddess

 

160km/h

I had my two hour trip on Tuesday. First we drove for around 20 minutes on the Autobahn to a city called Kirchheim unter Teck. From there a little round course across the Swabian Alb followed. (Basically around the castle Teck.) Lots of narrow roads, curves and my instructor was mad because a truck was driving in front of us and could not overturn him due to the road situation and we could not drive as fast as my instructor would have liked.  On the way back we drover via the Autobahn as well. While driving we practice switching lanes (it is a six lane Autobahn, three in each direction) and in Germany there is a so called "Rechtsfahrgebot" which means that you have to drive on the right at all times if possible. Usually the trucks drive there and the cars in the middle, 'cause they are allowed to go faster than trucks. The left line is basically only for over taking other cars and as soon as possible you are supposed to go back to the right. Over turning on the left is not allowed, so if you drive on the middle lane you can't drive faster than a car on your left.  The switching between lanes at such a high speed is really hard. I struggled with it a lot. Keeping the steering wheel straight, looking and then having the guts to go over. Thankfully I won't have to do that during the final exam.  There was an area without speed limit on our way and my instructor told me to power through. So we drove at 160km/h which is 100 miles per hour. Her wanted me to know how it feels like going that fast. I did not like it at all, way to fast for my liking. So you'll find me on the right driving at 80km/h (50mph) behind trucks. I'm okay with 100km/h on country roads though.  My exam on Thursday got called of due to the IT trouble. It is now on Thursday next week shortly after 9am. Next lesson on Monday and on Tuesday we are doing the Autobahn again. 

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

Very quick update

Had my lesson for today and it went very well. After 20 minutes or so he told me to park the car at the side of the road, and asked me how I felt so far. My reply was: "I have hoped that you wouldn't ask, 'cause now everything is going to be worse." He just rolled his eyes and told me to believe in myself. Like I said, it got a bit bad after that but I saved it and drove good in the end. He said 80% was good! He told me that I was using my mirrors perfectly. I looked every time I should have looked. He also pretty much stopped telling me when to go up and down a gear. Tomorrow I will have a two hour long overland lesson. We will drive to the Swabian Alb and have fun there. I really like driving faster outside of cities so I hope it will be fun. Lots of curves and great roads. I still have no time for my exam on Thursday. They switched to an online only system during the last days (communication with the driving schools) and well, Germany does pretty good with a lot of things, but new systems and internet is not one of it. But I should get the time tomorrow. I'm incredibly tired (also because I did a lot of revising for the exam) but I'm looking forward to tomorrow! 

