Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Embracing the Moral Order

Jane Austen’s Marital Advice
By: Chuck Colson

Why is it that so many people who want so badly to get and stay married, end up crashing on the marital shoals?

The experts have a lot of ideas about why marriages crumble. But one of my favorite answers comes from someone who gave literary marriage advice — some 200 years ago: Jane Austen.

Miss Austen had a delightfully satirical eye — an approach to life that was reflected in her novels. But as Benjamin Wiker points out in his new book, 10 Books Every Conservative Must Read, Austen, the daughter of a clergyman, also had a strong and biblical core of common sense — especially when it came to romantic relationships. Her books reflect the moral order, and celebrate marriage itself.

Wiker notes that Austen lived during the early Romantic movement. The Romantics were lived a life “defined by the passions of the moment. For them, to feel is everything.”

In her novel, Sense and Sensibility, Austen describes the inevitable consequences of this approach to life. It's the story of two sisters, both of whom fall deeply in love. The elder sister, Elinor, “has learned to govern and guide her passions by reason,” Riker says — and ultimately marries a man of good character.

By contrast, the younger sister, Marianne, indulges her passions without regard for prudence. Although Elinor warns Marianne against giving her heart to an attentive young man she barely knows, for Marianne, Wiker notes, “passion is the thing. Feelings must take the place of judgment.” And “being a creature of sensibility, Marianne has no sense,” no interest in learning good moral judgment, which involves “training feelings by habit and reason.”

Marianne had yet to learn what C.S. Lewis taught: that the question is not what feelings we happen to have, but what feelings we should have. Therefore, Wiker says, “We must educate ourselves to train our thoughts and feelings to correctly reflect the actual moral order.” Marianne saw no need to do this — which is why, in time, her heart was broken by the worthless young man she'd so quickly — and imprudently — fallen in love with.

Unfortunately, our culture has taken Marianne's attitude to its logical — and tragic — conclusion, Wiker notes. Like the Romantics, modern liberalism celebrates “the victory of sensibility over sense, the passions over reason, self-absorption over moral duty, romantic anarchy over tradition.”

Jane Austen would have been “rightly horrified at our not heeding her warning, but unsurprised by the results” — including, sadly, the high divorce rate, and the seduction of so many unthinking young women by men of bad character.

How much happier we would be if both men and women took the time to learn good moral judgment, and retrain their more impulsive feelings to reflect the moral order. Instead of rushing headlong into marriage, they should go slowly, inviting the advice of wise parents, friends, and church counselors.

Were Jane Austen alive today, she'd make a wonderful speaker for our Centurions program. While it may be “a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife,” as Austen satirically put it, she would make sure her readers learned a more serious point: That the route to marital happiness is recognizing that there is a moral order, and that we ignore it at our peril.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Crazy Minds

John and I were crazy talking today and I asked the next question:

1. What music video from the 80's would you have loved to be in? (play the main part)

John's answer: Robert Palmer's Simply Irresistible.

Sandra's answer: Madonna's Material Girl

hmmmm....interesting answers.

Then I asked:

2. What  music video from the 80's would you have liked to danced in?

John's answer: Michael Jackson's Thriller. John's second choice: Paula Abduls, Cold Hearted Snake. For some odd reason he likes her. He has all her LP's. You heard right. LP's!

Sandra's answer: Janet Jackson's Nasty Boys.

So, I continued asking questions...

3. What band or group from the 80's would you have love to tour with?

John's answer: Metallica

Sandra's answer: WHAM!

4. What is your 80's music star alter ego?

John's answer: Zakk Wylde - No More Tears

Sandra's answer: Pat Benatar. (I know! I loved her in the Love is a Battlefield music video! "We are Strong! I loved her hair and make up and how she defends her friend) My other favorite song from her is "Heartbreaker."

So, as you can see with no rain and over 100 degree weather we are going crazy here in Texas! If you read this and would like to share, go ahead!

Women's World Cup 2011

We didn't win! Japan beat us in penalty kicks, ugh! that's was excruciting to watch. We had this game in the bag but Japan came back and tie both in regular time and extra time. This is upsetting because our girls are amazing! It is tough to lose in penalty kicks but the better team won.

