Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Best Cookies EVER

Yes. They are.

The Walmart I went to today didn't have actual Mint Chocolate Chips, so I bought the crushed Andes Creme de Mente. Oh my goodness. They taste a little like Heaven.

And no, I didn't take pictures. Who do you think I am? Katie?

"Incentives vs. Virtue"

I recently read an article by Chuck Colson titled "Incentives vs. Virtue" The article is very interesting and I would encourage you to read it.

Recently, behavioral economics have become increasingly popular and the application runs from school districts rewarding after-school study sessions with raffles for ipods and t.v.s to one N.C. city paying teenage mothers $1 per day they are not pregnant. Behavioral economics is not necessarily new, but this application is. The point is that kids are being bribed into things they should be doing, for their own good. And the problem is that when the reward runs out, will the kids still act in their own best interest? And where does it end?

It brings to mind the welfare problem. Certainly welfare was intended to help, the problem is when does that help start to be couterproductive and inductive of dependence? And how does the government decide when/if the person no longer needs the welfare? Or if the person is just abusing the system? It is the same problem with government-run virtuous incentives.

I believe we are breeding a population that will not know how to do the right thing without a financial incentive.

I think it is different if the incentive comes from a parental role. There the parents can measure whether or not the incentive needs to change or is ready to go away. For example, my parents rewarded me with money for A's in school. But that went away once they realized that the good grades were reward in and of itself for me. I was at the point where I was self-motivated to do well in school.

As a parent, the incentive must vary. For example, potty training. When potty training, I reward like crazy. And then as the behavior become learned, I reduce the reward. Finally rewarding only for bowel movements. And then once those become learned, I reduce those away. What happens with the child is that they learn the behavior is actually in their best interest. It goes from being an extrensic reward (getting candy for peeing on the potty) to being an intrensic reward ("I don't want to mess myself")-acting in their best interest. As a parent I can make those decisions. The government can not.

I am not against a reward system for obedience. Indeed, a reward may be necessary to teach my children behaviors I want them continuing. Rewarding for cleaning rooms without being told, turning off lights and fans, for solving differences without involving me or screaming at each other, etc. These rewards eventually train my children to act the way responsible adults should act.

However I reward my children, whether money or not, is only to point them towards the heart of the issue; sin and selfishness are not in our best interests and will not be rewarded. We act selflessly because Jesus acted selflessly. We are sinners. We are saved because Jesus acted selflessly and sacrificially. We do right when we do the same. That is ultimately our best interest-to serve and please God.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I really need these to sell...

What do you think about my listing?

Word of the Day: Syzygy

Seriously, is that not the coolest word ever? I heard it last night on "The Closer". Awesome. When three bodies are in alignment, it's syzygy. I just like it because it doesn't have any true vowels.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Review: The Carnival

We are so blessed to be friends with the crew at Intentionally Katie. Our firstborns were born within six weeks of each other and we've become best friends because of it.

Accordingly, we were invited to Ryan's 5th Birthday party. And Oh My Goodness. Seriously, it was fun. What a great party. And since Katie had planned everything out so well it went off without a hitch.

But I would be remiss if I didn't give her a smidgen of a hard time. Most of us who have been friends with Katie for longer than six months know that she's crazy about her photos. This party was no exception. She attempted several shots of the 30 3-5 year olds. Group shots. Of preschoolers. A better friend would have helped get all the attentions. But no, I just watched. And then, my favorite part, we sang "Happy Birthday" twice. So she could get the right shot. And the shot was good. She did get it. :) Her camera did not fail her!

The cupcakes were awesome. My three-year old refers to them as the "Camping Cupcakes" because they had marshmallows on them. Like I said, everything went off without a hitch.

I was only wondering one thing-what does she have planned for Ryan's 16th Birthday? Is she already planning it?

For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn? Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Speaking of Loss...

My car was broken into yesterday. At my parent's house. I was parked in their DRIVEWAY! The low, rotten, souless theives broke open my car and took my GPS, the DVD player and all of our kids' DVDs.

There are many things that could have been worse. Like my parent's cars could have been broken into. The girls and I could have been in the car. I could have left my purse in the car. Thankfully none of that happened.

But really. What kind of scum would take 30-40 children DVDs? I can understand the Tom Tom, but honestly, kids stuff? It makes me sick.

Of course I believe that all things work for the good of those who love God. And I hope it's more than apparent how I feel about the Lord. And I can say that the things taken are just materials. Not of eternal value. As my dear Reagan said last evening, "They're just movies, Mom." Yes, she is right. They have a sentimental value to me and Erik, but really, they are just goods. Meant to not last a lifetime. Not of long-term value at all. I'm sorry for the monetary loss. There are few things that rub me like losing money. And you know? God seems to keep at me in that area. Just another example of turning all things over to the Lord. He gives and He takes away. All for His glory. All so that my heart, and the hearts of my family will be turned toward Him.

On a happy note, my parents unexpectedly gave us a new DVD player for the car. I pray their generosity and compassion will be rewarded beyond their comprehension. However, I'm nervous about putting it in the car. I think it'll only be for trips longer than an hour. And also I'm thinking about having the windows tinted beyond limo tint.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lamenting the Loss

My awesome sister-in-law and her husband just bought themselves a new car. You may remember that I recently posted about our mini-van purchase. I was, and am still thankful, for that car. However, when my in-laws drove up in this little hottie, I was suddenly filled with sadness that we were no longer DINK's. (Dual-income, no kids) That car doesn't even have a back seat to speak of. And you can never ask them to help you move! Wow. What a great car. Totally gets them out of a bunch of things! :)

In any case, maybe it's the third kid and all, but I am realizing that I am forever limited by what cars I buy. How sad. Not like we're huge into cars or anything, but you know, if the choice isn't there all of the sudden it's the only thing that appeals.

Stinking pregnancy. When will the kids be moved out of the house?