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

Edens Year 13: Elsie Johnson, Sad But Free

Wow! Welcome back to 66 Goodbook Avenue after a long time away! Grad school was pretty crazy for me this spring but it's so good to be back! A LOT has happened in year 13 for the Edens.  It started with Judges's birthday. Genesis, now a fully-fledged sister mom, made his cake (of course).  Judges was an inquisitive toddler and now he is a little bookworm! Let's see if he keeps to the approved texts!  (P.S. The first time I wrote this section I called Judges (#7) Samuel (#9). The kids are starting to become interchangeable. Thank Rufus I have a key for which kid is wearing which color!) Though the Edens are getting to be a PITA for ME, they are still functioning remarkably well. The kids keep up with their homeschooling and their chores (even unasked), and the family still manages to eat dinner together sometimes. The siblings get along well, especially the eldest boys, and after work Adam enjoys playing on his new woodworking bench. As I said months ago, the Edens are doing a really bad job revealing the dangers of fundamentalism from the outside.   Most of the time. Life was not so idyllic for the Tobiaseses.  Romano aged up into an adorable angelic munchkin, but his parents were not. happy. Elsie couldn't believe that she had followed all those stupid patriarchal rules and gave up her adolescence to serve her sister's family, all to experience infertility (based on the number of tries it took to conceive to Romano that's totally what was happening - though that may of actually been a blessing in disguise in terms of her union with Cale) AND be married to a guy who is lazy, literally insane and supposed to have authority her. Fornicate that noise. Cale decided that if he couldn't do whatever he wanted as whoever this "headship" thing was without a wife yelling at him, then he really didn't want to do it anymore. And they divorced. Cale kept the house, as he did buy it. Elsie Johnson got most of the money, sole custody of Romano, and her name back. She used the money from the divorce to buy herself a beautiful 3 bed 2 bath home in the Edens' neighborhood. They didn't have a ton of money for furnishings, so the house felt a little empty, but they did have each other. (And potty training.) Still, it was hard. Elsie was sad about the divorce and her questions about IFB teachings. Really sad.  After when Romano (who is now going by Romeo because the cheese reference is just too painful) was sleeping she would call the sadness hotline.  And as if that weren't enough, the married Edens showed up on her doorstep. Like the horny judgy couple they were. "Go back to Dad's Elsie, or come home with us. You shouldn't be living by yourself, with a kid and unmarried." "No, I'm working at the restaurant now. I'm a strong independent woman and I don't need no man." (Okay, mayyybe I added that last part in) "How independent are you if Romano sleeps at our house when you work nights?" (And I said...bitch??????) "Well I really appreciate you guys taking him overnight but I guess I'll put him in daycare then, with the smelly and unlovely heathens." "Fine, he can keep coming over. Take care of yourself." "Fine. Thank you. How do you keep your arms so slender after so many babies?" Eva did not answer that and Elsie went to her gorgeous new bedroom after this exchange to weep. (She actually did, even though this picture shows her sleeping) And yes, Elsie works nights still. She's working as hard as she can for a promotion which will change her work schedule. And tries to stay as close as possible to Romano even when she needs to nap.  But I think they're going to be ok.  Meanwhile, back at the Edens, Joshua attempted unsuccessfully to "save" a girl with NO PANTS AT ALL, which is way worse than wearing regular sluttish pants. Nike for real.  And Kings (baby #10, remember him?) grew into a clingy toddler, Just before Eva and Adam welcomed blessing #11 into the world, little Chronicles, on Halloween on the Eve of All Saint's Day at the end of October. Everyone was SO EXCITED to meet her! ("Deuteronomy! Countenance now!")
And we just can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for her! Thanks for being patient and for reading all of this if you got this far. Until next time, Edens out!  

neurogirl

neurogirl

 

Two lessons & a preliminary exam

First: I passed the preliminary exam! I had to do two exams and passed both of them. One without mistakes, the other with two mistakes at questions I was unsure about during the exam. So I know what to practise until the important test next week. On to my two lessons. My mum came to both of them to make me feel a bit less nervous. It is really special because she had her lessons with the same instructor when she was 18! On Monday we drove into a bigger village/town via the high way (interstate might be a better word, not the Autobahn but also not a country road). The area there is known to be absolute hell for drivers due to pedestrians, buses and bus lanes. A lot of accidents happened there and of course the area is part of the exam area, meaning I know which cities/villages I might have to drive through at my exam. Driving outside on the "high way" went very well, also the country roads. Inside the city mess it got harder and the criticism was that I was to slow. So next time I try to be less anxious and try not to care if I kill a few people who illegally cross the road.  On Tuesday was lesson number 2 and we drove to the are were the exam will start and end. Same as Monday. I did very well on roads outside the city but got slower than I should on the smaller roads with cars parked on both sides. We also practised parking again. Forwards, backwards and parallel backwards. So my weak point is definitely everything involving busy situations and people. Everything else works better. Next lesson is number 20! (Still +10 lessons at least to go.) And my final theoretical exam is also next week. Hopefully one less thing to worry about once I pass it.

