Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Farewell!

This is farewell if only temporarily. We are leaving in a couple of days for a trip and won't be back for a while. I wish you all a blessed and Christ-centered Christmas.

I hope to post about our trip, but might not have much access to fast computers until we get back.

Monday, December 14, 2009

ICE! at the Gaylord Texan


For my husband's Christmas office party we went on the ICE! tour at the Gaylord Texan. While the ice sculptures were impressive the thing that amazed me the most was the section on Jesus. Not only were there life-size nativity figures, but a narrator told a simple Gospel message. The message wasn't compromising and even called Jesus savior, king, and priest when it talked about the wise men. I thought that was pretty cool.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Why Do Black People like the Democrats?

The Family Research Council has an interesting article about a Sen. Reid quote. In the quote, he alludes to what many people assume: that it was the Republicans that stood in the way of the 13th amendment and later against civil rights measurements. Then FRC follows it up with the facts.

Every vote against Lincoln 's Emancipation Proclamation was cast by a Democrat. In 1922, when Republicans tried to outlaw lynching, Senate Democrats filibustered the bill until it died and continued filibustering against it until it was approved in 1957. When the great Civil Rights Act of 1964 finally passed, Republicans in the Senate backed it 23-6, but Democrats in the majority approved by only 44-23. Without the Republican Party, it wouldn't have become the law of the land.

So my question is. . .
Why are so many African Americans so loyal to the Democrat party? I don't get it. Even today has the Democrat party really helped minorities or have they just been playing a smoke and mirrors game?

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Blind Side

I am excited about this movie. I probably won't see it in the theaters because it is sooo expensive, but I am on the edge of my seat for the DVD to come out. One of the things that made me excited to see it was this article on One News Now. In it is this quote:

Bullock says thanks to the Tuohys [the family in the movie], who attend Grace Evangelical Church in Memphis, she now has "faith in those who say they represent a faith." Getting to know Leigh Anne Tuohy, says the actress, showed her that religious faith can be authentic. "She was so open and honest and forthright," Bullock shares, "and I said, wow, I finally met someone who practices but doesn't preach."

If you would like to see trailers or learn more about the movie, go to the official website here.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Illegality of Making Ends Meet

My kids and I watched the movie Kit Kittredge a few weeks ago. It is set in the Great Depression. The main character, Kit, comes from a wealthy family who suddenly has to make ends meet. It was a great movie for discussing many topics with the kids.

One thing that really struck me is how many of the ways they made ends meet would be illegal today.
1. Taking in boarders- unless you live somewhere zoned multi-residential this is usually illegal.
2. Keeping chickens in your back yard- In the suburb where we live, this is actually not illegal as long as you have less than 4 and less than 4 pets total and your neighbors don't complain of the noise. In many places though this would be illegal.
3. Selling eggs from your chickens to your neighbors- I am sure that you would need to be inspected by some official to be able to sell eggs.

The only thing that we could do without breaking a law or two would be sewing clothes and selling them. But you should probably fill out a DBA and get a sales tax number because you know the state would want its 8.25%.

It is striking how much less freedom people have here in the early 2000's to make ends meet.

Another comparison I can make is between here and now and Mexico in the 1990's (when I lived there). A great many Mexicans that I knew had transformed their garage or part of their house into a business of some kind. The lady on the corner had a mini grocery store. So did the man down the street. My host mother had two little apartments in her back yard that she rented out. These people did not keep records or give receipts. I am almost sure that they didn't report stuff to the government. And yet no one seemed to care.

Also, people often gave themselves made-up jobs. For example, there was an old man at the grocery store that had a "uniform" and a whistle. He was a self-proclaimed security guard. He lived off of tips from the shoppers. This would certainly be illegal here. Some people might be put off by these made up jobs, but I think it is healthier for people to do what they can instead of waiting for the government to give them a handout.

I am not saying that I would rather live in Mexico than here, but I am saying that they had more freedom to make ends meet than we do now.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

. . . thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. 2Corinthians 2:14 NIV

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Unity and Truth

My mother and I have an ongoing conversation about unity and truth. It is obvious that unity among believers is a biblical principle. But unity has to be around something. Something more than being able to tolerate one another's company while listening to sermons. Unity has to do with a purpose. It would seem pretty obvious from scripture that the purpose would be the Great Commission: making disciples, baptizing them, and teaching them to observe Jesus' commands. All of these things involve truth. For people to work together in a unified way on these things, they have to agree on some basics. For example, you have to agree on either infant or believer baptism.

I think that many churches try to stand for as few truths as possible so that they can be unified with as many people as possible. They usually summarized them as Statements of Faith. This is a super-condensed version of my church's:

1. There is one true God having three persons (God the Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit).
2. God loved us so much that he sent his son, Jesus. Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died, and was raised again. In his death, he took on the sins of the world so that God's justice and mercy could remain intact.
3. At the point of salvation, each Christian is physically indwelled by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit helps the Christian make righteous choices and transforms us into a new person.
4. The Bible is without error and full of truth. It is God-breathed.
5. We are created in the spiritual likeness or image of God, but he allows us to choose to love him and act according to his commands. The first man, Adam, chose to sin, and now every person lives in a marred creation with a marred spiritual nature. As a result, every person will eventually choose to sin and subsequently become separated from God.
6. Salvation is a gift of God and cannot be accomplished by works. When we decide to trust God, we obey Jesus' command being immersed in water and demonstrating Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection.
7. The church is the body of Christ and the family of believers. As such it is our duty to love others and share the Gospel to win as many as possible.
8. Those who follow Jesus will spend eternity in Heaven with him. Those who reject Jesus' will spend eternity in Hell without him.

While these eight things are all well and good, they don't address many issues. For example, can you tell from this if we have women elders or deacons? Can you tell what our position on evolution or do we even have one? The list could go on.

Some people would say that since these are not "salvation" issues that it isn't worth taking a firm stand on them. So that is my question. . . What is worth taking a stand over?

The Lutheran denomination is wrestling with this issue right now. Some congregations are separating from the ELCA because they believe that ordaining non-celibate gays and lesbians is something that they cannot be a party to. I agree with them. But some would say this is wrong because unity is more important.

And is separating from one another necessarily disunity? My mother pointed out that Paul and Barnabas separated over John Mark. But were they bringing about disunity? They basically went their own way and REMAINED FRIENDS. That is often lacking when congregations part ways.

I, for one, wish that my church would take a stronger stand on many things. For example, pro-life issues, the biblical role of government, and creationism. But if they did, many people would leave. Others might come. How important is staying in the same congregation? How important is standing for the truth? Any thoughts?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Kay Granger Fact Hunting

I got this e-mail from my Representative, Kay Granger. I thought it was worth sharing with you.

