Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Introducing Jude William Watts

He's finally here! The boy we have been waiting for for so long! Jude was born this morning, June 30, 2009 at 7:54 am weighing 8 pounds 1 ounce and 20 inches long. He is perfect and beautiful, so chill, relaxed, and easy going. He doesn't cry too much and when he does most just whimpers. He completely enjoyed his time on the baby warmer, it reminded me of a tanning bed or something. He is happy and beautiful and we love him so much.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Shame, shame, shame!

I just want to say that anyone who can watch a nine month pregnant woman slip on the wet floors in Wal Mart and just walk away deserves a whole lot of shame heaped on their shoulders! I hope that they really feel bad.
So if you are wondering what in the world I am talking about, Erin slipped in Wal Mart yesterday after it had been raining. And can I just say that those are some slippery floors indeed. I once slipped on them going in and going out on the same day because I was wearing Crocs. The way out I was really trying to keep my balance and it was just impossible. I told her that yesterday and she said she had been wearing Crocs. She slipped and did the splits, landing on her knees. The door greeter simply said, "Whoaaa!" and left to get a mop. No questions about if she was okay and no offer to help her up. Then several guests just walked by and looked without offering to help her up. What has our world come to? Seriously when people can just turn the other way and ignore such an accident. So she went to the hospital and was monitored for several hours because she was in such horrible pain. As far as I know, everything is okay with Jude.
Please promise me, readers of this blog, that if you ever see ANYONE slip and fall that you will offer them your hand... especially a pregnant lady!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Big sigh of relief

I had to take the Praxis test again today because I didn't pass it in April. In fact, I didn't even finish it in April. Not even close. It is a national test for teachers and I took one of them three years ago on content knowledge and passed it just fine the first time. This one is on the Principles of Learning and Teaching, lots of pedagogy and philosophies. There are 36 multiple choice questions and 4 case studies with three written responses each. You have 2 hours to complete it. Last time, I only finished 6 of the 12 written responses because I was writing too much. I looked up at the clock to see that I had a half hour left and 8 questions left, I think, and I knew it would be impossible. So anyways, this time I timed myself very carefully and wrote much briefer responses and I finished, even a few minutes early! Awesome. Now I have a sore arm, truly! I am not exaggerating at all. I have to wait several weeks to see if I passed, but I feel pretty good about it. Last time, even though I had half of the questions still to do, I only failed by 7 points. So I am hoping that I did pretty well. If not, well there's always another chance.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Another great gospel allusion

Okay, so I have a bit of a one track mind at the moment. I have been in a summer school class all week and now that it is finished, I want to do nothing else but finish rereading book 7. There are so many things that I have forgotten in it and as I read it I start to remember things that are yet to come. (By the way, does anyone remember where it is that Petunia explains to Vernon and the rest of the family why Harry has to stay at the house and what the meaning of "Remember the last" is? I want to read that part again and can't remember where it is.)
So here is the passage for today. Very brief message about the atonement and resurrection/eternal life.

The headstone was only two rows behind Kendra and Ariana's. It was made of white marble, just like Dumbledore's tomb, and this made it easy to read, as it seemed to shine in the dark. Harry did not need to kneel or even approach very close to it to make out the words engraved upon it. . .

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

Harry read the words slowly, as though he would have only one chance to take in their meaning, and he read the last of them aloud.
" 'The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death' . . ." A horrible thought came to him, and with it a kind of panic. "Isn't that a Death Eater idea? Why is that there?"
"It doesn't mean defeating death in the way the Death Eaters mean it, Harry," said Hermione, her voice gentle. "It means . . . you know . . . living beyond death. Living after death."
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, pg 328.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Gospel lessons in fantasy?

Yes, yes, yes... we all know it. I love Harry Potter. I am rereading book 6 right now and coming to some very, VERY interesting things. There is a selection that I have been very impressed with given the fact that Rowling does not share the same religious beliefs as I do, yet this recurring message of the story continues to help me better understand the plan of happiness, agency, and especially how Satan works and why he will never succeed as long as there are righteous people who are stalwart and willing to fight on the Lord's side. This selection hits me every time to the very core of my soul and I think it is probably the most vital message of the whole Harry Potter saga. Yes, it is somewhat long, but soooooooo amazing! I need to learn the lesson Dumbledore has been trying to teach Harry. I'm sure many of us do.