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks

H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks (A comical reference to the hot place, based on the shape of the last two letters)     The Christians I grew up around took Hell pretty darn seriously. They didn’t believe in expiation of sins after death: once you’re dead, you’ve lost your chance, buddy. If you weren’t saved by Jesus before you died, off you go in a handbasket to the hot place. For Reformed Presbyterians, this is compounded by the Calvinist belief that God has already determined who’s headed to the flames, but has not chosen to share this information with humankind. Of course the above paragraph is a simplified explanation, but sometimes it helps to strip away all the fancy theological terms and state things baldly. I was taught that if you died without believing in Jesus as Savior, you would instantly go to a place of never-ending torment and darkness, and at the Resurrection your body would be consigned to the flames to burn forever without any chance of escape. This shit fucked with my head pretty badly growing up. I remember sheer sweating terror one night where I had convinced myself I was going to Hell. I still remember how afraid I was as I faced an eternity of screaming agony, sure that I couldn’t do anything about it. After all, if God had predestined me to the flames, there was no way around it—no propitiation, no sacrifice, no acceptance, no forgiveness. I relaxed a little bit about Hell after that; I think I numbed myself to the possibility of ending up there and tried not to think about it. But I still believed in eternal torment, and I still believed that the unsaved were headed there by the thousands every day. This led to a lot of guilt about not witnessing to the unsaved. Now I know this doesn’t really make sense, because if God had already chosen his people, it couldn’t be my fault if somebody went to Hell. At the time, though, it didn’t seem nearly so clear, and if anyone I knew died who wasn’t Christian, I was full of guilt because maybe I was the one who was supposed to evangelize them and save them from the flames. We were commanded to spread the Gospel, and I wasn’t doing it, or not doing it well enough. It made me really sad when my grandfather died an “unbeliever.” I couldn’t reconcile myself to the idea of him burning up forever. I just didn’t understand how people could be happy in Heaven when they knew their loved ones were shrieking in the fire. Apparently if you are one of the elect, when you go to Heaven you are purified and happy forever and just…don’t care about your friends and relations? Forget about them? Rejoice in their punishment, since they are sinners? Holy fuckballs! If that’s the way it works, I’m jumping in the handbasket with my loved ones and heading to the Pit, because Heaven sounds a lot more twisted. I would think for most Calvinists, predestination would take the edge off of personal guilt about evangelizing to the lost. But if you believe that everyone has an opportunity to be saved, like many modern Evangelicals, how do you not spend every waking moment trying to rescue people from the flames? Unrepentant humanity is throwing itself over a cliff of destruction! You should be waving signs, screeching warnings, blocking their path…oh, wait, there’s a bunch of Christians doing exactly that, and it’s obnoxious. Theologically consistent, but obnoxious. But understanding how some Christians view Hell as a place of eternal, no-escape torment does shine a light on their behavior. If somebody thought you were about to jump off a ten-story building, you’d expect them to try to stop you. That’s what a decent person would do. Unfortunately, there are a lot of well-meaning Christians out there trying to “save” people from the Christian Hell. Their intentions are good, but I’ve always heard that the road to hell was paved with good intentions... Like a lot of my early beliefs, my belief in Hell slipped away gradually. I had to go from strict Calvinism (God only saves the elect, all others go to Hell) to a belief in free will (you can decide to accept God, and then you will go to Heaven) to the belief that the Divine love is open to everybody, and that the only hell is one you create for yourself. And if you’ve created it for yourself, you’re free to leave it behind. But what about mass murderers? What about Hitler? A lot of people consign the unrepentant to eternal flames with smug satisfaction. A lot of people do that, some without even really thinking about it. “He got what was coming to him.” “He can rot in hell.” That’s our desire for justice talking. If we lost our sense of justice, we’d lose a huge part of our humanity. Pain and suffering follows evildoers. Karma is a bitch, and we bless her for her bitchiness. But what if even the most evil are not unreachable by love? Maybe, even when we are full of justified anger and hate against the worst of humankind, maybe Divine love doesn’t give up trying to bring them back to goodness, even after death. That’s why I can’t say that I hope anybody rots in hell, because one: I don’t believe in it, and two: I hope that everybody finds some kind of redemption, be it through reincarnations or purgatory or something else. At least that’s how I think of it. I don’t fear Hell anymore, and that’s a relief. I don’t want my children to grow up in fear, sickened by the thought of eternal flames. I asked my son once if he knew what “hell” was—he said he knew “hail” fell from the sky, and I laughed because he didn’t know, and he wasn’t afraid, and that’s the way a child should be.  

Lisafer

Lisafer

 