Dear Friend,

As news reports continue to break about the flawed job numbers coming out of President Obama’s Recovery.gov stimulus website, I thought it would be interesting to see for myself how the government’s $18 million website is reporting the number of jobs “created or saved” in Texas from the trillion dollar stimulus that I voted against.

What I found was surprising:

According to Recovery.gov, $191,727,818 in stimulus money has been spent in the 12th district to “create or save” 625.5 jobs at a cost of $306,764 per job. But that’s not all. Recovery.gov also reports 30 jobs were “saved or created” in Texas’ 91stcongressional district. 45 jobs were saved for $3,659,964 in district 58, and 1 job was saved in the 68th district for $310,963. The problem is there are only 32 congressional districts in Texas.

When asked to explain why the stimulus information listed congressional districts that don’t exist, Ed Pound, spokesman for Recovery.gov, said, “Who knows, man? Who really knows?”

How can we expect the administration to lead our economy into recovery when they take credit for spending $14,717,592 in congressional districts that don’t even exist?


Seriously?! $14.7 MILLION in a fictitious place?!! And how many other states have similar reports? Maybe not fictitious places, but they probably do have the $300,000+ per job. I would bet that there are loads of bull corn all over the place that most of the nation is ignoring. I am glad at least my Rep. is checking into these things.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Other Take Overs

It is interesting to me to see how many people are deeply concerned about the possibility of government taking over health care. My question is: How many people are equally concerned about the government take-overs of the past?

Education
God clearly puts education in the family sphere of authority. If families are negligent, education falls to religious leaders. Education was taken over by the government in the 1850's.

Farming
I never realized the extent of the government in farming until I watched King Corn. The government has farmers at their whim via water from dams, subsidies to either produce or not produce, etc. From the beginning, God has placed the raising of food in the hand of individuals. I think that this take-over has taken place so slowly it is hard to recognize. And government doesn't have complete control of farming, but it is not as free as it once was.

Marriage
Throughout the Bible and almost every culture, marriage was the realm of families and/or religions. This take-over occurred in the 1500's or 1600's and is so far behind us that few could imagine a world where government had no say in marriage.

Poor
God expected families, neighbors, and communities to take care of the poor. FDR brought his sector of society under the federal government in his New Deal. Having been one of the "poor" in this country, I can tell you that I ate better than many of you but had no money to pay bills. If I had been at the mercy of my family or my church or my neighbors, the situation would have been different. For one thing, they might have expected me to barter or work or volunteer in return for what they were giving me. I wouldn't have starved, but I wouldn't have had the biggest food budget of my life. There would have been people to hold me accountable and to treat me in a loving and understanding way.

Do any or all of these things bother you? If so, how much?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Stem Cell Cures



I really encourage you all to visit a website that I just discovered. It is StemCellResearchFacts.org. It is a great site that reveals the truth: Great progress is being made with adult stem cells. Adult stems cells come from umbilical cord blood, deciduous teeth, and sometimes even the patients own body. None of these treatments require the killing of a human embryo. The kinds of diseases cured include cancers and multiple sclerosis. The complete treatment list is quite extensive. It is so encouraging to read about these treatments.


Fair Tax Widget

I haven't mentioned the Fair Tax in a while. I still think it is a great idea. I encourage you to try out my new widget to the right. It calculates your tax burden now versus the proposed Fair Tax.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Quotes

I enjoyed these quotes form around the web.

Tammy Drennan from Education Conversation
Here’s a discovery that would really rock our country: Government involvement in education is linked to intellectual mediocrity, moral and cultural decay, destruction of community, and loss of liberty.

Nancy Pelosi in response to "Where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?"
"Are you serious? Are you serious?" This answer was followed up by asking another reporter for a question. You should read this Walter Williams article for more on this topic.

Thomas Sowell
If politicians stopped meddling with things they don't understand, there would be a more drastic reduction in the size of government than anyone in either party advocates.

Even if this country can survive intact and unharmed after the Obama administration-- or, heaven help us, two terms of Obama-- the gullibility that led to his being elected in the first place will still be there for some other slick demagogue to come along and get the power to put the American way of life, and even our physical safety, at risk again.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

More Pro-life Thoughts

Sad and Disgusting
There was much rejoicing among pro-lifers in the DFW area when Aaron's Women's Health Center closed in June of 2008. It was the only late term abortion facility in the area. We were so glad God answered prayers and closed the doors.

Now in a sad and disgusting turn of events, another late term abortion facility has opened. An ordained Baptist minister turned Unitarian has opened an abortion facility in Dallas that will abort babies as far as 24 weeks along. You can click the link and watch Dr. Curtis Boyd admit to killing saying he prays that God will receive the unborn spirit with love. How this man can claim to know God is beyond me!

A 13th Victim
The killing of 12 people and the wounding of 30 others at Fort Hood is a sad tragedy on many counts. Amid all the death our view of life is brought out. According to LifeSiteNews, he will stand trial in military court and face the death penalty. Instead of being tried for 12 murders, it is likely that he will be tried for 13. He is being tried under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. This set of laws has a Unborn Victims of Violence Act. One of the women Hassan killed was pregnant woman. So he should (morally and under these laws) be tried for 13 murders.

It is strange to me that we have such variation in the respect for life in this country. Abortion is OK, but if you're in the military murdering an unborn baby is murder.

I am glad that the life of this baby will be given the respect of a murder trial. I am sad that the rest of the country doesn't view the baby as a live person.

Stupak Amendment Pro-life?
Caffeinated Thoughts has a good article about the Stupak Amendment. He points out that the amendment isn't as pro-life as many believe it to be. Here are two examples he gives:
Extends funding for Planned Parenthood.
Exempts withholding food and water as part of the definition of assisted suicide or mercy killing.
You should really go read the whole thing.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fall Color?


The kids and I went out yesterday and gathered the "best" leaves in our neighborhood. The kids made crayon rubbings while I scanned them in. The are not as beautiful as what you would see in Maine or Michigan, but we had a great time.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pro-life Ramblings

Health Care
I don't know whether to be happy or sad that the Stupak amendment passed with the health care bill. Of course, I don't want my money spent on abortions. Yet now I fear that the Blue Dogs will have a reason to vote for this pile of bull corn. The Stupak amendment doesn't get rid of the 111 new bureaucracies. It doesn't get rid of the huge tax burden that will arise. It doesn't get rid of the giant debt this will give to our children.

40 Days for Life
The number of confirmed babies saved from abortion during this 40 Days for Life is 583. Praise God for these precious lives!

