Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Day for Donations

Let's not forget:

Can you imagine being so poor

that you didn't even have anything to wrap your newborn in?

Go buy a blanket for a baby in Ethiopia!

Happy Anniversary, Ron and Carol Paul!

Update:

And e-mail from the Ron Paul campaign just included this perk for donating today:

"For those of you who will be contributing on Friday in honor of Ron and Carol's many loving years together, we've included an added bonus: Everyone who contributes at least $201 (since Friday is, after all, 2/01) will get to write a personalized anniversary message to Ron and Carol!
In the coming days, we'll display some of these messages on our website, and we're also going to present every one of them, along with your names, as a gift to Ron and Carol!"




It's time for another moneybomb! Super Tuesday is coming up fast and if you want a pro-life freedom fighter for President, you'd better ante up and kick in!

Tomorrow, February 1, is the Paul's 51st wedding anniversary. Ron Paul supporters are spreading the word (and we've little time, so jump right in, all ye lovers of liberty!) and the goal is 100,000 $51 donations tomorrow. So let's say, "Happy Anniversary" loud and clear, okay?

Eat beans and rice this week if you have to, and sign your name on the pledge list at http://www.fiftyoneyears.com/.

Virtuoso!

Anna Kate's First Official Dance Lesson

This is what she's been waiting for her whole life! I've been looking for an appropriate, affordable, and local program for years. The strict classical ballet programs were the most expensive and the Christian arts program was 40 minutes away, but I finally found this program at our local YMCA. Their recital piece this quarter is to a Twila Paris song from her lullaby CD.

Every morning since I told her that she was to finally begin her lessons, the first words out of her mouth each morning were: "Only three (two, one) more days til my ballet class!" Literally. I kid you not!

Her teacher told me that she did very well (she'd missed the first two classes) and Anna told me that the teacher had asked if she'd had lessons before, and how she knew the positions. Anna Kate told her that it was from princess movies!

This child spends nearly every day in a leotard and tights and practices positions and dance moves from the Barbie princess movies. I'm absolutely relieved to finally have her in a dance class where she can learn to do what she loves best.

She chose this black outfit. Originally she'd wanted a white leotard to go with her ballet shoes that she'd received at Christmas, but Walmart had only black and pink. She had this leotard already and chose to stay with black, so I got matching shoes, skirt, and tights. She pulled her black leggins over her tights to wear on the way to her lesson, wearing her Mary Janes and carrying her slippers in a cute bag. I tried to coax her into wearing a gorgeous turquoise rose in her hair, but she insisted on black there too.

Rose was wearing her Snow White dress, and I'm sure that in about six months we'll have to begin discussions on when to enroll our next dancing princess.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

20/20 Stossel- GMAB - Al Gore Global Warming Debate

Leslie (Lux Venit) has me on a new roll here, friends.

The Global Warming Test

This test has a good (really, bad) bit of evolutionary science mixed in with it's answers, but is still very informative. It's only ten multiple choice questions - give it a whirl!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Help! I need a gag gift idea fast!

We're attending a friend's surprise 30th birthday party tonight and I need a gag gift idea ASAP. I haven't been able to think up anything clever at all. He's not old enough for "over the hill" stuff, so what is an appropriate gag gift? A goldfish in a baggie? A zen garden for stress?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Card Shower


Jacki (Moving at the Speed of Life) is trying to get fifty people to send her mom a birthday card for her fiftieth birthday. Wouldn't you like to join in?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Do you get really stuck on one or two songs?


I absolutely get addicted to songs sometimes, playing them over and over. Right now it's Coldplay's "Fix You", who wouldn't love that guitar bridge? Ethan sure does, and my girls find it very danceable. I'm also enjoying Hillsong's "From the Inside Out". What songs are you stuck on right now?

We sing hymns and spiritual songs at the end of family devotions. Rosie usually requests "Jesus Loves Me" or "Oh, How I Love Jesus", but last night she surprised me. When we asked what she wanted to sing she said, "Glorious", I began racking my brain for what she was referring to, but Ethan quickly interpreted that she wanted to sing "Father all-glorious", as in "Come Thou, Almighty King". I'd introduced it as the new hymn a few days ago and we'd only sung it two nights, but she apparently liked it, and did quite well singing it. I love new songs, but don't want my kids to miss the treasures of the old.

So tell me now, what song's in your head today (that you want there, ya know, not the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Theme, although it is really cute!)?