Bancrofts Part Eleven: Ten Kids, Ten Grandkids

Martha decided she wanted to move back into her parents' house, which means she'll inherit it when Martin and Karen die. She gets her own room, plus a computer and bookshelf; her preferred hobby is Film and Literature, one of the least compatible with the fundie lifestyle. I'll just pretend they're religious books. Over to the Walkers. Emptying a potty is gross. Time to wash the dog! Breakfast. Madison had twins! Two boys after Ashlyn and Brynlee. Their names are Carson and Daxton.  Over to Michael's family. Potty training is dull af. "How much poop do you have to do, Katherine?" So I didn't realise, but Michael is Level 8 in the Business career. This comes with a limo as the carpool.  First bathroom baby! Lily (married to Max) is having her first biological child. His name is Ryan. When you google popular 80s names, the boys' ones don't seem as obviously 80s as the girls' ones. With girls you get names like Jennifer, Amanda, Crystal, that sort of thing, whereas the boys' names are more like Michael, Robert, timeless sort of names. Back to Michael's family. Kaleb is having a late-night conversation with his Uncle Malachi. It was around 11:30 pm-ish. Shouldn't both of you be in bed??  Mary and Kaleb play soccer in the back yard. Again, sports are OK if it's family only.  Kaleb practises the piano. With not much time left until Katherine and Kyle's birthdays, it was time to grab some Smart Milk and the Thinking Cap and utilise them.  Kaleb brought cousin Ashlyn home with him one day after school. Michael threw a birthday party. For some reason, Aunt Martha decided to give Katherine a bath. Party time! The next day, Mary had her fourth child, another girl, Kaylee. That makes ten children for Martin and Karen, and ten grandchildren. It's an even split of five girls and five boys. There are four Children, two Toddlers, and four Babies. Ashlyn Walker: Brynlee Walker: Carson Walker: Daxton Walker: Kaleb Bancroft: Katherine Bancroft: Kyle Bancroft: Kaylee Bancroft: Jennifer Bancroft: Ryan Bancroft: So that's ten grandbabies across three families; seven of the kids aren't married yet. In fact, Malachi isn't even a Teen yet, although he soon will be. 
 

Smiths Part Ten: In Which Emily Says "Fuck the Patriarchy"

Screw You Patriarchy Moment #1: Emily wears pants now.  Screw You Patriarchy Moment #2: Emily gets a JOB. As an ASTRONAUT. She also moved in with a guy pre-marriage. But then, I always do this, because waiting around for them to find a partner autonomously would take too long. Plus my Sims don't leave the house much except to go to school/work. She goes on a date with Daniel Westbury to the Romance Festival. They get sakura tea together. Look who turns up!! That's either Eddie or Elijah getting sakura tea; I can't tell because he's not in green or blue. Which is why I always assign my Sims a colour. Daniel's eating fruit salad for breakfast, which is normal. Emily is eating franks and beans, which is not. Maybe she's a Bro Gary follower? *gag* Screw You Patriarchy Moment #3: PRE-MARITAL KISSING Y'ALL Daniel got so excited he decided to start fishing. It does actually make sense, as being an Angling Ace is his lifetime aspiration/wish/want (I forget which one it is with Sims 4). Nicole invites Emily over to the Granite Falls National Park. They don't stay long, for some reason, by which I mean they chat for a bit and then Nicole just walks off.... RUDE. Edward invites himself over, and meets Daniel. Neither Edward nor Nicole have commented on Emily wearing jeans; perhaps they're like the Bateses in that kids stick with the style rules whilst living at home, but they can decide their own rules once they've left. After all, Emily's still fairly covered, it's not like she's wearing a crop top and hot pants. Eliza comes over.  Eliza plays the violin. Edward sits alone in the background. (Loser). They go on a date to a bar. Smooching occurs. "Daniel! What are you doing??" "YIBS!" (Simlish for YES!) Quick household swap to the Pearsons. Here's little Adam as a toddler. (Eliza's first kid) Nicole and Emily go to Chez Llama.  The food takes way too long to arrive so Emily leaves. I'd got a notification saying that Daniel had come home from work, and I wanted to get them married. Dun dun da dun.... dun dun da dun... hurry up guys, get to your seats! (Slight Screw The Patriarchy moment in that Emily wears quite a form-fitting dress). Not sure how well Nicole, Eliza and Mark can see from the kitchen... Eliza and Emily eat their cake on the bed.  Even long after everyone's left, Eliza's still playing the violin. Female Sims don't automatically take their husband's name after marriage; I went into full edit mode (cheat) to change Eliza's name. I'm gonna have Emily keep her Smith maiden name, and give any kids the double-barrelled name of Westbury-Smith (it flows better that way round IMO). I suppose a real "fuck the patriarchy" moment would've been for Emily and Daniel not to get married, or to marry after kids, but I feel she's broken quite a few of the family rules already. After all, plenty of feminists get married.  
 

Driving lesson or therapy?!

