Dumb Questions

We've all heard the phrase, "There's no such thing as a dumb question." right? I'm not so sure that's true. Maybe I've been working retail for too many hours in a row, but here's my rant for the week:

We sell animated animals, among other games and toys. We have pigs, penguins, cats, dogs, etc. Sometimes I turn the batteries on and let the animals go at it. The pig oinks, the cat meows, and the penguin waddles.

I cannot begin to tell you the number of people who walk up to the display, and ask, "So, what does the dog do?"


It takes all I have in me not to be rude and say, "She quacks."


Alive and Well

Okay, so I'm here. But, it's December. Everyone else has the same, crazy schedule I do - I've been trying to update this blog for weeks now. I guess it's not going to happen. I did manage to complete our Christmas letter and the kids are helping me put it in the mail today. If you are my friend on Facebook you can go there and check it out. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!


Snow Days

I don't like snow. I never have. My birthday is in January, and I've always hated my birthday because it always SNOWS on my birthday. My mother tried to encourage me with an igloo birthday cake one year - that didn't help my perspective. I still don't like it.

I don't like getting my feet wet, I don't like being cold, I don't like getting all bundled up and then having to go to the bathroom, I don't like dodging other drivers on snow-covered roads, I don't like it.

I'm not a total pessimist though.

I do like hot chocolate.
I do like days off of school.
I do like watching my kids (from the window) play in the snow.
I do like the look of it.
I just don't want to be in it.

The other day, we had a few inches of snow. The kids bounded out bed. "It snowed!" Before I could get my feet pajamas out of bed, they had dug up the snow boots and snow suits from last winter.

I parked myself in the living room, and tried to navigate which kid could wear which boot this season, and who could wear which coat. FINALLY, the big kids are able to basically dress themselves so I was left to help Gideon and Rachel.

After tripping over and few dozen gloves and scarves, Gideon approached me so I could put on the finishing touches. Gloves on, boots tied, coat zipped..."Mom, can I go now?" Nope. We still need a hat.

I put the hat on and 4-year-old-Gideon, hot with sweat, looked up at me and said, "This is ridiculous."

I couldn't agree more.



Today John and I had a few moments in the car together alone. Perfect chance for mature, relationship-building conversations. So, I asked, "John, what do you want to be when you grow up?"

He said, "A police officer!" (I was a little shocked, because normally he says he wants to be a daddy.)

I said, "That is a great job! Why do you want to be a police officer?"

He said, "So when my kids disobey I can say, 'Watch out or I'll TAZE YA!'"

Clearly we need to revise our take on discipline in this house.



I hate what sin does. It steals, lies, covers up, deceives, and hurts. I love what Jesus does. He heals, restores, promises and delivers. But I spend more time trying to categorize the sin, that I forget to praise the Forgiver.

I recently found out (again) about a close friend who is choosing to leave his wife and family. This nonsense can only be explained as sin, and as such I will never understand it.

Once, when I was acting like judge and jury my mother answered my judgmental, legalistic pride with this question: "Why are you surprised when sinners sin?"

I don't know! But, I am!

I expect more from myself, and I expect it from you too. Am I wrong?


Mr. Mom

He's come a long way baby. After 2 days of work and a full weekend of activities, I looked at hubs and said, "I'm really proud of you." The shock on his face stung a little. Guess I need to be more forthcoming with those words of affirmation. Anyway...back in the day when we were young and peppy and had only 2 or 3 kids hubs would often say, "Hey, let's go swimming!" or "Wanna load the bikes and go to the trail?" or "Let's take the kids fishing." So, I (me, not him) would load up all the stuff and we'd go. Then, that adventure would turn into a stop at a restaurant, plus a stop at Home Depot for a thing or 2, plus drop by the park to let the kids play plus...oh, you get the idea. After a few of these stunts, I had learned to be prepared and I probably had enough diapers and changes of clothes to keep the kids in tact; but still.