Feeling the need for a lighter, non-polical post

So, for those of you in the throes of winter's frosty grasp, or in our cases, rainy grasp, what are five things you love about winter? I'll get you started:
  1. Snow. Really. I love it. Even when I lived in the North. Although if i lived in Alaska I might change my mind...but I digress.
  2. The birds at my feeders - titmouse, cardinals, bluejays, juncos, sparrows, and that other bird I only saw once and can't identify.
  3. Hot chocolate
  4. Jeans and sweaters
  5. Christmas, or, if that doesn't count Valentine's Day.

See. That was easy. Your turn.

Pro-Life Activist Norma McCorvey ('Jane Roe' of Roe v. Wade)

Endorses Ron Paul for President !

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ron Paul Foreign Policy/War on Terror links for those interested

Addendum to previous article:Ron Paul's response to the terrorist attacks, included voting for the Authorization for Military Force Against Terrorists and proposing H.R. 3076 [107th]: September 11 Marque and Reprisal Act of 2001, which Congress failed to act upon.

First, his Wikipediea bio
Questions that won't be asked about Iraq (Ron Paul asked them in Congress, 2002)
An interesting analysis of the war (Ron Paul, 2005)
Straight Talk: Paul Has a Point (Radley Balko, 5/07)
Suicide Terrorism(and interesting analysis of this specific type od terrorism by Ron Paul, 2005)
Effective and Practical Counter-Terrorism Measures (Ron Paul, 10/01)

Ron Paul : Don't tread on me

This video does a pretty good job of explaining Ron Paul's foreign policy. I used to almost completely disagree because I was a good little conservative girl that always supported any Republican president's actions and any American war, but I have learned to think for myself. I have learned to look at Constitutional law and historical precedence. Did you know that Ron Paul actually offered to write a legal declaration of war for Congress even though he himslef would not support it? That he proposed a way to specifically target the 9/11 perpetrators? But Congress found that idea too quaint. I encourage you to read the papers linked to Ron Paul's foreign policy page on his website and see if it doesn't make sense. Also, I know that many servicemen have some home speaking of the good that we are doing there. I don't doubt that. I don't doubt that the surge is working. Of course our military can accomplish their objectives. But if the final objective is peace in the Middle East, will our job ever be done? I see two viable options, we can either take over nations and force them to do whatever we want or we can quit trying to make them do our will. The half hearted mid-way attempts don't seem to be working very well. Just my thoughts.

And he is supported by our troops. They have donated more money to him than any other candidate. The want to defend and protect the United States by order of Congress, not police the world by order of the U.N.

And finally to all of you Ron Paul supporters out there, don't forget that today is the "Free At Last" money bomb. We are still in the beginning of this fight and even if we don't win this battle, we can win in the hearts and minds of Americans who will live to fight another day. The Ron Paul campaign is, to me, more than a competition for presidency, it is a reeducation in the meaning and role of the Constitution for millions of Americans that didn't learn this in school. And that alone would win my support.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sanctity of Life

Life is not optional

Okay. Gotta write this post. There a value voters and then there are other kinds of voters. Should everyone in America have to follow your own personal values? A question to think on. Would you want their's if their man's elected next? Hmm.


But the real point of this post is that often when people decide that moral issues are no longer their main focus, they often lump abortion into the "value voter" category and remove it from the top of the list. I submit to you that voting pro-life is not just a right wing, value voter thing to do, it is necessary to the intelligent functioning of a free society. The Declaration of Independence speaks of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness as basic human rights. They ought to be.


Now we have candidates running for office with national health plans. Plans that may be mandatory. And if they're like Romney's Massachusetts plan, plans that cover abortions. Now think with me where this is headed. Oh, now, don't think too hard. China is an obvious example. If the government has it's hand in our health care, and the people we put in charge of our government are not staunchly pro-life, than how hard do you think it is to slide from there to recommended abortions, then required abortions. Or choices like the ones they make in Holland where newborns with severe disablities are euthanized, someties without parental consent. It is a slippery slope that you tread on. Do you think that most of the people in Germany in 1930 had any clue that some of them would soon be forced into something like this?


Life is valuable. If it is denied that value on any level, it endangers everyone. This goes beyond "conservative" voting. This is a fight for the Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness for future generations of Americans. This is why we have a United States of America. So please stop thinking that this is optional. Changing people's hearts and morals is the duty of the Church. But protecting life is a duty of the government as well. So don't just go to church and honor life with your heart and lips. Honor it with your vote as well.


Now that I've gotten off my soapbox, here's another practical way to honor life.




Let's join Mary in buying blankets for destitute mothers and their new babies in Ethiopia.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Chuck Baldwin Endorses Ron Paul

The Freedom Index

Hey isn't this what Americans want? What they believe in?

It should also be what they vote for.