Bryan/College Station Planned Parenthood Director Changes Sides
After watching an abortion via ultrasound, the director of the Planned Parenthood in Bryan, TX had a change of heart. Abby Johnson quit her job. She even began to pray outside the PP with 40 Days for Life. Before this soul-changing experience, Ms. Johnson worked for PP for 8 years. Recently she started feeling disillusioned when her bosses started demanding more abortions because they are lucrative and these are hard economic times. Then the ultrasound video pierced her heart. Praise God for people that are willing to change and are bold enough to tell the nation why!

Cartoons
This cartoon from Townhall made me mad. Social issues are not kiddie issues! I will not back any candidate that is a fiscal conservative but is pro-abortion or pro-gay marriage.

This one made me sad. It shows the pain of abortion, the trampling of parental rights, and the craziness of Planned Parenthood.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Health Care Vote Possilbe on Saturday

There are rumors that there will be a vote on the 1900 page health care bill tomorrow. I wonder how many of them have even read it? If they have read it, do they completely understand it? Can they explain it to their constituents? Somehow I doubt many could.

And what about the tremendous debt it will leave for our children?




Then there is the funding of abortion. Jill Stanek has a great article about this and how the bill creates a federal program that directly funds abortions. Sorry about how the graphic gets cropped. You can click on it to read the whole thing.



I urge you to voice your concerns to your elected representatives.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

111 New Bureaucracies

Someone at GOP.gov has come up with a list of 111 new bureaucracies that would come into effect if the latest health care bill goes into effect. The list includes page numbers in case you think they are making this up. Some caught my eye.

4. Program of administrative simplification (Section 115, p. 76) Are they kidding? Has the federal government ever simplified anything?

15. Ombudsman for "Public Health Insurance Option" (Section 321(d), p. 213)
So I'm thinking, "What the stuff is an ombudsman?" Dictionary.com to the rescue: a government official who hears and investigates complaints by private citizens against other officials or government agencies. Somehow I envision 53 pages of paperwork to file this complaint.

60.
Grant program to support the operation of school-based health clinics (Section 2511, p. 1352) I wonder if my homeschooled kids would be eligible to go to these clinics? Granted, even if they were, I probably wouldn't take them.

65. Healthy Teen Initiative grant program regarding teen pregnancy (Section 2526, p. 1398) Somehow I don't imagine this being an abstinence program.

I seriously hope this bill does not pass.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Last Night's Elections

Shane at Caffeinated Thoughts has a great summary of the political events of last night. While I was glad of the GOP victories, the thing that gave me more hope was "gay marriage" being defeated in Maine by 53% of the voters. I mean Maine is not a bastion of conservatism, yet they see the value of marriage being one man and one woman. One quote from the article mentioned above struck me.

Five other states have legalized gay marriage -- starting with Massachusetts in 2004, and followed by Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Iowa -- but all did so through legislation or court rulings, not by popular vote. In contrast, constitutional amendments banning gay marriage have been approved in all 30 states where they have been on the ballot.

How far away from the people of these states are the courts and law-makers? I don't know, but it would be interesting to see all of these states put the question to a vote.

I still want to see if red-light cameras have been banned in College Station.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Medical Care Costs

Thomas Sowell has written another great article. In it, he discusses the fact that just because you pay less at the doctor's office doesn't mean the actual cost of your medical care is lower. The cost has just been shuffled over to taxes or some other gotcha. He likens it to the pea in the shell game that you might see at a carnival. He then goes into reducing costs via cutting salaries.

Britain has had a government-run medical system for more than half a century and it has to import doctors, including some from Third World countries where the medical training may not be the best. In short, reducing doctors' income is not reducing the cost of medical care, it is refusing to pay those costs. Like other ways of refusing to pay costs, it has consequences.

Ah consequences. That is what Americans lack: the ability to accept and give out consequences. We want everything to consequence free. We want to sleep around AND not have to worry about STDs and pregnancy. We want to ditch our kids in day care AND have a great relationship with our kids. We want to have the best medical care in the world AND not pay for it.

And are we really so stupid to believe that the government is capable of doing ANYTHING efficiently? Are we really so gullible to believe that red tape and bureaucrats can give us more for less? Good grief.

He ends with a section on ways to get the cost of health care lower without craziness.


The high costs of "defensive medicine"-- expensive tests, medications and procedures required to protect doctors and hospitals from ruinous lawsuits, rather than to help the patients-- could be reduced by not letting lawyers get away with filing frivolous lawsuits.

If a court of law determines that the claims made in such lawsuits are bogus, then those who filed those claims could be forced to reimburse those who have been sued for all their expenses, including their attorneys' fees and the lost time of people who have other things to do. But politicians who get huge campaign contributions from lawyers are not about to pass laws to do this.

I like his plan a lot better than the government take over.

Friday, October 30, 2009

New Taxes in the New Obamacare Bill

I am glad that there are people out there that are willing to read the "Affordable Health Care for America Act". One of them is Yid with a Lid. He has written a post that enumerates the new taxes that are in "Affordable Health Care for America Act". I am starting to find the name ironic.

His list includes 13 new taxes. I encourage you to go there and read about all of them. Then write, e-mail, call, and politely bother your Senator and Representative about not voting for this bill.

I am sure more smart, patient people will read this bill and post more nutterness from it. I plan to stay tuned.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Great Story Campaign

The National Down Syndrome Society has launched a campaign that I find heart-warming. It is called My Great Story. It honors the achievements of those with Down syndrome. The man in the picture above is Sujeet Desai. He plays 6 musical instruments and has traveled all over the world giving performances.

All of the people that I have met with Down syndrome have been such kind and loving people. It is such a sad waste that about 90% of babies suspected of having Down syndrome are aborted. One father has taken a stand to inform others about the beauty of people with Down syndrome and the sadness of aborting them.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Homeschool Happenings v. 5 (2nd six weeks)

We are in vacation mode having finished our second six weeks of the year a week and a half ago. I guess a better way to say it is that is my kids are in vacation mode. I, on the other hand, am working to get things done that I don't do during "school" like dental appointments, car maintenance, vacation planning, etc.

We made good progress the last six weeks, but did have to take a week out do to all of us being a bit under the weather. My son finished his first grade Bible Reader. I am hoping to get him up to grade level (he is in 2nd grade) by the end of the year. He wanted to continue doing Bible reading for the main part of his reading. I had to search far and wide to find one on his reading level that wasn't too inane. I decided on the Day-By-Day Begin to Read Bible. I am still not completely satisfied with it, but it seems to be pretty good. We have also made progress (slowly) on the quilt. The kids pin the strips in the order that they want and I sew them. These in the picture were the first four that we finished.