Two more kids and a few more wrinkles, and he's a new man. (Well, not entirely. I still believe he's ADHD and I count him as one of my kids, but....) THIS WEEK he was on his own for 3 nights in a row while I was working. He had grand plans to add to the already busy schedule the kids had. I had given him strict instructions to pick Ruth up from here, drop Peter off there; but I knew he had a sneaky plan to squeeze a few of his destinations in as well. But, (drumroll, please!) he didn't follow through! Now that's MY LOVE LANGUAGE! Show me a man who can say no, prioritize AND empty the dishwasher and I'll show you a happy wife.

He has come a long way.


Working Mom

Home from our first day of business. Our store opened today and no catastrophes. Baby steps, people. I am so pleased with the nice lady we hired to work for us full-time. I pray she stays with us for the duration so I can still be Mommy during the day. I went to a real job tonight for the first time since 1998. So, today went like this:

get up
iron clothes for hubs and me
wake up four kids before bday boy wakes up
wake up bday boy
celebrate Gideon's bday (cookie cake for breakfast, yum!)
sent hubs off to work, hugs/kisses/pray - cya!
set up desks for homeschool
warn kids homeschool starts in 5 minutes
check email
start kids on homeschool (15 minutes late)
change diapers
put cute, new outfit on Rachel
play with Gideon and his bday toys
change out laundry (laundry day is lasting all week!)
check on kids in homeschool
run toward the screams, Rachel is covered in milk (she grabbed a cup off the table)
paper towels, wet wipes, clothes off, milk out of arms reach, another new outfit (not so cute)
try not to cry over spilled milk
get Gideon started on puzzles/coloring
put Rachel down for nap
help kids with homeschool
make phone calls
answer phone calls
check email
carry laundry around the house, act like I know where I'm going
check on kids in homeschool
get Rachel up from nap
hubs called - wants to meet us for lunch so I can check on store opening
scurry: diaper changed, diaper bag loaded, socks on, OTD!
make phone calls on the way to lunch
hubs and I do the switch-a-roo
drive to store, check on inventory and new employee
hubs and I switch-a-roo again
stop at gas station (9 cents off per galloon - woo hoo!)
stop at Home Depot - have to buy a fire extinguisher for store, who knew?
drive home, sing songs in car and smile while you are at it!
put Rachel down for nap
help Gideon find all his bday toys
help homeschoolers finish their work
answer phone calls
check email
find a replacement babysitter for this afternoon - original broke her finger! (my kids were no where around ; )
think about supper
load van w/ stuff for my first night of work
get Rachel up from nap
load up van and pick up sitter
make phone calls, play peek-a-boo w/ Rachel
smile while Gideon lets Rachel play "This Little Piggy" w/ his feet!
give new sitter instructions on taming the masses
listen to MY MUSIC on the radio on the way ; )
stop off and buy a bday gift for Ruth's friend's party tomorrow
arrive at work!
thank new employee and send her on her way
put on my apron and get to WORK!
smile, sell, rearrange, eat a banana, restock, read, smile, rearrange, sell
store closes: rearrange, restock, scan inventory, close register, move boxes, sweat
make night deposit
drive home, listen to MY MUSIC
stop in the middle of the highway and close the trunk
dust the rust off my brain
walk in the door, do a few dishes
check email
write blog
hubs says, time for bed!
nighty night
uh-who's been sleeping in my bed?
move Gideon and Rachel to their own bed
nighty - night

*children's names changed to protect the innocent



We survivied Gideon's third year! Four kids down and one to go. Gideon is four today. Four is fun: three, not so much. This morning, Gideon has already entertained us with his mispronunciations: "Mom, can you help me put on these dump trucks" (He meant nunchucks.) "Mom, can I eat a piece of ticklish?" (He meant licorice.) "Mom, my heart is bumping." (He meant his heart was beating fast.) I could eat him up!

Gideon: Thank you for making us smile everyday. Thank you for offering us your "super powers" which include the best hugs and grins in the world. Thank you for transforming Peter into an over-protective softie. Thank you for telling me you love me. I love you too, Super Kid.

