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The Alexanders/Meredith & Steven Hammer

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Summary provided by: Palimpsest

Alexander Adventures (the Alexander Family): alexanderadventuresfamilyblog.blogspot.com/

Tim and Joy (parents)

Meredith Ivy (now married to Stephen Hammer) see also strivingtoserveathome.blogspot.com (inactive blog)

Elliot, Oliver, Sullivan, Harrison and Sheridan.

The Alexander family is primarily interesting due to their oldest daughter, Meredith’s, former blog.

Long term Christians, Tim and Joy met in High School. Their beliefs seem more in line with Vision Forum than anything else. They started at Pensacola Christian College but both dropped out in their first semester. After their marriage Tim primarily worked in construction and flipped houses for a living, not always successfully. Joy dedicated herself to becoming a home making and home schooling Mom. She had several increasingly risky miscarriages while growing their family of six children.

The Alexander family now live and work on a picturesque dairy and chicken farm in Virginia. The oldest son, Elliot, runs the chicken operation and occasionally blogs about mission trips. Oliver’s blog, Refiners Fire, was made private after he got himself into hot water with an essay detailing his belief that slavery is perfectly OK because it was mentioned in the Bible. Little Sheridan is mostly famous for her incredibly unflattering flower girl attire at Meredith’s wedding. The family sometimes seems unaware that the South lost what they probably call the “War of Northern Aggression.”

Striving to Serve at Home (Meredith Ivy Hammer, nee Alexander): strivingtoserveathome.blogspot.com (inactive blog)

Wife of Stephen J. Hammer, mother of Margaret Alice, and daughter of Joy and Tim Alexander, see also


Serving At Home

Meredith’s SAHD blog was active from 2007 – Jan 2011. Coming from a family that seems to follow Vision Forum rules and initially appearing almost Fundie-lite, Meredith quite charmed many of us due to her energy, sweet personality, multiple entrepreneurial talents, and surprisingly good writing skills.

She helped to renovate her family’s rented and previously derelict farmhouse, sewed, home decorated, had her own bakery business (her jams, cookies, and cheesecakes look delicious), and had a real estate license. She homeschooled her younger siblings, adored her little sister, cleaned, scrubbed, prayed, bible studied, blogged, encouraged -- and in her spare time plowed fields, milked cows, delivered milk, processed chickens and slaughtered hogs. (OK, slaughtering hogs is perhaps a bit of poetic license, but she was personally responsible for the processing if not the actual demise of many chickens.)

Meredith’s activity was so impressive that FJ pondered whether there were any tasks left for her mother, Joy, to perform, but she was really most notable for her long (occasionally, and refreshingly, quite impatient) wait for Prince Charming. Her blog was a virtual plea for a Godly husband. She was all prepared for his arrival with a fully stocked hope chest, her own china collection, and even a wedding gown purchased from a thrift store in anticipation of the happy day. She was prayerfully pining away while all her friends were getting married. Some of us speculated that her position on the Fundie “shelf” despite her obvious attractions was due to her liking for defrauding spaghetti strap tops. How off-putting for potential Godly suitors!

Prince Charming?

During the summer of 2010, Meredith’s prayers were answered by God and Stephen J. Hammer. Stephen is ambitious, well educated, motivated, a self-proclaimed perfectionist and saxophone player, Princeton Graduate (Classics) and a Rhodes Scholar (MA in Theology). He is the scion of a Unitarian Universalist family but discovered the ROTC and Jesus, apparently in that order, at Princeton and was baptized as a Presbyterian.

This winner of multiple academic awards, the Salutatorian of his class, beloved of his Princeton professors, and all around over-achiever, saw home schooled no higher education Meredith’s blog while “absent-mindedly” searching for information on Godly Women on the Internet. He was apparently “despondent” at the time as Princeton, Oxford, and his future military career seemed to limit his chances of ever finding a suitable woman “devoted to the Lord, to the work of hearth and home, and to the virtues of Proverbs 31."