The 2015 Women's World Cup will be in Canada, right on our backyard, our girls will be older to travel, therefore, if we can save enough, we just might go!


Friday, July 15, 2011

Sofia at the Movies

John found out that Winnie the Pooh, the movie was playing and because we had Disney Rewards, he got tickets to watch this movie for free. Raquel did not go, I feel she's too young to go to the movies therefore, she and I stayed behind while Sofia and John went to the movies by themselves.

Here's sofia at the Cinemark

John and I have two more dates we have to make. One: watch the last Harry Potter and Two: watch Captain America. I cannot wait! 

She can dance, sing, begg but she ain't eating no candy or drinking sodas! 

posing to prove she went to the movies 

Sofia loves popcorn and this is the third time she eats it, the last time was at school so when she has it, she does not share. 


I read every movie review that comes out but when it comes to what my children watch I do double duty when it comes to the movie content, so, I go to Decent Films Guide to read whether or not it is appropriate for kids, I don't care if it's Winnie the Pooh, I'm screening the movie! So, if you are interested in previewing movies before your kids watch them, here's the link:

Movies We Watch

Movie: IP Man I

This is the story about martial arts instructor Ip Man who's fighting style is Wing Chun. In the first IP Man I movie version about his life, he lives a frugal life yet he doesn't own a school but everyone around him respects him and challenges him to a dual winning every time, until China is invaded by the Japanese during World Word II. Everyones' life changes including his and his family. The martial arts fight in this movie is amazing!!

We give it 5 stars!

Movie: IP Man II

You guessed it! as soon as we found out there was part two we streamed it and watch it with John's family and this sequel did not disappoint! This sequel follows the first movie, where Ip Man has decided to teach Wing Chun to provide for his family. The fighting scenes are amazing, I would say better than the Matrix. Here we have English colonization in Hong Kong and instead of bowing to his rivals' demands he pushes to open his school one way or the other.

FACT: This is a true life story about Ip Man, he's Bruce Lee's teacher!

We give it 5 stars!!

We love Neflix streaming!!!!!

What does one do after watching Wing Chun fighting style!? People are inspired! watch and see!

Movie: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

To do something special for John's birthday and considering our tight budget, we went to the movies this past Monday night! It was so great to get out of the house just the two of us!

So, the last of the Transformers movie they take you back to 1969 moon landing with Neil Armstrong and Apollo 11 and they discover a Transformer spaceship, and NASA decides to hide it from everyone until flash forward to the present day...2011, the Decepticons, who never die, are ready to get even with the Autobots (same story, different day) and bring their planet to our planet earth.

This movie has great fighting scene against the Decepticons and Autobots and very noisy fighting. Not for kids! Some scenes are too sexual for kids to watch unless you are a irresponsible parent who doesn't care what your kid watches in front of you! It doesn't make sense why Hollywood needs to show this when it is all about the Transformers. John said that the cartoon version is way better because they don't show Sam feeling up a woman.

We give 3 1/2 stars.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Five on Friday - Rock Star Treatment

1.What instructions do you have for your chauffeur this weekend?

Drive me to the shops, the pool and to end the day, a fine restaurant and because he's driving, I'm allowed to get tipsy.

2.What instructions do you have for your personal chef this weekend?

Cook only healthy meals for my daughters, husband and me with snacks in between, make sure the kitchen always looks clean and at the end of the day, make sure you leave a delicious dessert that won't make me fat.

3.What instructions do you have for your errand-boy (or errand-girl) this weekend?

Go buy groceries at Sprouts and Whole Foods, make sure you don't go over budget and only buy fresh produce, store all the groceries where they belong...oh and make sure the gas in my car is full.

4.What instructions do you have for your maid this weekend?

Do my laundry, clean the toilets, clean the floors, clean my room, clean my windows and water the garden  and my plants, and grass and bathe my dogs.

5.You don’t have a personal handyman, so I’m lending you mine. What three tasks would you like him to tackle this weekend?
Fix my hammock outside and fix my fridge.
-Wouldn't this be nice? -Sandra.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fourth of July Weekend 2011

And what I long weekend it was for us. I'll describe the positives and leave the negative last.

We first went to the library to check out new books for Sofia. Here's Raquel with my mom.

They love to play! 