*kids' blog names are not real names


Oh My Stars

Ok, so I'm old. We have had a crazy week (yes, it's still Monday) and it's not going to slow down. Bob got about 1 hour of sleep in the last 24 hours and he's still up, working. I can't sleep without him in the house, so I'm no good right now either. So, why am I not in bed NOW? Um, cuz he's not in the house! Can't do it. Ugh. I. need. sleep. now. After this crazy week, we'll be all set up for our new business that I was so excited about last week. Now, I'm not so sure it's worth it. In the last 11 years of my mommy-hood I have become so lazy. Sure, I get all the stuff done for the kids that I need to - but to actually GET UP OFF MY BUTT and work. Wow. I do not know how you working moms do it. People ask me all the time, "How do you do it?" Me! How about YOU?! I know it'll be a nice break to work outside the home, but Oh My Stars my body is not used to this. I'm going to try to convince myself that Bob is somewhere close so I can fall asleep. Maybe my old friend, Nyquil can help ; )


Are We Really Opposed to Socialism

One reason I support conservative politics, is because I oppose socialist politics. As you know, I often read Spunky and once again, she has me thinking. I know in posting the following quote from her that I will ruffle the feathers of some of my readers. I would love to read comments from those readers, especially. Here it is:

But I really do wonder how mad or fearful either one really is. Don't get me wrong, I see socialism as just as just as incidious as they do, but I question whether most in this nation are really afraid of government controlling their personal lives.

After all, most Americans still educate their children in govenrment controlled schools, transported in government controlled buses, and are fed government controlled lunches at noon. Isn't this just socialism in the worst form?

If you typically vote Republican and oppose socialist values (Marxism) how do you reconcile the issue of supporting government-run schools?


She's A Keeper

My baby is one. Every day I look at her and feel like it was only yesterday that we brought her home from the hospital. Isn't that how all parents feel though? This parenting journey has been so rewarding; but WOW is it fast! I am seeing my children through different eyes lately because I am going back to work next week.
Miss Rachel has been such a ray of sunshine in our house, and I am going to miss all the little moments of sunshine that happen while I am away.

Don't get me wrong - I am excited about earning an income and getting back into the work thing; but my heart lies with my children, and no matter how many years pass since the day I bring them home from the hospital - it always will.


Seriously, I'm really here.

I'm still here. I am just enjoying Facebook and reading friends' blogs more than posting right now. But, I have some semi-real-cyber friends who have been going through tough times, and they are in my prayers. I have updated my Blog List to reflect the "friends" I read on a daily basis. Check them out.


They Love Their Sarah

Last night I attended a Debate Watching Party in St. Louis. The arena was filled with about 11,000 Palin admirers and 4 hecklers who sang, prayed, listened and cheered.

In case you won't read all my ramblings, let me put my concluding statement first.
The bottom line is: Sen. Biden looks like a seedy-politican, and Sarah Palin looks like my friend.

Here are my notes as the evening began...
We heard from Missouri politicans and were entertained by some good ragtime piano playing. Former St. Louis Cardinals player, Andy Bettis motivated the crowd, then a local pastor led us in prayer for the candidates and our nation.

As the debate began, a couple of statements made by Biden confused me. I can only wonder, did the Democrats in the other building support these remarks? If so, the fundamental differences between the left and the right could never be more clear than now. Referring to the financial crises, Biden said we needed to scale back and prevent "Wall Street from running wild." (regulation? deregulation? what does this mean?) Also, Sen. Biden said we need to begin to treat "taxpayers as investors." This comment didn't sit well with the crowd. If that's so then why the 850 billion bailout? Does he mean we get to decide how our tax money is being spent, or does he mean we need to turn it all over to the government and let the financial committees put our money in the funds they think are best?

Palin's turn: As I am listening to her speak about traditional American values, I can only wonder: Why don't Democrats love her? She supports the working class, she works to fight corruption, and she is opposed to big corporate spending. At the end of the debate she even said, "Government get out of my way!"

As Biden and Palin began to discuss back and forth, it seemed to me like Biden spent way too much time attacking McCain instead of informing us of what Obama would do to make it better. Where's the change?

