Friday, August 8, 2008

Thank heaven for little girls

I love being a mom to two little girls. They are precious, beautiful and affectionate. Plus, they don't like to play in the dirt, eat bugs or pretend they are superman and jump off the couch. Instead, it is all tu-tu's, tea parties and baby dolls. (Sure, Ellie loves to play karate, but that is only the influence of the little boy I watch...I think. She does have a natural propensity towards administering headlocks and scissor kicks.)
One down side of having girls-and I never considered this until recently- is that once a little girls stops fitting into toddler sized clothes, it becomes increasingly difficult to find appropriate clothing. This coming season, Ellie will be wearing a size five. Now, I would love to be able to dress her in Hannah Andersson dresses everyday, but seeing as how my husband works for a non-profit, that is not within the realm of possibility. $38 dresses are hardly accessible to me, let alone a child who will cover them with green marker, spill blueberry yogurt on them and grow out of them before I've had a chance to say, "I wish I could dress my children in Hannah Andersson everyday."
I've been browsing around, looking at fall clothes for Ellie and I have been horrified by the overt sexuality of these clothes. I've recently seen ultra low-rise jeans (I wonder if these come with thongs, so that the three year old can fashionably let them "Peek".)
Sweats with words and phrases emblazoned across the rear end. (I don't care if it says "I love Elmo"- it is inappropriate to draw attention to a preschoolers bottom.)
Halter tops
Plunging necklines
Micro minis
High heeled, knee high black patent leather boots (Wrong on so many different levels.)
T-shirts that say: "Too hot to handle", "I love boys" and even one advertising AC DC.
String bikini underwear and String bikinis.

These are clothes that I wouldn't wear. These are not clothes that I want my child wearing.
It is getting harder and harder to find pretty, girly, modest clothing for my child...and she is only three. What is it going to be like when she is ten, twelve and fifteen?I'm aghast at some of the clothes teenage girls wear today. Even at church you see girls as young as seven or eight wearing tight miniskirts and high heeled wedges, pre-teens wearing shirts that clearly reveal their growing bodies and teens wearing jeans so low you cringe when they bend over to pick their bibles up off the floor.
It is not okay.
I don't care if everyone else is dressing like Paris Hilton and Brittany Spears. (For the record, one has a criminal record and the other has flashed her privates to the world, been in rehab and lost custody of her children- not exactly the role models I encourage my girls to look up to.)
I don't care if you don't want to be the mean mom who is so "uncool".
I don't care if you think the bible's dictates on modesty are irrelevant in today’s pornographic world.
Nothing changes when we role over and play dead.
These are my children and I will not allow them to be sexualized. Let me say this loud and clear.
Even in a lacy top, tight jeans and heels, they are still three years old (or ten, or twelve or fifteen.)
Our culture has been infiltrated by a playboy mentality. It has torn apart the moral fabric of our society. Teens today have no moral compass. They have nobody to look to that sets an example of modesty, purity and responsibility. Their sports figures are players (in every sense of the world)
Their celebrities act promiscuously and dress either like slobs or street walkers.
Even teen stars, whose primary audience is tweens, pose for suggestive photos in magazine spreads.
Music artists are lowering the standards for not only talent, but behavior as well.
Movies, that ten years ago would have been rated R, are now rated PG-13 and open to the most impressionable young minds.Why have we allowed this?
Why have we allowed ourselves to be bullied into not enforcing our morality on our children? Why have we allowed the media to take over and corrupt the minds of our most precious God-given gifts?

I will never allow Ellie to see a movie that is soft porn disguised as teen entertainment.
I'll be darned if either of my children emulates a talent-less, unfocused, promiscuous celebrity in either dress or action and I'd rather Grainne run around the beach in a diaper than wear a string bikini. (A baby in a diaper is cute. A baby in a string bikini is perverted.)

My children will not grow up expecting to be objectified. They are much more than one dimensional and they will never, ever be sexualized.
They will dress modestly, act virtuously and remain innocent as long as I can manage it.
I will not allow the world to intrude and turn their innocence into immorality, their naïveté into nastiness and their simplicity into sexuality.

You might remember the old song, "Thank heaven for little girls" from the 1958 movie, Gigi. Okay, the plot line is raunchy, some of the characters are creepy and the song leaves a metallic taste in my mouth, but at least they got one thing right. They let the little girls grow up.
The entertainment and fashion industry are overlooking that one important step. Here's an idea... let's let little girls grow up before bombarding them with smut. When they are legal they can decide whether they want to follow in the footsteps of honorable, classy women or become part of the homogenous world of loose morality.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Fresh Idea Friday

Fresh Idea Friday was started by my friend Lisa. It is a terrific way of sharing tips and advice. Today, Lisa thought we should share a favorite recipe source and maybe a recipe. It's no secret I love to cook and bake. I have tons of cookbooks. I love getting new ones and can spend hours reading them. Some of my favorites are Italian Farmhouse Cooking and Food of the world: Greece. Greek and Italian food is my favorite. Not only is the food delicious, but authentic Greek and Italian cooking relies on fresh, usually seasonal produce. The meals are simple and healthy. Served with a bottle of wine and some company, eating Mediterranean food is an enjoyable way to spend a few hours. My favorite recipe (and Grainne's, too) is spanakopita (from Food of the World: Greece) It might seem intimidating, but give it a try. It is really very simple to make and keeps beautifully. I normally serve it with a simple salad, hummus with vegetables and some chicken kebobs. It is the perfect summer meal.
Serves 6 (these are really big pieces, though!)
2 Tb olive oil
1 large onion, chopped finely
2 lb fresh spinach leaves, washed or 1 lb 2oz frozen, thawed (I've only ever used fresh)
4 tb chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 tb chopped fresh dill
3 beaten eggs
7 oz Greek feta cheese
Salt and pepper
3 1/2 oz butter
8 oz phyllo dough
To make filling, heat oil in saucepan, add onion and fry for 5-10 min (I usually add a couple TB of water- this will keep the onion from burning and the water will evaporate) until softened. Add spinach and cook 2-5 min. until wilted. Remove from heat and let cool. When the mixture has cooled add parsley, dill and eggs. Crumble in cheese, season with salt and pepper and mix well together. Melt butter and use a little to lightly grease a deep 12 by 8 inch pan. Cut pastry sheets in half. Take one sheet and cover remaining sheets with damp dishtowel (to prevent phyllo from drying out- this is very important). Line pan with sheet and brush with a little melted butter. Repeat with half of pastry sheets, brushing each with butter. Spread spinach and cheese filling over pastry, then top with remaining pastry sheets, brushing each with butter and tucking down edges. Using a sharp knife, score top layers of pastry (into as many squares as you want). Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 40 min., until golden brown. Can be served hot or cold.