Stephen sent Meredith an email, which she dutifully turned over to Daddy Tim for review as all Godly and pure daughters should. Daddy corresponded with Stephen and researched him for months, without telling Meredith one damn thing about the process or progress, before approving a meeting and a Courtship. Meredith’s (younger) brothers Elliot and Oliver were consulted about Stephen's suitability, but not Meredith or Joy. Women are far too emotional to have a valid opinion on important things like marriage and courtship, don’t you know.

Finally, Meredith and Stephen were allowed by Tim to correspond long-distance, Stephen was still in Oxford on his Rhodes scholarship. They were engaged at their second in-person meeting. Full speed ahead with wedding planning for December! Was it 3 or 4 times that she and Stephen actually met and spent significant time together before they tied the knot? I forget.

By now, many at FJ were happily speculating about Meredith’s future. Would intelligent, educated Stephen help to release bright young Meredith from her patriarchal family and self-imposed SAHD servitude so that she could see the world and spread her wings? Would marriage help her to realize the potential we saw in her? How would this young woman who had never been away from her family experience Oxford? What on earth did they talk about given their very different academic achievements? Would Classics Scholar Stephen teach Meredith Latin? Introduce her to Cicero? Cato? St Augustine? Would she teach him how to slaughter chickens and bake cheese cakes? We could but hope.

Meredith’s “Classy” Wedding

Meredith provided us with unusually, for her, fantastic snark material in her “classy” wedding frenzy. She was escorted by twenty seven (yes, 27!) tiny bell ringers - little girls in white dresses ringing porcelain bells. It must have been like herding cats.

Her poor sweet little sister, Sheridan, only 3 years old, delighted us by wearing possibly the world’s ugliest and most inappropriate ever Flower Girl dress. It wasn’t just us snarking. Sheridan’s cut down second hand wedding dress, complete with an unwieldy bulky train, even made Data Lounge’s Dominion Wackiness Post of the Week! datalounge.com/cgi-bin/iowa/ajax.html?t=10006793#page:showThread,10006793

We think Stephen was there. He wasn’t really noticeable in the crowd of bell ringers and gaggle of bridesmaids, but that might have been him hiding behind little Sheridan’s enormous bustle in a reception photo.

To be absolutely fair, Meredith’s church wedding (an actual Presbyterian Church not a home church) and barn reception would be useful for a DIY Budget Bride to examine for ideas. Wearing that long-saved second hand wedding gown from her hope chest, she put on a fairly amazing show with a small budget for a huge number of guests. Her budgeting, culinary and decorating talents were on full display and a good time seemed to be had by all. Even though the unheated barn in December looked pretty darn chilly, the guests were able to dance to keep warm and the barbeque, cheese cake wedding cake, and jam wedding favors looked mouthwatering.

Happily Ever After?

To our disappointment, Meredith stopped blogging after her wedding with a dignified and well-written farewell message. Her mission had been to encourage other young ladies as they “served at home” but that season of her life was over. Information on her since then has been primarily gleaned from her mother’s blog and Stephen’s testimony at a Presbyterian Church in Fairfield, CT on 11/11/ 2012. firstpresby.net/2012_sermons.php

Poor Meredith probably didn’t enjoy her time in Oxford much as she got pregnant almost immediately and had a difficult pregnancy away from her family. Her daughter, Margaret Alice was born back in the US in September, 2011 and Meredith now appears to visit her family regularly. She made a small foray into selling hand-made seersucker children’s’ clothes. Cute, but really rather expensive for what they are.

Perhaps Meredith has achieved her heart’s desire as a SAHM to Maggie and Helpmeet to Stephen, her oft-prayed for “spiritual leader.” We hope she isn’t getting rather smug, and think Stephen could do a bit better than giving matching flannel nighties, even if they were Lanz of Salzberg, to his womenfolk for Christmas.

Stephen’s career is interesting. He comes over as stiff, pompous, pretentious and very, very, smug. Stephen’s mantra is "Duty is ours, but events are God's." After Leadership Training with the Army Rangers he was briefly deployed to Afghanistan. He is now back in the States and appears to be doing well in the military.

His stated ambition in the past was to go to law school and become a Judge. Does he still want this? Is he looking to rise in the military or is politics in his future? What exactly is the Trinity Forum he mentioned? How Evangelical, Fundie or perhaps Dominionist is he? His career development bears watching.

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