During this off time, the kids finished the last of the 12 Keeper of the Faith badges that they needed to get the honor badge. They were pretty proud of that, and we went out to eat to celebrate. Here is a list of the badges they completed over the last year. My son- birds, baseball, coloring, hand tools, pets, loving others, prayer warrior, art, puzzles, swimming, Bible reading, and photo albums. My daughter-birds, baseball, prayer warrior, pets, loving others, painting, puzzles, cooking, table setting, swimming, Bible reading, and singing.

We are still having a great time. Maybe next post I will tell about some of our adventures during this 2 weeks off.

And BTW, there is a good article at Caffeinated Thoughts about education and how far we have fall in that respect since the founding of this country. You should really check it out. This cartoon was part of the post.

Monday, October 26, 2009

If Republicans Can Still Hear. . .

This recent Rasmussen poll should be a giant wake-up call. The poll claims that 73% of the GOP base thinks that the Republicans have lost touch with the base. That looks about right where I am sitting. Only 15% of those Republicans planning on voting in the primaries said that the Republicans in Congress have stood for the base.

I think the problem for the Republican party is not only their performance but our confidence even if they promise real conservatism that they will actually follow through.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

ParentalRights.org Contest Winners

ParentalRights.org recently held a contest called PROclaim 2009. There were several winners. I am posting one, but I encourage you to go watch the rest of them here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Capital and Poverty

I found an old yet interesting article by Thomas Sowell the other day. It is a review about a book The Mystery of Capital by Hernando de Soto. Here are a few of the paragraphs.

It is not really capitalism but poverty that de Soto is most concerned about. He finds most Third World poverty to be both unnecessary and grossly misunderstood.

In many Third World countries, the underground economy is larger than the legal economy, and the total wealth of all the poor "dramatically outweighs the total wealth of the rich."


de Soto's calculation is that the total value of all the real estate held, but not legally owned, by the poor is more than 20 times all direct foreign investment in the Third World and more than 90 times all the foreign aid to all Third World countries over the past three decades.

The crucial theme of the book is that this vast amount of wealth cannot be used, as it is in the west, as investments to create still more wealth and rising standards of living. That is because real estate, businesses and other assets in the underground economies of the Third World cannot be used as collateral to raise capital to finance industrial and commercial expansion. Illegality also creates other economic handicaps.

Third World peoples "have houses but not titles, crops but not deeds, businesses but not statutes of incorporation." Why then do they not get legal titles? Because it can be an unbelievable ordeal, especially for people with little education and in countries where red tape is virtually boundless.

He also gives details on what it takes to legally own property in other countries. The length of time (up to 19 years) and the number of steps (sometimes in the hundreds) is almost jaw-dropping.

That brings me to the questions: How much of poor countries' poverty is self inflicted by their own crazy laws? And do we hinder more than help by sending aid? Would our money/time be better spent in spreading the idea of property rights among the people? Would that motivate them to change their own government?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Enumerated Powers Act

I have just become aware of an act before Congress that would seem like a no-brainer. It is HR450 the Enumerated Powers Act. You can read the full text of the bill here. It is a simple bill which would require every new law to cite the constitutional authority for the law. For a group of people who have taken an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, you would think this should be an easy bill to pass. But Rep. Shedegg from AZ has introduced this or similar bills every year for 15 years and it has never made it out of committee. I really encourage you to watch the following video about the Enumerated Powers Act and urge your Representative to join the 52 co-sponsors. If you do not know who your Representaive is, you can go to House.gov and enter your ZIP to find out.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

On the Pro-life Front

Scandalous Planned Parenthood
The thought occurred to me when acorn was defunded because of their scandalous behavior , why isn't Planned Parenthood defunded when it behaves scandalously? (see the Mona Lisa Project for PP covering up statutory rape) It just shows how deeply ingrained the "right" to kill unborn children is engrained in our culture. Now PP has been caught in more outrageous behavior that should cause outrage in the American people, but I imagine that most will never know or care.

PP has been involved in 10 clinical trials involving underage girls. These trials involved taking birth control consistently. Now if you know that girls as young as 13 are having sex and do nothing, aren't you being complicit in statutory rape? And PP not only KNEW but ENCOURAGED these sexual relationships by helping with birth control. ARGH! If you would like to see the full report including which PP offices participated, go here.

Bubble Zone Law
The city of Chicago has passed a Bubble Zone Law that is directly aimed at the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil. For more information on this, go to the 40 Days for Life blog. The new city ordinance will not only block sidewalk counseling and pro-life signs within 50 feet of all entrances to an abortion facility, it would also prevent any pro-lifer from being within eight feet of an abortion customer without getting that person’s permission. Anyone found in violation could be fined up to $500.
If you live in Chicago, please call Mayor Daley, and ask him to veto this bill.

Some Good News from 40 Days for Life
On the other hand, there is some good news. 40 Days for Life has had 174 mothers change their minds about aborting in the past 16 days. Also an abortion worker in Canada who had been specifically prayed for by name for several days of the vigil, quit her job. And when pro-aborts try to demoralize those participating in the vigil, it brings vigor instead of defeat.

Here is an example from the 40 Days for Life blog.

This past weekend, abortion supporters targeted the 40 Days for Life vigil in Manassas, Virginia — not far from Washington, D.C.

On Saturday — the morning my home church was signed up to cover the vigil — the abortion advocates got a permit to conduct a demonstration against 40 Days for Life at the place the vigil usually takes place.

But when the day came, there were 197 pro-life people praying at the clinic — and only THREE abortion demonstrators. Demoralized, they didn’t stay long.

Here are just a few of the people who came to stand up for life:

And here’s “the rest of the story”…

While all those people were out there praying, a woman walked towards the clinic for an abortion appointment. After people on the sidewalk spoke to her, she entered the nearby pro-life pregnancy center instead.

“The lady who was about to have the abortion told the counselor she started to shiver when she saw so many people praying,” said Ken Groves of the Manassas
40 Days for Life campaign. “At that moment she said she felt God wanted her to have her baby. A precious baby was saved! It was an amazing Saturday in Manassas.”

National Support for Abortion at New Low
Also, the national support for largely unlimited abortion is at a new low of 47% according to a Pew survey. One interesting thing about the survey is this:
The poll finds that four-in-ten Americans are unaware of Obama's position on the abortion issue. Conservative Republicans, however, are more likely than any other group to know Obama's position, with 75% correctly identifying him as "pro-choice" rather than "pro-life."
We have a lot of educating to do if 4 in 10 Americans do not know that Pres. Obama is pro-abortion!