Check out the Freedom Index which is a congressional scorecard rating members of Congress for their adherenc to the Consititution. You'll never guess who the only representative to score a 100% was.

Awesome!

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, the movie.

hat tip to Lindsey and Heather

Back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Some stuff I've been wondering:
  1. Is there any intelligent possibility that a pro-war Republican candidate can win the general election when 65% of Americans oppose the war?
  2. For that matter, does anyone really believe that even if we did stay John McCain's one hundred years, we would turn Iraq into a peaceful democracy?
  3. Will I ever be able to learn to do Crystal's crazy-wonderful CVS deals so that I can get half my groceries for free? What I really wonder is how does it not take her all day long to figure this stuff out???
  4. What will it take for homeschoolers and Christians in general to get off the Huckabee bandwagon? I'm sorry if he's your guy, but he bothers me. He bothers Spunky Homeschool, Mary Pride, and David Thompson too.
  5. What is going to have to happen to our economy before Americans stop trusting the government for everything and demand real change?
  6. Why did that mouse that just got caught in my trap have to still be alive and squeaking?
  7. Why does God love me so much that he gave me a very brave and kind neighbor that is willing to rescue me from half-dead mice?

Just wondering...

A Study in Melting, or, One More Proof of my Insanity

Yesterday I became obsessed with catching the perfect shot of the ice melting. I must have spent an hour on this (with lunch and bird pictures woven around and between). Now I can't decide which are the best shots. Would you like to vote? But be warned, that might be proof of your insanity as well.

A)B)C)D)E)F)

G)

H)

I)

My birds in the snow




And then it was day





It was wet, but they convinced me that they really needed to try out the backyard too.

I think I might be crazy...but I'm enjoying it

The snow began Wednesday night and before the children went to bed it had already covered the cars and grass, but wasn't much to play in, so I sent them off to sleep. By midnight it was coming down harder than ever and we had a few inches!


I waffled around and kept checking the weather forecast, but I was concerned that it would be yucky and wet by morning, so yes, that was my kids outside at 1 AM rolling snowballs...

for the best southern snowman this northern girl's ever managed! The snow was at the perfect stickiness for rolling huge snowballs - but lifting and stacking them proved to require a bit more effort. That and tring to get three distracted kids to look at the camera at the same time.


Ethan wasn't ready to come in for his cocoa until he'd made his own personal snowman and one for the freezer.

And, miraculously enough, after a few Barbie princess music videos on youtube and a snow-themed storybook, they fell into bed again at about 2:20 and immediately passed out.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Homeschooling Updates

We've been enjoying so many fun things and are looking forward to many more this month. I bought Ethan Magnetix for his birthday and mentioned it to a friend who also bought some, then a couple of days later, a neighbor brought over some things from her daughter, and lo and behold - another container of Magnetix. God does things like that all of the time for us, bringing up just the right opportunities at just the time we are studying something. The books and DVD were already requested and on the library shelf, and we happily embarked on a few days of magnet study. We also had a magnet kit that had been given to him last year and I'd stashed away. It has several cards of information and experiments. Making a simple compass was a highlight.

Ethan has picked up on our enthusiasm for Ron Paul. He said, " I want Ron Paul to be the president because he believes in the Consitution." Then, "Mom, what's the Constitution? Can we read it?" I love that boy. So today, or maybe tomorrow we'll embark on a study of the Constitution and some other history of that period. We have a few books, including a book on tape about Martin Luther King, Jr. to read on his birthday first.

Last night, Brian and I were happily engaged reading some of the Revolution/Constitution books and watching Schoolhouse Rock.

Videos:

  1. Schoolhouse Rock! : America Rock
  2. Shh! We're Writing the Constitution

Books:

  1. . . . If You Were There When They Signed the Constitution
  2. We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States - this cute little book is going to make memorizing the preamble a snap!
  3. A More Perfect Union: The Story of Our Constitution
  4. Heroes of the Revolution
  5. Redcoats and Petticoats -this is a storybook about the Setauket Spy Ring

I've been requesting (at the library online)and saving books on snow for a snow themed day. We never got to the paper snowflake contest on New Year's Eve, so we'll make them and maybe have some Mayfield's snow cream too. It would be nice if we could have a real snow day this month and read them then...

Snowflake Bentley
My Brother Loved Snowflakes: The Story of Wilson A Bentley, the Snowflake Man
Snow
Blizzard
The Big Snow
and others

Also in the mix is an upcoming MAP day, dedicated to maps, globes, and other geography-like pursuits, and, inspired by our My America history book today, some video exploration of some of our national parks, monuments, and historic sites. And looking ahead to February, I've been collecting picture book biographies for Black History month including, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth, Jesse Owens, and Samuel Morris. And books for a unit on China and Dragons in time to celebrate Chinese New Year.