Note to self: honestly, why do we get caught up in which candidate's tax plan is better than the other. When that person is elected, the tax plan that actually passes Congress will look nothing like the one they supported during the campaign. The President is the leader of the Executive branch of this government. Congress legislates. Is Congress really going to go for whatever McCain/Palin propose? Probably not. So, stop spending time on the plans guys - I just want to know about your worldview and your foreign policy. Leave the specifics for the House floor to work out.

Ok, back to the debate. Sarah made a few risky remarks. In this age of media scrutiny, she has to watch every word. She mixed up Wall Street with Main Street in one comment, and at one point she called her opponent "Senator O'Biden." This one will come back to haunt her: "I don't believe John McCain has made any promise that he won't be able to to keep." That's not as serious as "Read My Lips" by George Sr., but if the media grabs onto it - it could be bad.

The crowd in St. Louis was very disturbed to hear Biden suggest that a remedy for the bankruptcy courts could be to allow judges to adjust principal. Did the Obama camp really approve that notion, or was this a misstep by Biden? A serious question mark hung over the crowd as Biden was tiptoeing around this topic.

It sounded to me like Biden and Palin agree on the gay marriage issue. So, can we trust the Obama/Biden campaign when they say they support allowing gay couples to do everything married couples can do legally EXCEPT get married? Sounds like a slippery slope to me. Can the line really be drawn there? Not sure and I would like a more specific answer from Palin.

Biden and Palin went back and forth about Iraq. Gov. Palin did a good job defending the surge plan, and questioning Biden's support. However, I would like to have heard her clearly say, "THE REASON MCCAIN OPPOSED SOME OF THE BILLS YOU ARE ACCUSING HIM OF IS BECAUSE OF THE TIMELINE." Biden insists on a timeline for a pullout, Palin understands that it didn't work the first time and you can't put a timeline on progress.

As the debate closed, Biden said, "This is the most important election we have ever voted in since 1932!" Oh really. I agree it's important, but I don't think issues such as WWII, Cuba, abortion, the Cold War and terrorism are any less important than the crises we face today.

In conclusion: Gov. Palin did a good job. Sen. Biden did a good job. I think there were probably a few undecided who made up their mind last night. I was proud of the way she handled issues that she is not expert on, and I was honored to be there to hear her speak and to see her beautiful family.


Debate Party

I know I said this wasn't going to become a political blog, but hey I HAVE NEWS TO SHARE!

I will be attending a DEBATE WATCHING PARTY this Thursday evening here in St. Louis. The much-anticipated Biden/Palin debate will be held on the Washington University campus. A few friends, and I will be in an arena near the debate to await Gov. Palin's arrival and remarks following the debate. I hope to live blog about it (assuming I can get this laptop to go along with my plan.)

What would you ask Gov. Palin if you were sitting across from her?

UPDATE: I just returned from the event, and those of us who attended were not disappointed. It was a good debate, and we were able to hear Gov. Palin speak. She arrived at the arena about 45 minutes following the debate, and the crowd was electrified. I will post more thoughts after I sleep for a few hours.



Birth Control Is One Of Them

Things I am passionate about:
my family
friendships that go below the surface
conservative politics
living on earth in a way to store up treasures in heaven
not accepting the status quo

My "not accepting the status quo" attitude has had both positive and negative affects on my life. For example, when I was young I refused to watch movies such as The Sound of Music, Bambi and Gone With The Wind simply because everyone else had seen it and everyone I knew told me I had to see it. I thought, "I'll show you! I can go through my whole life without watching it and function just fine thank you." Well, then I grew up and realized that the reason everyone watched those movies is because they are GREAT and it is a necessary part of the American culture in which I live. (I've always been a stubborn, red-head.)

So now, the "not accepting the status quo" attitude I possess takes a more introspective, spiritual tone in my life. Birth control falls in that category. Within the last 15 years, my thoughts on birth control have shifted dramatically (and that is an understatement.) Those thoughts might still be shifting, but that's part of my passion: to continue to think and change in a way that pleases the Lord.