Keep up the fight for the unborn everyone and don't be afraid to share the truth!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

So Much of Interest, So Little Time

There are quite a few things that I found interesting over the past few days, but I don't have time to really comment much on them. So here is a list of the links with sporadic comments.

Principled Discovery has an interesting post called "Why School?". The summary paragraph was especially good.
Education is not just about preparing our children for a future we cannot anticipate, but also about creating that future. We can generally agree on certain essentials needed to function in our society, but at the same time differ greatly on what we want that society to look like. We are a nation deeply divided along political, religious and even cultural lines. Education stands in the crossfire because it is the tangible expression of our core values and we all have at least a vague understanding that whoever shapes education shapes our society, our future and our place in it.

Debra Medina is running for Texas Governor. This is a quote from her issues page.

The Constitution of the United States is a contract between "We the People" to form a limited federal government composed of sovereign states. It creates a republican form of government. Any power not expressly granted to the federal government is reserved for the states and for the people.

Like any party to a contract, Texas must stand up and push back against any attempts to abuse the Constitution or abuse the inalienable rights granted by our Creator.

As individuals, as parents, as families, and as Texans we must be courageous enough to say NO when Washington oversteps its bounds.

We Texans have always believed that the individual and the family are the foundation of America's greatness. We Texans know what's best for our families. We know best how to manage our lives, we know best how to raise our children, and we know best how to spend our money.


I found this picture of a kingbird attacking a fleeing hawk to be rather interesting.

Little Macie Hope is being touted as a miracle baby born twice. The first time was so that doctors could remove a big tumor from her back. The second time was the actual birth. Yet as American Vision point out, few new writers seem to take the time to ask the hard questions. Here is a quote from American Vision.
These types of procedures, as more people learn about them, could send the abortion industry into economic freefall. Here’s a question for the doctors who operated on baby Macie: Was the “fetus” a baby when you operated on “it”? Throughout one article I read, Macie was continually described as "the fetus". Why bother with an expensive operation on a “fetus” who is not really a human being until “it” takes a breath? Why weren’t the parents told that at this stage in the pregnancy, the tumor was just as significant as the “the fetus” since they were nothing more than a mass of cells?

It is kind of a sad age we live in when there is a website for pre-teens that want to learn about modesty. Yet I think that Secret Keeper Girl, may be on to something. From their FAQ page:
The findings of two years of study by an APA (American Psychological Association) task force state that music lyrics, Internet content, video games and clothing are now being marketed to young and younger girls. The smutty content of the marketing is linked to eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression. Ironically, this early sexualization presented to young girls has “negative consequences on girls’ ability to develop healthy sexuality.”

Last but not least, is Thomas Sowell's latest article which is comprised of some random thoughts. Here are my two favorites:
When politicians propose some hugely expensive new program and are asked how the government is going to pay for it, a standard ploy over the years has been to claim that they will pay for it by eliminating "waste, fraud and abuse." At a recent town hall meeting, a citizen raised the obvious question: If you can do that, why haven't you done it already?

Upon learning that the Constitution requires a president to be a natural born citizen, a college student said: "What makes a natural born citizen any more qualified than one born by C-section?"

Monday, October 5, 2009

Jesus Cheer

I found this OneSiteNews article encouraging. After ONE person lodged a verbal complaint with a school in GA about the scriptures the cheerleaders had on banners at a football game, the girls were told to stop. But instead of scripture free football games the complainer now has a stadium full of scriptures as the community has rallied around the cheer squad.

They have come with homemade signs with scriptures and warriors (the school mascot) for Christ t-shirts, etc. They have come not a few at a time, but have packed the stadium. And I say God bless them for not cowering like so many communities would have done.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I So Loathe Activist Judges

Many people are decrying the fact that an activist Dallas judge, Tena Callahan, overturned the Texas State Constitution and the will of the people in one swift decision. In a case involving two men who were "married" in Massachusetts and seeking a divorce. Ms. Callahan ruled that the Texas constitution was unconstitutional because it upholds marriage as between one man and one woman.

How can one woman be so arrogant to think that she has more right to change the laws of Texas than 75% of the voters, the governor, and the state legislature combined? Oh, this just makes me so mad!!!! The worst of it is I don't even know what I can do about it. Pray. I have been saying how powerful prayer is. So I ask you to join me in prayer that this judges decision will be trampled by God in whatever way he sees fit.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Planned Parenthood Honors Tiller

Planned Parenthood has honored Dr. Tiller with its highest award. If this disgusts you like it does me, I encourage you to participate in the 40 Days for Life Prayer Vigil. Prayer is real and powerful. In fact in just the first 9 days of the vigil, there have been 95 confirmed babies saved from a sad death. (The saved baby count is in the upper right hand side of the homepage.)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Celebration of Life

Today my family and I went to the celebration feast of a friend who has recovered from cancer. It was a great meal at Carraba's for about 50 of her friends and family. It was her way of praising God and thanking her friends and family for holding her up in prayer. We had a really great time.

The whole thing reminded me of Deuteronomy 14:26. It is in the instruction about the tithes.

Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice. NIV

It made me wonder what most Christians would think if this lady had used part of her tithe to throw this party. I doubt that she did. But let's suppose she had. Would you consider it a "proper" use of tithes?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

40 Days for Life

The kick off for the fall 40 Days for Life prayer vigil was yesterday and I didn't get to go because I was sick. :( But on the up side my friend did get to go. She reported that about 400 people crammed onto the sidewalks by the Fort Worth Planned Parenthood. All in all, 40 Days for Life has gotten off to an exciting start this year.

For those of you that don't know, 40 Days for Life is a 24/7 prayer vigil outside of abortion clinics across the country and internationally. As the name indicates, it lasts 40 days. Yesterday was the first day with the final day being Nov. 1.

God has done amazing things through this time of prayer and fasting in the past. There have been 4 national vigils so far. Here are some of the cool things God has done.

  • Over 200,000 have joined together in an historic display of unity to pray and fast for an end to abortion
  • More than 70,000 people have taken to the streets, forming peaceful 40-day prayer vigils outside of Planned Parenthood centers and abortion facilities
  • Reports document 1,561 lives that have been spared from abortion — and those are just the ones we know about
  • Eighteen abortion workers have quit their jobs and walked away from the abortion industry
  • Three abortion facilities completely shut down following local 40 Days for Life campaigns
  • Hundreds of women and men have been spared from the tragic effects of abortion, including a lifetime of regrets
  • More than 400 news stories have been featured in newspapers, magazines, radio shows and TV programs from coast to coast ... and overseas
  • Many people with past abortion experiences have stepped forward to begin post-abortion healing and recovery
I really encourage you all to participate. There are 212 cities participating this year. To see if there is one near you, click here. My first hours are Sunday from 9-11. I am pretty excited to be participating again.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Health Insurance

I found this video via Needs to Be Said. It asks if it is really a good idea for health insurance to cover everything instead of just catastrophes. I found the bit about the Whole Foods Grocery Store benefits especially interesting. So I encourage you to watch this 6 minute clip.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Happy Constitution Day!