What have you been enjoying lately?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Favorite Childhood Biographies


My 2 year old decided to make a path out of the books on one of the shelves today. She had great fun while the rest of us read A BEKA's first grade history book (the whole thing - it really didn't take that long and we enjoyed it and got some great ideas for later study). Later, as I was picking them up, I saw one of my childhood favorites, Helen Keller's Teacher, a biography of Annie Sullivan. I read it over and over.

I thought it would be fun to share who you enjoyed reading about as a girl (elementary school). I loved the Little House on the Prairie books (and the show for that matter - I even named my cat Laura!), and I read every juvenile biography I could find on Clara Barton. I also enjoyed Shark Lady: True Adventures of Eugenie Clark, and was thrilled when I ran across it at the thrift store last year and was able to read it to my kids, who also enjoyed it.
Another book that stuck with me was Tortured for Christ. I checked it out of my Christian school library in third grade. Looking back, I think that it's kind of odd that no one questioned my reading it at that age, but I did, and although I haven't reread it since then, I still remember many details.

So who were your favorite people to read about or favorite biographies when you were a girl (or guy)?
Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on DiscoverySchool.com

Yep, We're Old

The children were acting like they were dying due to a two minute wait for a video to download and buffer. Brian proceeded to share how when he was a boy he just had to wait and hope that they would reair a movie on TV - they didn't even have VCRs until he was older. I laughed out loud at Ethan's shocked and sympathetic, "I'm sorry!"

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians for 2007

Maybe this a new requirement for being "electable."

This list was recently published by Judicial Watch, which describes themselves as, "a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.

Through its educational endeavors, Judicial Watch advocates high standards of ethics and morality in our nation’s public life and seeks to ensure that political and judicial officials do not abuse the powers entrusted to them by the American people.

Judicial Watch fulfills its educational mission through litigation, investigations and public outreach. "

1. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY): In addition to her long and sordid ethics record, Senator Hillary Clinton took a lot of heat in 2007 – and rightly so – for blocking the release her official White House records. Many suspect these records contain a treasure trove of information related to her role in a number of serious Clinton-era scandals. Moreover, in March 2007, Judicial Watch filed an ethics complaint against Senator Clinton for filing false financial disclosure forms with the U.S. Senate (again). And Hillary’s top campaign contributor, Norman Hsu, was exposed as a felon and a fugitive from justice in 2007. Hsu pleaded guilt to one count of grand theft for defrauding investors as part of a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme.

2. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI): Conyers reportedly repeatedly violated the law and House ethics rules, forcing his staff to serve as his personal servants, babysitters, valets and campaign workers while on the government payroll. While the House Ethics Committee investigated these allegations in 2006, and substantiated a number of the accusations against Conyers, the committee blamed the staff and required additional administrative record-keeping and employee training. Judicial Watch obtained documentation in 2007 from a former Conyers staffer that sheds new light on the activities and conduct on the part of the Michigan congressman, which appear to be at a minimum inappropriate and likely unlawful. Judicial Watch called on the Attorney General in 2007 to investigate the matter.

3. Senator Larry Craig (R-ID): In one of the most shocking scandals of 2007, Senator Craig was caught by police attempting to solicit sex in a Minneapolis International Airport men’s bathroom during the summer. Senator Craig reportedly “sent signals” to a police officer in an adjacent stall that he wanted to engage in sexual activity. When the police officer showed Craig his police identification under the bathroom stall divider and pointed toward the exit, the senator reportedly exclaimed 'No!'” When asked to produce identification, Craig presented police his U.S. Senate business card and said, “What do you think of that?” The power play didn’t work. Craig was arrested, charged and entered a guilty plea. Despite enormous pressure from his Republican colleagues to resign from the Senate, Craig refused.

4. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA): As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee's subcommittee on military construction, Feinstein reviewed military construction government contracts, some of which were ultimately awarded to URS Corporation and Perini, companies then owned by Feinstein's husband, Richard Blum. While the Pentagon ultimately awards military contracts, there is a reason for the review process. The Senate's subcommittee on Military Construction's approval carries weight. Sen. Feinstein, therefore, likely had influence over the decision making process. Senator Feinstein also attempted to undermine ethics reform in 2007, arguing in favor of a perk that allows members of Congress to book multiple airline flights and then cancel them without financial penalty. Judicial Watch’s investigation into this matter is ongoing.

5. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NY): Giuliani came under fire in late 2007 after it was discovered the former New York mayor’s office “billed obscure city agencies for tens of thousands of dollars in security expenses amassed during the time when he was beginning an extramarital relationship with future wife Judith Nathan in the Hamptons…” ABC News also reported that Giuliani provided Nathan with a police vehicle and a city driver at taxpayer expense. All of this news came on the heels of the federal indictment on corruption charges of Giuliani’s former Police Chief and business partner Bernard Kerik, who pleaded guilty in 2006 to accepting a $165,000 bribe in the form of renovations to his Bronx apartment from a construction company attempting to land city contracts.

6. Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR): Governor Huckabee enjoyed a meteoric rise in the polls in December 2007, which prompted a more thorough review of his ethics record. According to The Associated Press: “[Huckabee’s] career has also been colored by 14 ethics complaints and a volley of questions about his integrity, ranging from his management of campaign cash to his use of a nonprofit organization to subsidize his income to his destruction of state computer files on his way out of the governor’s office.” And what was Governor Huckabee’s response to these ethics allegations? Rather than cooperating with investigators, Huckabee sued the state ethics commission twice and attempted to shut the ethics process down.

7. I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby: Libby, former Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000 for lying and obstructing the Valerie Plame CIA leak investigation. Libby was found guilty of four felonies -- two counts of perjury, one count of making false statements to the FBI and one count of obstructing justice – all serious crimes. Unfortunately, Libby was largely let off the hook. In an appalling lack of judgment, President Bush issued “Executive Clemency” to Libby and commuted the sentence.

8. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL): A “Dishonorable Mention” last year, Senator Obama moves onto the “ten most wanted” list in 2007. In 2006, it was discovered that Obama was involved in a suspicious real estate deal with an indicted political fundraiser, Antoin “Tony” Rezko. In 2007, more reports surfaced of deeper and suspicious business and political connections It was reported that just two months after he joined the Senate, Obama purchased $50,000 worth of stock in speculative companies whose major investors were his biggest campaign contributors. One of the companies was a biotech concern that benefited from legislation Obama pushed just two weeks after the senator purchased $5,000 of the company’s shares. Obama was also nabbed conducting campaign business in his Senate office, a violation of federal law.

9. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who promised a new era of ethics enforcement in the House of Representatives, snuck a $25 million gift to her husband, Paul Pelosi, in a $15 billion Water Resources Development Act recently passed by Congress. The pet project involved renovating ports in Speaker Pelosi's home base of San Francisco. Pelosi just happens to own apartment buildings near the areas targeted for improvement, and will almost certainly experience a significant boost in property value as a result of Pelosi's earmark. Earlier in the year, Pelosi found herself in hot water for demanding access to a luxury Air Force jet to ferry the Speaker and her entourage back and forth from San Francisco non-stop, in unprecedented request which was wisely rejected by the Pentagon. And under Pelosi’s leadership, the House ethics process remains essentially shut down – which protects members in both parties from accountability.

10. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV): Over the last few years, Reid has been embroiled in a series of scandals that cast serious doubt on his credibility as a self-professed champion of government ethics, and 2007 was no different. According to The Los Angeles Times, over the last four years, Reid has used his influence in Washington to help a developer, Havey Whittemore, clear obstacles for a profitable real estate deal. As the project advanced, the Times reported, “Reid received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Whittemore.” Whittemore also hired one of Reid’s sons (Leif) as his personal lawyer and then promptly handed the junior Reid the responsibility of negotiating the real estate deal with federal officials. Leif Reid even called his father’s office to talk about how to obtain the proper EPA permits, a clear conflict of interest.
http://www.judicialwatch.org/judicial-watch-announces-list-washington-s-ten-most-wanted-corrupt-politicians-2007

Judicial Watch is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Judicial Watch neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office. For more information, visit http://www.judicialwatch.org/.
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Friday, January 11, 2008

Friendship, Remembrance, and Prayer


I'm kind of a stickler for honesty. You know, if I pick up a Hallmark card, and there is any part of the dialogue that I don't feel with my whole heart I can't buy it.

It takes me a while to buy cards.

Anyway, I sent out an e-card to some of my dear friends this morning. I also sent one to the women that work at my church to thank them. It's important to take the time to say thank-you, and really in this age of postage-free, beautiful, convenient e-cards who has an excuse?

In the personalization section, I added Phillipians 1:3-5, "I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now."

That does express how I feel about them, but I'm afraid that it didn't completely express the truth. Do I pray for my friends? Absolutely. Do I actually thank God and pray for them with joy every time I remember them? Not really. I do pray for some friends every time I remember them. For Monica, as she is locked in a battle with cancer, for others that I know are sick or struggling. I remember these requests every time I think of them. But giving thanks to God with joy?