Later on, we went to the pool and it was hot! I made sure everyone had enough sun blocker on them that I forgot about me. Let's say that at the end of the day, my shoulders looked pretty sunburn.

John taught Sofia how to swim but forgot to ask her to close her eyes. We are buying her goggles.

They were both very tired.  

Waiting on Daddy to finish changing.

1, 2, 3 that's how fast they fell asleep.

Then, we were hungry.

We decided to hit the park before going to Braums for Ice Cream!

Red, White and Cute!

Vanessa, my sister in law and her son, who is currently serving our country!

Now onto the BAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At 4:45am Saturday morning, we were awaken by a loud noise, John got up to inspect and this is what we found. Someone had thrown a rock through our garage door windows and hit our car as well. The cops told us that we are the 4th house these so call "teenagers" have targeted. After 8 years living in this neighborhood this is the first for us.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

5 Things About Me Today

1. Forgiveness means: disposition or willingness to fogive. Forgiveness frees both parties and allows healing to undo the damage that was done. I'm sure the person who called me last week will read this blog, but because it is my blog, I have the freedom to express whatever I want to say, therefore, I will say that it was nice to hear an apology rather than an e-mail apology. I think that it sets things in the right course. What was done three and a half years ago hurt me and when I think about it still hurts, but I feel that it takes courage to admit to fault as well as humility. Trust is hard to gain but I think that with the right ingredients and honesty strides can be made to redo the puzzle that once was.

2. Since I am in this topic, I will also add that I am no longer friends with someone that I loved very much but I couldn't take it anymore. There is only so much I can take, and I believe I can take a  whole lot but when that person cannot understand your current lifestyle situation and makes demands one has to make a touch choice. So, if this person still reads my blog, I'm not sure, I want to let you know that it hurts me to make this choice but I need friends who are not selfish. You will always be in my heart and prayers.

3. This morning while I was at the Toyota body shop getting my rental car and leaving my damaged Highlander due to vandalism (more on this later) I was taken to the rental car office where a lady was waiting to be helped. She was in a hurry and was upset that the rental car guy wasn't in. When the guy showed up, he asked, "who was here first?" "she was." I replied. The lady turned to me and said, "well, thank you, I really appreciate that!" The car rental guy left to get her car and the lady turned to me, "I really appreciate you helping me on this, I'm in a hurry, and I want to thank you by giving you this $10 Starbucks Gift Card." I was stunned. "Thank you, but it was nothing, really!" "No," she says, "I want to thank you for helping me." I took it and I was so very happy. These things don't happen to me all the time.

4. Last year we insulated our house to save on our electric bill but we didn't see a lot of difference, so we were upset. This year, we had issues with our A/C unit, John's uncle came by and fix it and we are happy to report that our electric bill has been cut in half!!!!!!

5. Sofia's is getting her Adenoids remove by the end of this month and I'm not looking forward to it, more on this later.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Movies We Watch

Movie: Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Lucy and Edmund go back to Narnia, and this time they start off boarding the Dawn Treader off the seas of Narnia along with them comes Eustice, their arrogant cousin who only believes what science has proven. In this adventure, they help Prince Caspian search for the seven Knights that have been missing and they must find the seven swords to help defeat evil. The ending is amazing with Aslan, can't say much about it but John did cried.

We give it: 5 stars!

Movie: The King's Speech

King George VI has a speech impairment and is unable to speak in public, he's a stutter. He hires top experts to help him overcome his stutter and all fail him but one. The story of how King George VI becomes King is quite interesting, I don't want to give too much but let's just say, he wasn't in line to become King. After, I watched this movie, I felt guilty for making fun at my younger sister when she used to stutter; I remember her struggling to finish a word, I grew impatient, after awhile you get used to it and let them finish w/out watching the clock. The movie states one becomes a stutter due to emotional/physicological abuse, I thought it was hereditary. English people curse too much in this movie, therefore, definitely not for kids.

We give it: 5 stars.

Movie: True Grit

Revenge is like poison, you seek it, you die with it. Great western movie. A 14 year old seeks the help of a Marshall and a Texas Ranger to help her kill the man who assassinated her father. Jeff Bridges, again, is amazing at playing this country/western characters, he nails it every time.

We give it 5 stars.