The Constitution is a wonderful thing. You can get a free copy of the Constitution from the Heritage Foundation here.

My kids are having a light load on their normal routine so that we can spend more time talking about the Constitution. I think that every American should have a working knowledge of this document. Maybe then we would follow it more closely.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Texas

In a previous post, I have said that Texas isn't my ideal place to live, but it does have its advantages. Gov. Perry has come up with a commercial touting Texas' good points as part of his campaign for re-election. I was impressed in spite of my self. The freedom score part especially piqued my interest. You can read more about the study here.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sad but True

When Dr. Tiller was murdered, someone (I don't remember who) said that if someone had killed a pro-life activist no coverage would be given. Shane at Caffeinated Thoughts did a good summary post of the deafening silence.

It is sad that our country cares more about the murder of a disgusting baby killing man than we do about the murder of a man that stood for life. Of course James Poullion was not famous (or should I say infamous) as Dr. Tiller. But I wonder if it had been someone famous (say Janet Folger), would the national response really be that much different?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Here's to You Mr. Robinson

I don't watch basketball so I didn't watch the basketball hall of fame inductions. But my mother does and did. She said the highlight of the whole thing was David Robinson's speech. So I watched it for myself on YouTube. She was right it was speech less about self and more about God, family, and friends. I think that he did a good job honoring God and encouraging people to seek Him without being overbearing.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Still Remembering

Photo by Andrew Coulter creative common license

I am sure that we all remember exactly where we were on the infamous "September 11th". But few of us know anything about the 14,000+ other terrorist events that Islam has committed since then. For more information, go to The Religion of Peace website. They have cataloged each one.

Just this past week there were 46 Jihad attacks in which 131 people died and 263 people were critically injured.

Thomas Sowell on Pres. Obama's Health Care Speech

I really like Thomas Sowell. His recent article is about Pres. Obama's health care speech. Here are some of the best parts.

To tell us, with a straight face, that he can insure millions more people without adding to the already skyrocketing deficit, is world-class chutzpa and an insult to anyone's intelligence. To do so after an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office has already showed this to be impossible reveals the depths of moral bankruptcy behind the glittering words.


Obama can deny it in words but what matters are deeds-- and no one's words have been more repeatedly the direct opposite of his deeds-- whether talking about how his election campaign would be financed, how he would not rush legislation through Congress, or how his administration was not going to go after CIA agents for their past efforts to extract information from captured terrorists.


One of the secrets of being a glib talker is not getting hung up over whether what you are saying is true, and instead giving your full attention to what is required by the audience and the circumstances of the moment, without letting facts get in your way and cramp your style. Obama has mastered that art.
Con men understand that their job is not to use facts to convince skeptics but to use words to help the gullible to believe what they want to believe. No message has been more welcomed by the gullible, in countries around the world, than the promise of something for nothing. That is the core of Barack Obama's medical care plan.

Mandates by politicians are what have driven up the cost of insurance already. Politicians love to play Santa Claus and leave it to others to raise prices to cover the inevitable costs.

While your thinking about the government and health care. . . Check out this video I found at Conservatives for Patients' Rights.



This video tells the story of people stuck in government health plans in Britain and Canada.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

You Lie!

I am glad that at least one Republican (Rep. Joe Wilson) had the guts to say that the President was lying during his speech yesterday. It saddens me that the other Republicans didn't rally to Rep. Wilson and that Rep. Wilson tried to apologize. Has political correctness really won out over seeking and standing for the truth?

Didn't the Democrats specifically vote down an amendment that would have banned illegal immigrants from the new health system?



Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Critter Corner v. 8 Pet Capybaras

I have a thing for strange pets. The strangest pet I have ever had was an African pygmy hedgehog. His name was Alf. He was given to our family by a friend. He was friendly and easy to take care of. We really enjoyed him.

Anyway, a while ago I found out about capybaras as pets. Capybaras are 100 pound rodents that live in the grasslands of South America. I have no idea why someone decided to start breeding them as pets. One of the most famous ones, Caplin Rous, lives right here in Texas. He even has his own blog. Here is a video of him doing tricks.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

No-fault Divorce

Michael Craven of Center for Christ and Culture wrote a good article about the evil of no-fault divorce. I will share a few clips here, but encourage you to read the whole thing.

No-fault divorce is much more than just divorce; it is a legal tyranny that denies the fundamental right of due process to a defendant. Prior to no-fault divorce, the party seeking divorce (plaintiff) was required, by law, to demonstrate cause on the part of the other party (defendant) prior to dissolving the marriage, dividing the family’s assets, and destroying the two-parent structure essential for children. These measures provided strong legal protections—primarily to women and children who might otherwise find themselves abandoned by husbands and fathers who simply sought “greener pastures.” (You might think me overly hard on men here. Granted, both men and women can be guilty of abandoning marriages; however, statistically speaking, women and children are most often the victims.)

Under the system prior to no-fault divorce, the state was limited in its actions and intrusion into the private affairs of the family except in those cases in which one of the parties committed a legally recognized offense against the other. In the wake of no-fault divorce, the state has been given unprecedented access into and unconstitutional authority over what was previously sacrosanct: the family. Historically, the law regarded the family as a preserve of privacy that was largely off-limits to the government. It was what Supreme Court Justice Byron White (1962–1993) called the “realm of family life, which the state cannot enter.”



No-fault divorce is a social and legal atrocity that needs to be abolished both for the sake of families and children that have, for too long, been subjected to the tyrannical actions of family courts, and because it has encouraged, through law, radical selfishness on the part of narcissistic, self-indulgent spouses. What must be understood by Christians is that no-fault divorce functions as a direct enemy of the gospel of the kingdom by opposing the in-breaking reign of God and his desires for the family.

You can also learn about the myths surrounding no-fault divorce here.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Gun Free Zone

When I was a little girl (about 6), there were a rash of burglaries in my neighborhood. As my parents sat discussing this, I came up with a plan. We could put a sign in our yard saying, "Please do not steal." Then the person would know that you shouldn't steal. My parents didn't follow my advice.

The other day my husband and I were watching short clip on YouTube and came upon this Gun Free Zone bit from Fox. It is about two years old, so you might have already seen it. But I thought it was funny.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Productivity

A friend e-mailed me an interesting (and convicting) article from American Vision about productivity. The main point is that increased productivity comes from "sacrifice, i.e. from forbearing present consumption plus ideas and work. Increasing productivity always comes at a cost."