My former pastor has turned me on to a new (to me) Christian magazine that is different; and therefore, worth my time in reading. Today I read this, and here in an excerpt. I love reading people who express my views in a more intelligent format than I am able.
Beneath all the risks and statistics, the real questions we each must face are these: Will we treat reproductive technology as something to be used in accord with moral principles or as a way around them, in a fruitless attempt to undo the consequences of our actions? Will we hold it subordinate to virtue or as a substitute for it? And most fundamentally, will we choose to treat our fertility as a disease or a gift—our sweet and screaming children as a threat or a blessing? •

What seems like a simple, normal, everyday decision that has no consequences: taking the pill - can have drastic repercussions. It is my desire that women will go beyond the status quo and read, think and talk about options with their spouse, doctor and oh, I don't know maybe the LORD before diving into the birth control pool.

Check out Salvo for more.


Obsessed I Am

So as to not make this a political blog, I thought I'd post something completely opposite. Completely unlike me. This time of the year I can often be found plunked in front of the television for hours on end. To watch the political debates? No. Not so noble. Instead, I am admitting my obsession for .....

the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

Yep, the season of tryouts has ended and soon the recap will make it's way into my living room. The show should be R-rated, but does that stop me? Nope. I don't know what it is, but I am seriously obsessed.

There, I said it - now you know my little, dark secret.

It must take me back to my days as a cheerleader, and as a small child when my goal in life was to become a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. Back in the day that was probably a good role model for a child. The women who cheer for the Cowboys today are well-rounded and intelligent; but the level of immodesty has skyrocketed.

Does that stop me? Nope. I will tune in to every episode, and watch it multiple times. I will cry during the final episode and I will not be able to explain to my husband why I am so enthralled with this show. I guess I'm another victim of reality tv. Thank you CMT for airing the next season, and thank you for the marathon episodes, and thank you for contributing to about 20 hours of veg out time for me.

I sense a tv fast coming in January.

Go Cowboys!


Guess Who?

This is from George Grant.

Can you guess who I am?

I am not yet 45 years old but already I have taken the nation by storm.

I am known for my avid love of the outdoors.

I hunt, fish, hike, and camp whenever I possibly can.

I have made my mark in politics as an unlikely Republican reformer.

Of course, I have had to take on the Republican Party establishment.

Not that the Democrats are too fond of me either.

I have a large, happy, but rather rambunctious family.

I have been governor of my large northern state for less than two years.

Nevertheless, I was the surprise pick to be the vice presidential candidate in a crucial national election.

Have you ever heard of me?

Surely you have. I am Teddy Roosevelt.


What's The Deal?

Why is it ok to ask Sarah Palin if she has enough time to be a mother of 5 and the Vice-President, but they don't ask Obama if he has enough time to be a father of 2 and the President?


Goes Both Ways

Yes, I heard the news yesterday that Gov. Palin's teenage daughter is pregnant. There are about a zillion different sides to this issue, and about that many people will hop on one bandwagon or another.

I like how Spunky put it...

"Palin has just announced that their daughter, Bristol, is pregnant. This discredits some false allegations from the weekend and perhaps explains Palin's decision to homeschool.

Mrs. Palin and her husband Todd said in a statement:
"Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realise very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family."

Good for them. I'm proud of the Palins and their daughter, Bristol, for choosing life and accepting their unborn baby as a blessing not a "punishment."

"Look, I got two daughters - 9 years old and 6 years old,” [Obama] said. "I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.

The contrast couldn't get any more clear."

I still love her even if her daughter made a mistake. I would hope my support system would do the same for me.


A Shot In The Arm

I am so excited my fingers are flying off the keyboard! This political season has really had me in a funk. After all the exciting possibilities from both the Democratic and Republican primaries, I was a little disappointed that John McCain was up against Barak Obama. It seemed like an uphill battle. Then add in the historic, cultural significance of a black American running for the Presidency... Obama's presidential race is good for this country. But, still - I am conservative and I was starting to think my vote would be a shot in the dark.

Until today.