When I think of things that I'm thankful for, my friends are right near the top of my list, but today this verse challenged me to consistently express that thankfulness to God. Every time he brings a friend to my remembrance. Because good friends are a gift, and God is the giver of all good gifts.

My stickers still remind me of my friends' needs, and I pray for them often, but now they will also be a reminder to just pause and give thanks with joy for having that friend. And when you leave a comment or I visit your blogs, I want to remember to give thanks with joy for you, too, bloggy friends.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Prayer Request


Update: Everything went well, and there were no obvious problems. Now we wait for the biopsy results. She was giggly and happy before the procedure, less than happy when she woke up feeling drugged and with an IV in her arm, and then back to her old self after about an hour and some Dunkin' Donuts ( a real treat in this half-gluten-free house and possibly her last chance!). Thanks for praying - you bless me.

Anna Kate is having an endoscopy done early tomorrow (Wednesday) morning. This is really not too big of a deal, but just pray that she would not be nervous, that they would find out why it is that her tummy always hurts, and that she won't have any trouble with the anesthesia. There's a good chance that it's celiac disease, which doesn't really fluster me much - we're used to that around here. Either way, I just want to know how to make her feel better.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Pilgrim's Progress Pics

Most of these pics are pretty lousy. I was the narrator, so even when I had a chance to snap a pic, I was never at a good angle.

The cake, with a MegaBloks Dragon "Apollyon" and "Christian"






The Slough of Despond



Fighting Apollyon




Crossing the "River"




The Celestial City, set with fine dishes and gold
There are gold helium balloons just above the picture line.




Unelectable

I talk to people about Ron Paul. And some are voting for him, a few don't like him, but most say that they like what they've heard, but they don't think he's electable. He polls too low. It's obvious why. He gets no media coverage. But with enough of our support, with higher polling, and higher ranking in the primaries, they will be forced to pay attention.

What's the worst that can happen? Those other guys, whom you don't like as much anyway, won't get your vote. In my conservative state, the most liberal Republicans probably don't stand a chance anyway, so what's the concern? That we'll "throw our vote away". Didn't we learn anything from the Bush/Clinton election? If everyone that I've talked to that liked him, would vote for him and convince ten other people to go for it too - what would happen?

How do people get elected? By votes. Your vote. My vote. Would you rather have the party just choose a candidate without giving any of us a say in the matter? It seems to me that most people think like that. They look at the polls and decide who to vote for. That's backward. We make the polls. Our votes.

So don't tell me that someone is unelectable. I'm tired of hearing it. Just say that you won't vote for him. Because it's not about him. It's about whether we have the heart to take a chance on helping the best man win.

Happy Birthday, Little Man


How do babies grow up this way?


My Ethan,

It doesn't seem quite real that that sweet baby I brought home from the hospital could already be seven. But you're so grown up in so many ways. I love how you jump for joy when you discover you can read a passage of Scripture and soak up God's Word and beg for more in a way that puts me to shame. You've become an ardent supporter of Ron Paul, explaining that you love Ron Paul because,"he believes in the Constitution of the United States!" You always want give your money to the poor and to missionaries, and you're especially captivated by the needs in China. You came home yesterday telling me that you wanted to put your Christmas money in the offering, saying that they were going to be having a "passover" (passing an offering bucket, to be exact) in your class next week.

This has been a year of Transformers, endless Lego and Kidkinex creations, and increasingly detailed and authentic looking drawings. Of camouflage and Philadelphia Eagles t-shirts. Of being a fish in Gran's new swimming pool. Of toothless grins. Of watching an endless meteor shower snuggled under a quilt on the deck. Of endless, slowly finished math worksheets. Of finally doing some independent reading, and enjoying it. Of your first football game, and touchdowns, and jerseys. Of less fear and more daring.

You can't wait for all the grown up things, but you still see things like a boy. The other day you told Dad that you couldn't wait to get your drivers license, and when he asked why, he found out that it was because you just want to have a cell phone so badly! When you asked what a honeymoon was and I explained that it was a vacation that a husband and wife take right after their wedding, you replied that you wanted to go to Disney World and that I could come along! In about fifteen years, I'll have to remind you of that - but I won't hold you to it. :^) But that's the first time you actually haven't insisted that you're not going to get married, because you want to always live with me. I'm gonna miss you.

But right now I love spending time with you. Watching you take care of your sisters. And beg for a brother. And walk in your Daddy's footsteps. You want to be like him, and if you accomplish that, you will surely grow into a man of God. You are my little man. I'm so thankful for you and your tender heart.

Mommy loves you, Ethan.