The author laments that Americans have gone away from this principle that lead to our success.

For the last century Americans have gradually adopted an economic doctrine completely hostile to the spirit of their Puritan forefathers and to common sense in general: That not sacrifice, but consumption is what produces economic growth. We think we have found the way to both eat the cake and have it at the same time. If we eat more, buy new cars more often, spend more money on entertainment, these will somehow make us richer and more productive.

The author has some pretty pointed (and true) thoughts about the current government plans to "fix" our economy.

Even simple common sense tells us that production for consumption and investing for economic growth are two completely different activities, and they compete for our resources. The more we consume, the less we will have to make our life better in the future. And vice versa, the more we sacrifice and save, the more we will have to invest and make ourselves more productive.

I encourage you to read the whole thing. It really made me think and want to be more productive.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Pres. Obama as Teacher of the Hour

Pres. Obama will be visiting many of the nation's classrooms next Tuesday via satellite. To me, this just emphasizes the fact that public schools are government schools. Though I am sure the President's speech will be largely innocuous (it is supposed to be about taking responsibility in school and goal setting), it is completely subversive to the parents' god-given rights to guide and raise up their children. I don't want the president discussing responsibility and goals with my kids. I want those things to come from a biblical perspective and taught by me and my husband. Those two things need to be rooted in the Bible and bringing glory to God not rooted in humanistic, pluralistic thinking.

By the way. . .
Yes, I am aware that the first Pres. Bush also did a similar talk back in 1991. Even though I liked Pres. Bush (granted I was in high school and not as much of a critical thinker), I think today I would still say the same thing. The president has no business helping my children set goals.

Monday, August 31, 2009

8 Days in an Upturned Boat

Three Texas fishermen were rescued after 8 days in their upturned boat. They had a little fresh water and very little food. To me, this was the most interesting part of Yahoo's article:

"It was on a day-to-day basis that everybody had their breakdown," Tressel Hawkins told NBC's "Today Show" Monday. "The power of prayer had us feeling safe as far as knowing that we were going to make it out of it, but didn't know how long that we were going to have to endure this."

It is pleasant to hear stories of people's faith in hard times.

I am excited for their families. The 8 days of not knowing must have been terrible.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

40,000 California Inmates to Be Released

Sometimes judges do things that are koo-koo crazy from my point of view.

For example. . .
A group of judges in California ordered the release of more than 40,000 of California's 160,000 inmates. No lie: They claimed that releasing one-quarter of state inmates would not have "a meaningful adverse impact on public safety," according to an article by Debra Saunders.


These judges willingness to ignore facts is scary:

It helps if you ignore the fact that California's violent crimes have fallen by about a third since California passed "three strikes" legislation in 1994 -- as the inmate population grew by 50,000.

As for the judges' contention that the state can release mentally ill inmates to no ill effect on public safety: All I can say is that it helps if you don't read a 2008 report commissioned by the Department of Justice on the California parole system. It found that parolees with a record of mental health problems have a 52 percent higher risk of committing the most serious violent offenses than other inmates.


Of course this is California we are talking about. . .

One last note: It's true, California prisons are officially overcrowded and running at 190 percent capacity. But that's only because 100 percent capacity means one inmate per cell and single bunks in dormitories.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that prisoner comfort comes before public safety.

It makes me like Sheriff Joe Arpaio even more.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Yeast and Appendix

I ran across two interesting articles recently that support creation.

The first is from Institute for Creation Research about brewer's yeast that is supposedly 45 million years old. This is the opening paragraph.

Stumptown Brewery in Guerneville, California, brews its beer according to a unique formula. Although standard ingredients such as malt and hops are used, the yeast that is added is supposedly 45 million years old.1 The yeast was found in the digestive tract of a bee encased in amber. How could yeast cells survive and still be able to make beer after such a long time?

Seriously. . . How can anything be alive and functional after 45 million years? Hundreds or thousands is amazing enough.

The next article was a secular article about the appendix from Yahoo News.

The body's appendix has long been thought of as nothing more than a worthless evolutionary artifact, good for nothing save a potentially lethal case of inflammation.

Now researchers suggest the appendix is a lot more than a useless remnant. Not only was it recently proposed to actually possess a critical function, but scientists now find it appears in nature a lot more often than before thought.

No less than Charles Darwin first suggested that the appendix was a vestigial organ from an ancestor that ate leaves, theorizing that it was the evolutionary remains of a larger structure, called a cecum, which once was used by now-extinct predecessors for digesting food.



Parker and his colleagues recently suggested that the appendix still served as a vital safehouse where good bacteria could lie in wait until they were needed to repopulate the gut after a nasty case of diarrhea. Past studies had also found the appendix can help make, direct, and train white blood cells.


Yet non of this functionality point these people to a Designer. It is sad really.


"We're not saying that Darwin's idea of evolution is wrong - that would be absurd, as we're using his ideas on evolution to do this work," Parker told LiveScience. "It's just that Darwin simply didn't have the information we have now."

God has left evidence all around us of his handiwork. He is truly amazing in so many ways.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Critter Corner v. 7 Chick Report

Well, we have had a big last couple of days! Sunday evening I noticed that one of the eggs had hatched. Two more were jostling around. Since then we have been watching eggs and chicks a lot. Out of 7 eggs we have 6 chicks with the last one hatching yesterday evening. (We will leave the last egg in the incubator just to be sure, but there are no sounds coming from it so we are assuming it was not fertilized.)

Here is a picture of them with their names and the order in which they were hatch.

We have been really praising God for 6. We have been praying this whole time for at least one to hatch despite our less than perfect incubating and egg turning skills. The egg itself is an amazing creation.

The kids are especially proud of the ones that they named. This is my daughter with Majesty. (She wanted it to be princess, but I reminded her that we can't tell if they are male or female.)
Notice the Keepers t-shirt. If you are looking for a Christian scouting-type organization, Keepers of the Faith is a good one.

This is my son with Chickpea. He was going to be Chickpeeper, but ended up with the easier to say Chickpea.

It is a good thing we are having two weeks vacation. I think we would be having a hard time concentrating on school with all the excitement. It has been a great learning experience. We get to keep them at least until Sunday. Then they will be going to live on the farm where they came from.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Homeschool Happenings v. 4 (The Last Day of the 1st Six Weeks)

It seems that six weeks have gone by quickly. We have made good progress in many areas especially reading. The kids really enjoy Texas geography. The only thing that we have been slackers in is quilting. (I think that is because it is such a steep learning curve for me.) This past week we have been reviewing our elements (arsenic, iron, calcium, chromium, and potassium), our big fat lies (earth is millions of years old, church is a place, you need to be like everyone else, people get to decide what is true, and religion needs to stay private), our traits of the wise (discipline, industrious, prudent, humble, and justice) and the Panhandle Plains region of Texas. They are supposed to tell Dad this weekend what they remember as a sort of "final".