Just had my last lesson for this week. I ended up crying again at the end. I'm not going to focus on the negative parts, but instead he said that the first minutes were perfect. He told me that this should be prove for myself that I can do it. Then he told me about his struggle with learning to do some sort of car racing. He took my hand and walked with me to his other garage and opened the door. There was his race car in it and all the medals he won. He said that they all laughed at him because he did so bad at the beginning (as a driving instructor) and that he was not talented at all and needed lots of practice to get to this point were he is now. So the one thing I try to remember from today is that I drove perfect (his words) during the beginning.  (And if one person tells me that Autistic people have no emotions I would like to refer them to my poor instructor who has to deal with a crying student more than he probably likes.)

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

Still a kitten!

I'm finally able to get into my blog!  I've been trying & trying to post but the little plus sign drop down doesn't show any blogs. So I searched & found my way in! Anywho... he's been the ultimate kitty protector since my carpal tunnel surgery. He was nursekitty extraordinaire the first few days after, laying on me to help me sleep, breaking into the bathroom to supervise baths... We caught him being all cute, playing with his ball earlier. For your viewing pleasure:   

Imrlgoddess

Imrlgoddess

 

Downtown traffic & preparations!

And here we go with the newest update: Monday, 05.06.2018 My first lesson after two weeks of being on break duo to my cold and finishing the classes. He went all crazy and took me into the inner city. Lots of traffic, tram driving on the road, longer tunnels with junctions in them... I did good driving through the city but got tired closer to the end on the way back and made some mistakes.  On Monday evening I went to the class to "inspect" the new instructor. He did quite good and I told my teacher that he did a great job choosing him. One example: The batteries in the mouse were kinda dead during the last weeks. Two teachers mentioned it, but basically ignored it. He noticed it and the second he did he told us to wait and got new batteries.  I also found out that my application was approved! So that means that the moment I'm ready I can do my exams. Next week I will have a preliminary test at my driving school and if I pass that I can do the real thing at the Technical Supervisory Association aka TÜV in German. I pass all the exams at home, so I'll just continue to learn a bit and I hope that I manage to pass. (30% fail the exam for the first time according to recent studies). Tuesday, 06.06.2018 Today we did a normal lesson. A tiny bit of Autobahn, parking and regular driving. And a tiny bit of therapy at the end. Seriously, he is great building me up! He told me to decide a bit quicker. I wait to long instead of acting. (For example: Waiting for a car to park in or drive around it. Both options would have been right, but I was awkwardly in the middle because I couldn't decide what to do.) And I should not question everything all the time, just do it. (This is difficult, because I question everything...)  Tomorrow we will do the same thing again, so I can focus on the things I did wrong today.  But today was relaxing compared to the inner city mess on Monday.  By the way, I found an online test with some of the question I have to answer. There is an option to do it in English or other languages, just like the real exam. Click on the little flags to change the language. If you want to try it out, here is the link: https://fahrerlaubnis.tuev-dekra.de/quiz.php?land=UK (Choose category B and click on "Start the demo version online". It is free and safe!) I passed my try with 0 points. 