I am so excited about John McCain's Veep choice I could bust. This was one of his most brilliant moves to date and I just want to hug the advisors who steered him in this direction, and I want to hug Palin's husband for giving his family over to the country for (possibly) the next four years.

After Hilary's exit from the Presidential race, McCain's best bet to catapult his campaign was to choose a woman VP. THIS choice is even better! I have followed Governor Palin's career for the last few years, and at times wish I lived in Alaska just to volunteer for her. What a great example. I think this country just might be ready for not only a black president, but a female one as well. This is history folks.

Congratulations Mr. McCain, and I pray that your VP keeps her values as steady as they are now before the Washington engine runs her over.


A List

A list is easier to post sometimes than real stuff, so here it is... My List.

You must answer each question in one word - can you do it?

1. Where is your cell phone? kitchen
2. Where is your significant other? work
3. Your hair? up
4. What you’re not? mathematician
5. Your spouse? unconditional
6. Your favorite thing? laughter
7. Your dream last night? nonexistant
8. Your dream/goal? eternity
9. The room you’re in? office
10. Your hobby? scrapbooking
11. Your fear? accidents
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? here
13. Where were you last night? here
14. One of your wish list items? van
15. Where you grew up? Mayfield
16. The last thing you did? laundry
17. What are you wearing? t-shirt
18. Your pet? tanked
19. Your computer? laptop
20. Your mood? motivated
21. Missing someone? yes
22. Your car? old
23. Something you’re not wearing? shoes
24. Your summer? wet
25. Love someone? yes
26. Your favorite color? navy
27. Last time you laughed? 7pm
28. Last time you cried? 9pm
29. Your church? expanding
30. How many sisters? one
31. How many brothers? zero
32. How many children? five
33. Your favorite drink? water
34. Your TV? watched
35. Your life? wonderful
36. Favorite store? TJ Maxx
37. Who will repost this? dunno


It's All Downhill From Here

Yesterday my baby girl decided to walk. She had been contemplating this task for a few months, but evidently she was waiting until the perfect day to take off. That day was yesterday.

Everytime we turned around she was walking from one piece of furniture to the next without grunting for us to hold her hand. Each and every time one of us caught her doing this we would squeal with delight. Upon hearing our squeals of delight, she would promptly fall down and look to see what all the commotion was about.

So, today she decided not to walk. Again.

How many kids am I gonna have to have before I figure out how this works?

I have no babies anymore. My 3 year old informed me as I was rinsing his hair in the bathtub, "Mom, you are driving me CRAZY!"

Get used to it, bud. There's about 15 more years of craziness yet to come.

It's true, having kids does get easier as they get older. The only problem with that is... they keep getting older. I think I'll trade the toughness of little ones for the growing up part.


The Shack - A Review?

Well, I'm not finished with The Shack yet, and I might not finish it. I'm not really getting why this book is all the rage right now. Someone help me.

In the forward, the author warns us that if we don't like the book not to worry because it wasn't written for us. I'm assuming that means he doesn't want to hear or read a bad review. This isn't a bad review, it's just a statement, a warning.

I'm not sure that this is the book to introduce scores of non-Believers to the God of Agape Love. It seems like too much, too soon.

If you want a lifetime worth of theology stuffed in one book with a 5th grade reading level, then I guess this is the book for you.

I know this book has resonated with thousands of people who need to understand God's love in a tangible way. For that, the book has accomplished a great purpose. But, what do those readers do next? If there is no meeting at The Shack for them how do they move forward beyond their doubt?

If you've read it, please let me know what you think.

UPDATE: As I'm finishing this book, I do want to point out 2 areas where the author does an excellent job: his discussion of Jesus' view of church, and the forgiveness journey Papa takes Mack on. These are great models for us.


Talk About It

Like I said, I'm here. I'm hanging on. This is the 2nd week of homeschool for us, and we are alive. No one has been seriously injured in the re-entry process. There have been several, "Go to your room and don't come out til you are 40!" moments - but, hey...we're getting there.