Forever and for always.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Another dumb question

How does the evening news and other live news broadcasts work on the West Coast? Do they have to watch it early, or do they air the recording later? I've wondered about this more than once. Help me out here, so I can get smart. :^)

ABC's New Hampshire Debate

airs tonight at 7PM. This is your friendly reminder. So watch with me. They actually included Ron Paul, unlike "fair and balanced" Fox News.

Coconut Hot Chocolate


I made a smashing discovery the other week. After making a fantastic coconut cake and coconut icing, I still had a little bit of coconut milk left in the can. When I opened the fridge the next day to perform my usual ritual of adding milk to my cocoa to cool it, I saw the can and gave it a try. Yum. Buy a can and try it. Oh, and if you don't already do this, try liquid coffee creamers in your cocoa too. Walmart had holiday flavored Coffee Mate creamers marked down to $.89 - gingerbread hot chocolate is really good.


Friday, January 04, 2008

A Pilgrim's Progress Party

"God has set a Savior against sin, a heaven against a hell, light against darkness, good against evil, and the breadth and length and depth and height of grace that is in Himself for my good, against all the power and strength and subtlety of every enemy." - John Bunyan

This is the theme my soon-to-be seven year old has requested for his birthday party this year. So this Saturday we will take the journey at my mother -in-law's split level home. I'll be reading excerpts from A BEKA's simplified Pilgrim's Progress (one of Ethan's favorite books).
  • The basement a.k.a. City of Destruction where they begin their journey with a weight in their backpack burdens
  • The Slough of Despond where they will be stuck playing Twister
  • Up the first half of the stairs to Mr. Legality and the ten commandments poster
  • Through the Wicket (baby)Gate as "arrows" rain down from the living room above
  • Up the rest of the hill (stairs) with a wall on either side named Salvation to the Cross where their burdens will fall off into the tomb (box with round hole) and they will receive their scrolls and armor
  • Into the first bedroom where they will fight Apollyon (Brian in a dragon head)
  • Then into a second bedroom with a cardboard Doubting Castle wall and the Giant Despair who will throw them in the bunk bed dungeon which they will eventually escape using their God's Promise keys (baby rattle keys?)
  • And finally back down the hall to The River ( blue streamers hung in a celing to floor curtain) separating the living room from the Celestial City kitchen.
  • The Celestial City will have a Pilgrim's Progress coconut cake with the coconut dyed to grass green and a large dragon on it and a small knight postioned on a hill, served with root beer floats. We're using a real tablecloth, white dishes, and pretty goblets too, instead of paper goods.

After food and gifts, they will enjoy Torchlighter's John Bunyan DVD and a Pilgrim's Progress board game ; several John Bunyan/ Pilgrim's Progress activity sheets put together with construction paper covers, will be their party favors.

I'm going to try to find a Megabloks knight to go with a new dragon of Ethan's for the cake decorations, if that doesn't work out, I'll have the grocery store make a sugar disk with a scan of Ethan's drawing of Apollyon and Christian.

What about the tableware? I was thinking maybe I should go all white and gold to go with the Celestial City concept. Or even use real white dishes and glasses. What do you think? I've got to get this all together right away today, so hit me with your feedback fast.

Oh, and have you ever heard this?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Grading the GOP Presidential Candidates on Family-Value Claims

"Campaign for Children and Families, a leading West Coast pro-family organization that researches and advocates for the natural family, is pleased to announce the Report Card on the Natural Family to inform voters where the leading Republican presidential candidates stand on protecting the basic family unit." Here are the results.

Ron Paul

This has been a tough year for choosing a candidate. Today I'm here to tell you why I'll be voting for Ron Paul.

First, who else could I vote for?

Life is sacred. This is not politics, this is ethics, folks. Tell me, if a president said that it was okay if people wanted to kill their four year olds, that he wouldn't outlaw the places were you could take them to be murdered, would you consider the guy? Even if he made it clear that he would never want to murder his four year old? Does that make it clearer for some of you that think you can avoid that issue? That four year old, that baby, could be your future grandchild. Are you okay with that? If you are, then you have bigger problems than I can deal with right now.

But let me just say. No culture that has allowed this has survived. It takes very little time to digress into euthanasia and the elimination of all with special needs, or anyone deemed less than desirable. The Jews and mentally handicapped children in Nazi Germany, the elderly in Holland today, the second children in China could testify to this. If they hadn't already been slaughtered. Because someone thought that that wasn't the most important issue.