Harry sat in thought for a moment, then asked, "So if all of his Horcruxes are destroyed, Voldemort could be killed?"
"Yes, I think so," said Dumbledore. "Without his Horcruxes, Voldemort will be a mortal man with a maimed and diminished soul. Never forget, though, that while his soul may have been damaged beyond repair, his brain and his magical powers remain intact. It will take uncommon skill and power to kill a wizard like Voldemort even without his Horcruxes."
"But I haven't got uncommon skill and power," said Harry before he could stop himself.
"Yes, you have," said Dumbledore firmly. "You have a power that Voldemort has never had. You can-"
"I know!" said Harry impatiently. "I can love!" It was only with difficulty that he stopped himself from adding, "Big deal!"
"Yes, Harry, you can love," said Dumbledore, who looked as though he knew perfectly well what Harry had just refrained from saying. "Which given everything that has happened to you, is a great and remarkable thing. You are still too young to understand how unusual you are, Harry."
"So when the prophecy says that I'll have 'power the Dark Lord knows not,' it just means - love?" asked Harry feeling a little bit let down.
"Yes- just love," said Dumbledore. "But Harry, never forget that what the prophecy says is only significant because Voldemort made it so. I told you this at the end of last year. Voldemort singled you out as the person who would be most dangerous to him- and in doing so, he MADE you the person who would be most dangerous to him!"
"But it comes to the same-"
"No,it doesn't!" said Dumbledore, sounding impatient now. Pointing at Harry with his black, withered hand, he said, "You are setting too much store by the prophecy!"
"But," spluttered Harry, "but you said the prophecy means-"
"If Voldemort had never heard the prophecy, would it have been fulfilled? Would it have meant anything? Of course not! Do you think every prophecy in the Hall of Prophecy has been fulfilled?"
"But," said Harry, bewildered, "but last year you said one of us would have to kill the other-"
"Harry, Harry, only because Voldemort made a grave error, and acted on Professor Trelawney's words! If Voldemort had never murdered your father, would he have imparted in you a furious desire for revenge? Of course not! If he had not forced your mother to die for you, would he have given you a magical protection he could not penetrate? Of course not, Harry! Don't you see? Voldemort himself created his worst enemy, just as tyrants everywhere do! Have you any idea how much tyrants fear the people they oppress? All of them realize that, one day, amongst their many victims, there is sure to be one who rises against them and strikes back! Voldemort is no different! Always he was on the lookout for the one who would challenge him. He heard the prophecy and leapt into action, with the result that he not only handpicked the man most likely to finish him, he handed him uniquely deadly weapons!"
"But it is essential that you understand this!" said Dumbledore, standing up and striding about the room, his glittering robes swooshing in his wake; Harry had never seen him so agitated. "By attempting to kill you, Voldemort himself singled out the remarkable person who sits here in front of me, and gave him the tools for the job! It is Voldemort's fault that you were able to see into his thoughts, his ambitions, that you even understand the snakelike language in which he gives his orders, and yet, Harry, despite your privileged insight into Voldemort's world (which, incidentally, is a gift any Death Eater would kill to have), you have never been seduced by the Dark Arts, never, even for a second, shown the slightest desire to become one of Voldemort's followers!"
" Of course I haven't!" said Harry indignantly. "He killed my mum and dad!"
"You are protected, in short, by your ability to love!" said Dumbledore loudly. "The only protection that can possibly work against the lure of power like Voldemort's! In spite of all the temptation you have endured, all the suffering, you remain pure of heart, just as pure as you were at the age of eleven, when you stared into a mirror that reflected your heart's desire, and it showed you the only way to thwart Lord Voldemort, and not immortality or riches. Harry, have you any idea how few wizards could have seen what you saw in that mirror? Voldemort should have known then what he was dealing with, but he did not!"
"But he knows it now. You have flitted into Lord Voldemort's mind without damage to yourself, but he cannot possess you without enduring mortal agony, as he discovered in the Ministry. I do not think he understands why, Harry, but then, he was in such a hurry to mutilate his own soul, he never paused to understand the incomparable power of a soul that is untarnished and whole."
"But, sir," said Harry, making valiant efforts not to sound argumentative, "it all comes down to the same thing, doesn't it? I've got to try and kill him, or-"
"Got to?" said Dumbledore. "Of course you've got to! But not because of the prophecy! Because you, yourself, will never rest until you've tried! We both know it! Imagine, please, just for a moment, that you had never heard that prophecy! How would you feel about Voldemort now? Think!"
Harry watched Dumbledore striding up and down in front of him and thought. He thought of his mother, his father, and Sirius. He thought of Cedric Diggory. He thought of all the terrible deeds he knew Lord Voldemort had done. A flame seemed to leap inside his chest, searing his throat.
"I'd want him finished," said Harry quietly. "And I'd want to do it."
"Of course you would!" cried Dumbledore. "You see the prophecy does not mean you have to do anything! But the prophecy caused Lord Voldemort to mark you as his equal . . . in other words, you are free to choose your way, quite free to turn your back on the prophecy! But Voldemort continues to set store by the prophecy. He will continue to hunt you . . . which makes it certain, really, that-"
"That one of us is going to end up killing the other," said Harry. "Yes."
But he understood at last what Dumbledore had been trying to tell him. It was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumbledore knew, and so do I, thought Harry, with a rush of fierce pride, and so did my parents- that there was all the difference in the world. - Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, pgs 508-512
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