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

Homeschooling

I thought I'd write a blog post about homeschooling, one of the parts of my upbringing of which I have both good and bad memories. To be frank, I'm actually currently homeschooling my own older child (the other is too young yet). I think a lot of the difference between me and my parents lies in why, not as much in how. I'm not doing it to keep my children from the world. I'm not Christian myself, but probably 90% of the public school teachers in this area are. I'm homeschooling because I enjoy providing my children with an educational experience that I can tailor to their learning styles. If it stops working for us, we'll re-evaluate putting them in school.  My parents homeschooled their kids because they firmly believed that public schools were instruments of Satan (although they might not have used that specific term). They thought that the government used schools as indoctrination camps to make children into atheists and evolutionists. They had both been educated in public schools, so I guess the atheist indoctrination didn't take. They both held professional licensures as well in a medical field (not being specific for privacy). Needless to say, our education was heavily Christian-based. We used Rod and Staff, Abeka, Apologia, Sonlight, etc. in our curriculum, and participated in a homeschool reading program in the summer and homeschool spelling bees as well. My mother focused heavily on seat work and completing workbooks. Every morning she'd have a list of the tasks to be completed written out on a whiteboard. We were allowed to take the different tasks in any order, as long as they got done. We weren't allowed free play time until after the schoolwork was completed, usually by 1 or 2 in the afternoon at the latest in the older grades (we'd get up, have our private Bible time, breakfast, and start school by about 7:30). We had family Bible time in the morning and evening, and my mother would read fiction aloud to us before bed.  The cons: massive focus on fundamentalist Christianity, extremely whitewashed American history (MLK was scorned as a lying communist--??? still haven't figured that one out), young-earth creationism, lack of education about other religions. The pros: my mother enjoyed teaching, and I enjoyed learning. We had access to a lot of books, fiction and non-fiction. Except for the gaps noted above, I got a pretty solid educationin English, math, literature, music, and art and had no trouble moving into college classes when I was about 18. Homeschooling was one of the few things I remember fondly about a childhood I describe as "kinda sucky." I learned to cook and sew pretty well, skills that have come in handy for me, and in spite of the no-evolution bias, I was damn good at college anatomy and physiology classes because I'd learned a lot of it already from Apologia curriculum.  It was hard to fill in the gaps, though. I'm still catching up on movies that most people my age saw years ago! And I thought I had a lot of history knowledge, but what I had were dates and fact snippets, not understanding, because I was taught a biased view of history that showed white Christians as the saviors of the world. Ugh. And studying the Bible as if it was all completely factual didn't do me any favors, either. All in all, I'm not sorry that I was homeschooled, and I know my parents were trying to do what they thought was the right thing in educating us at home. What makes me angry is that my parents both went to college, and then tried to deny me the same choice because I was a girl and I was "supposed" to focus on homemaking, marriage, and babies. I started community college under a cloud of disapproval, but my mom had encouraged the love of learning, and I wasn't about to stop just because I'd finished high school. I had a lot of mental conflict because of not "honoring" my parents, but the urge to do something with my life overpowered the doubts that stemmed from my upbringing. I couldn't imagine just sitting at home waiting for a man. And I didn't want a bunch of kids. My older child is doing great with homeschooling so far. But I have no fear that Satan is lurking in the halls at the local public school. If anything, I'd be worried about too much Christianity there! I know some people had utterly horrible experiences with homeschooling, and wouldn't dream of doing it with their kids. I feel that I can give my kids some opportunities with homeschooling that might not be available in our local public schools. As I said before, it comes down to WHY people choose to educate in that manner. Parental involvement is key. And as screwed up as my mom's beliefs were, she was involved and genuinely making an effort to educate us.

Lisafer

Lisafer

  • Posts

    • Lurky

      Posted

      If I saw that photo of Jill and her sisters, I would 100% think it was a really happy mum, her two daughters, and their grandmother.  It's not just how similar they look, it's the body language, everything.

      But I'm so BEC about someone watermarking that photo as if it's a professional one, as everything about it is terrible.  Wouldn't think twice about it being so badly framed etc, if it didn't have the watermark.

    • Destiny

      Posted

      I think your hair is gorgeous. default_smile.png

      I can totally see the problem for the average person because I keep my own hair semi-short and it’s just wavy, not actually curly. I’ve just always been jealous of people who have actual curls, not a wavy clusterfuck of frizzy fail like mine. Or I’d be cool with straight too tbh. Anything but my wavy clusterfuck really. lol.

       

    • AlwaysDiscerning

      Posted

    • TatiFish9

      Posted

      If Lauren did not find an opportunity to sing/play Taylor Swift's "Dress" for Josiah on their wedding day, I see nothing but missed opportunities.

      In true taurean fashion, Lauren managed to choose a traditional but *extremely* sensual dress. All the details in the back? Good, Lord. She definitely worked it. 

      Well played on Josiah's part, too. Yes, he seems to be in his head a lot these days. He just wants to get it right.  Hopefully, he will settle down once the pressure has leveled a bit. Then they can be true to their playful natures.

      They're just gonna have to learn to tune out the white noise of those around them, including meddling parents and whispers of internet rumors.

      They'll be as fine as any of the other couples. They're also likely to continue to be just as fundy as the rest of them. Nothing new here but a bit of over- thinking - pressure to perfom awkwardness, I believe.

    • xenobia

      Posted

      36 minutes ago, Chewing Gum said:

      Thank you so much! Now did the cameras go out of focus as much as they did because they featured Derick/Josh?

      I read in a comment that it's something that the person responsible for the channel caused. I think (s)he filmed the screen, and didn't get full focus all the time. We'll probably get a longer (and more sharp) version when CO returns :)



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