Now we will have two weeks off. As a reward to ourselves we are planning to go swimming in one of the area lakes and going to Arlington Gem and Mineral Show. We are also hopeful that at least few of the chicks will hatch. The two weeks gives me time to plan the next 6 weeks and to edit our video yearbook for last year.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The World's Biggest Mushroom


OK. . . Maybe that is an exaggeration. It is certainly the biggest one that I have ever seen. My kids and I took the liberty of pulling it out of a neighbors yard. It turned out to be two that had grown together. It was very hard to pull up because there was grass growing through it. Anyway, the picture is on a dinner plate for scale.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

College

Though my kids are quite a few years from college, I still find discussions on the topic interesting. Randy Alcorn has a post today about choosing a college that is worth the read. Here is the part that I want to emphasize.

When our daughters were considering a college, we told them, "Judge everything you hear by the Word of God, like the Bereans in Acts 17:11." There will be disagreements with faculty and students, of course, but that's healthy as long as people are appealing to a common authority, God's Word. But when they aren't, that's where the trouble begins. I would far rather send my kids—or go myself—to a school that has certain doctrines I don't embrace but that believes God's Word, than to one I cannot trust.

There is a Christian college (which will remain nameless) that some years ago was a great place to be challenged in the Word and meet God-fearing people who took the Bible seriously. I recently had a conversation with one of their alums. She said that the focus has all got to "academics" (what the world calls smart like evolution) and sports and things to make the college as "normal" as popular so that more students would be attracted.

It kind of reminded me of many congregations' mentalities of we need to be attractive to the masses by dumbing down the Bible and standing for virtually nothing. It seems to me that this method creates a bunch of weak Christians or short-lived Christians.

So I completely agree with Mr. Alcorn. If a school is professing Christianity, they darn well better be willing to stand on the Bible to make their arguments not just in science, but in economics, business, etc.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Neighbor

In a comment on a previous post, a reader pointed me to this article that compares the local government school to a "neighbor". It makes some really good points. I encourage you to read the whole thing. Here is a quote to wet your whistle.

Now, time you used to spend together in the evening is spent alone. Your children's free time is taken up working on projects your neighbor has asked them to do. Even your weekends are interrupted by games and parties your neighbor has planned for them without consulting you. To make matters worse, your neighbor has begun to ask you to chip in for the expenses he has had as a result of your children's visits.

This is one of the things I enjoy about homeschooling. When school is done, its done. And we can work school around our activities, parties, etc. instead of working those things around school/homework.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

5 Words

One Mom has given me 5 words to write about.

Church- I spend more time then the average "lay-person" thinking and reading about church. One book that I read recently about it is So You Don't Want to Go to Church Any More by Wayne Jacobsen. This book gave me a lot to think about. One of the main themes is: Do we put more emphasis on going to church than being the body of Christ? Another aspect of the book is community. Several years ago, I did a study (by that I mean read and thought about the entire New Testament and much of the Old) to further understand why the early Christians got together. That study lead me to believe that the main reason was fellowship (forming friendships around the cause of Christ). Community is something almost non-existent in many congregations. Worship (demonstrating your love and devotion to a deity) is something that our daily lives are to be about much more than singing in a large assembly.

Texas- Secretly, I have never liked Texas too much. If I had my way, I would live in Oregon. That being said. . . There are some advantages to living here. Such as family (see word 5) and freedom (as in little homeschool regulations and concealed carry) and we are at a church where I am able to serve in many ways. The Dallas/For Worth area is good for homeschooling as it has great libraries, many museums, zoos and wildlife parks. There are homeschool groups and enrichment classes galore. Texas is a very vast and diverse state. My kids and I are taking a whole year on Texas geography. There are not too many states that have prairies, deserts, forests, mountains, and coastal areas.

Education- My main principle regarding education is this: Education is the domain of parents not the government. I think that if the government is going to have schools they should be public like the library is public. And parents should be "allowed" to participate as much as they want including sitting in on classes. I believe that education is never world view neutral. Parents should be able to recognize the lies that surround our kids and counteract them with the truth.

Landscape- I assume OneMom gave me this one because I used to be a landscape architect (in training, that means degree but not licensed). Basically landscape architects do the construction drawings (blueprints) for everything outside of the building. This can include sidewalks, plants, drainage, irrigation, fences, berms, etc. The father of landscape architecture is Frederick Law Olmsted who is the designer of Central Park in New York.


Family- My extended family can be described as concentrated. From my grandparents down they are concentrated geographically living withing a 200 mile (approx.) radius of Abilene, TX with many of them living there. The are concentrated vocationally. Every female from my grandmother down (except me) is or was a public school teacher. They all also went to the same college (except me, one uncle, and my mom's husband,and my husband). My in-laws on the other hand are far-flung. They live in TN, FL, GA, TX and maybe another state that I am not remembering. They are professors, computer people, counselors, farmers, nurses, etc. Those who went to college went all over the nation. The grandmother (who passed away recently) was very smart but lived in a time and place where girls only needed an eighth grade education. Her grandson, on the other hand, has several degrees. My nuclear family is great (though maybe a little heavy on the animal side). We have fun going on adventures together and learning new things. We are especially glad to be on a journey with God together.

Critter Corner v. 6 The Circus

Last night (thanks in part to the Fort Worth Library Summer Reading Program), our family went to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The first thing that we saw were some animal rights protesters.

We had gotten there early so we got to view the animals up close in the animal menagerie. They all looked sleek and well cared for. They had signs around the room that told when the various elephants Ringling owns had been born and what their names are. My husband and I thought it was funny that the baby boy elephant born in January '09 was named Barack. (Don't they know the elephant is for Republicans?)

Then we went to the pre-show show where you could go down to the floor and see everything up close. This is one of the best parts of the circus.


video

Then the real show began. It was a good one. My favorite parts were:
1. 7 motorcyclists riding around inside a steel ball
2. contortionists
3. the elephant that could do a head/trunk stand

My kids favorite part was: saving up their money to buy a souvenir. (Last year I told them all that stuff was ridiculously expensive and they would have to save their money next year if they wanted to buy something.) My daughter bought a big pink and black hat with cotton candy for $12 and my son bought a plastic sword with a sheath for $17. After the souvenir, they both liked the animal parts.