Ron Paul is pro-life. He is an OB-GYN who has delivered over 4000 babies, never has considered performing an abortion, and has made it clear that it was never necessary to save the life of a mother. Every pro-life politician has a different line of attack for changing the progress of abortion in America. Ron Paul's choice is consistent with his platform of limiting the federal government. He wants to obliterate federal opinion on the matter, making it a state issue. This would throw out Roe v. Wade and most states would immediately outlaw abortion completely when freed of the meddlesome federal courts. Ron Paul has made it clear that he is running for life and liberty, and that that life begins at conception.

Few choices remain with even some who claim pro-life status being seriously questionable. Mike Huckabee is one exception. He is pro-life and his position papers read well, but his political track record is anything but a recommendation. Even Ron Paul's most adamant opposers will say that his track record is flawless. I don't always agree, but he knows what he believes, and votes it consistently. Integrity. I'll take that. At least I know what to expect.

Ron Paul believes in the Constitution. This is the highest and most forgotten, and most twisted law of our land. If you know anything about the Constitution and our founder's intentions for it, then you will see that Ron Paul's entire platform is mirroring those very intentions.

I wavered on Ron Paul because of his foreign policy. Not that I necessarily disagree with it, It's just a messy subject. He attracts a lot of the anti-war people because he's the only Republican that's against the war in Iraq - he wants a full immediate withdrawal. While this seems like a lousy solution, I surely don't expect Iraq to become a peaceful democracy and stay that way in this life. I appreciate that his stance on it has been consistent from the beginning and, like everything else he does, is based on the Constitution. He won't support it, because it is not a war declared by Congress, and is therefore unconstitutional. He says he is not antiwar, just a non-interventionist - and he can quote a bunch of founders on that being there intent for our country. He's also made it clear that just as we do not go and buy things that we cannot afford, we can not fight all over the globe when our nation is in debt. We will turn into someone else's slaves.

The Patriot Act is a gross violation of our freedom, and Ron Paul seeks to restore our right to habeas corpus.

So his foreign policy stance and other of his more libertarian positions seem to be why a lot of really conservative people don't like him. I'm still not sure how I feel about all of that, but in every other regard he is the small government, no IRS, no Dept of Ed, etc guy I've been dreaming about since high school. All of these things conservatives complain about, he is ready to take on. He has a vision, and a consistent record. He believes that morality must start with the individual and be built from the inside out, not the federal government in. He is a believer that doesn't hide the fact, but refuses to use his faith to garner votes. He is loved by the home school community and fights for their right to freely educate their children. He has been married to the same woman for fifty years. He really seems to be a man of principle and a staunch Constitutionalist. This year was the first national caucus. he garnered 50% of the republican caucuses. The media hates him and purposefully cuts him out.

When I approach this election in terms of choosing a candidate, I'm putting on my hundred year glasses. In a hundred years, the war in Iraq will be a blip on the timeline. I appreciate all of the good that our troops are doing there. We have a lot of great Americans doing a lot of great things, but this is not my main issue. In one hundred years the continued assault on our civil liberties will have consequences. They will have ceased to exist as the Constitution continues to be regarded as an archaic document. We cannot see the future, but this could be our last opportunity. How will our grandchildren judge us if we take the safe path? Maybe it's time to go out on a limb. Time to say, "Enough! Not on our watch!"

Oh, and by the way, some people don't believe that he could win a general election. I believe that he has a much better chance of winning it than Mike Huckabee. Mike Huckabee only appeals to one voting sector. He will not gain swing or crossover votes. Ron Paul crosses party lines. This may occassionally bring out some unsavory-looking supporters, but the point is, he has supporters on more than one side of the fence. And frankly, folks, that wins elections.

Check out Ron Paul. And maybe you'll find that you, too, can dare to believe.

Tell me what you think.

Ron Paul Rising

This video is for the people who say Ron Paul doesn't stand a chance in the upcoming primaries.

Gifts

And so, with this new year, I finally begin my list. I'm starting with the big things.


  1. Eternal life - 1 John 1:1-2 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— . Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 1 John 5:11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
  2. A Godly Heritage - Deuteronomy 6:7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. My parents were, indeed, diligent, and I am eternally grateful for them.
  3. A Godly Husband - Song of Solomon 5:16 His mouth is most sweet, and he is altogether desirable.This is my beloved and this is my friend...
  4. My children - Ethan, Anna Kate, Rose - I could write volumes in thankfulness every time I remember the miracles and gifts that you are...
  5. My siblings - We're the stuff they write books about. Than, Hannah, Rachel, Titus, Isaiah, Stephen - I'm so thankful for the richness you bring to my life. Even when you drive me nuts. Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
  6. My friends - Proverbs 27:9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel. I'm so thankful for my friends, and for so many of you being such dear friends to me.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008