I was browsing around for back-to-school-activities for homeschoolers (not much there) and found THIS. I'm going to have to go back for more. Preach it, brother!
"I feel the need to address an issue that few women are willing to discuss. Being a profound extrovert, and also not a woman, maybe I can put into words what many married Christian women today are feeling, but are afraid to say:
"I'm burned out, burned up, and the ember that is my personal existence is running on fumes—
—yet I have to keep up appearances."
"While I will say in public—public being church—that my husband is the rock of the household, I'm the one holding our home together."
"I'm petrified to admit I'm barely holding on."
"I'm terrified of letting anyone else know that I question whether this is the abundant life or not."
If that's you, I have a word for you: Grace. My prayer is that you receive it abundantly.

I don't understand what we're doing to women today in the Church. The pressure to conform to a lifestyle that incorporates one part Beth Moore, one part Martha Stewart, one part Jessie Wise, and one part Salome astounds me. And don't even toss in that proverbial woman from chapter 31 that every female is told she must aspire to. That's a whole 'nother post.

Is it any wonder that so many Christian homes are struggling? What woman wouldn't struggle underneath that burden? And as I noted, as she goes, so goes the home.

Frankly, I'm angered at the expectations and the pressure to conform that many women endure. We men don't have that same burden. Yes, our lives our hectic and we're overburdened, too, but we can always opt out and claim we're "just being a guy for the day." Fire up the tube and plugin to six hours of football and no other man will accuse you of being a jerk. We'll all nod and say as one, "Yep…."

But let an Evangelical Christian woman tell her compatriots that she thinks it might be easier to send her kids to public school this year and you'll witness a shunning worthy of The Scarlet Letter."

Only a man could put this into words and get away with it. All of us women folk would agree, but look over our shoulder to make sure no one sees us agreeing. When did this happen? Those of us who left the career world to devote our lives to our home have now become as cut-throat as working women are stereotyped to be. (I know several who are not.)

It is for this reason that I have enjoyed the freedom to whittle down my life. That includes blogging. I have strived to do away with the pressure to have a clean house (don't come over unannounced, please - no matter what Fly Lady says.) I have given up on having Gap-dressed children. That's too much laundry for me to handle. I'm still whittling away other parts of my life and trying to free up time for my spiritual renewal - that's a tough one. I've enjoyed reading as Megan tries to put this part of her life in order as well.

People ask, "How do you do it all?" I don't. I don't do it all - I do a few things, and sometimes I do them well. How do you do it all?


I'm Back - Sort Of

I'm back, but not really. Ever since my middle-of-the-night-revelation this past spring I have been on a blog break. It has been wonderful. I have let go of the pressure to post thought-provoking material, and have dedicated that time to helping those in my care get back on our feet. These last 2 years have been a roller-coaster ride. Not a Batman dangling-feet type ride (top speed non-stop twists & turns), more like a Screamin' Eagle type ride (moderate speed, slow climbs and quick dips.)

My husband lost his job in April, for the 2nd time in 2 years. This summer we dove heart-first into a business ownership opportunity that had our entire family on Cloud 9. That failed. Now, we are finally back on track. Maybe not COMPLETELY on track, but at the very least we are in line for the Ferris Wheel. (Why is it called that anyway, anyone know Mr. Ferris?) My husband has a new job, we started our homeschool last week, Rachel turned one, I have found a pre-school for Gideon, and we made some amazing real-life friends this summer. I'm ready to sit back and enjoy the view from the top of the Ferris Wheel. But, something tells me there's a Tony Hawk's Big Spin right around the corner. Can you tell we've spent a few days at Six Flags this summer?

Anywhoo. Even though I haven't posted in a while (a long while) I have been easing my way back into the blogosphere by reading some of my favorites. I have received so much encouragement, wisdom and inspiration. Thank you bloggy friends. It's an odd thing to feel such comfort from complete strangers. But, because of those strangers I can sense that my feet are more firmly on the ground.

So, I'm here. I'll probably be doing more reading (lurking) than posting; but it won't be long until my red-headedness pops back into shape. You've been warned.



I have been enjoying my bloggy break. I'm about to get my head above water, but I'm still in need of more time away. I have been reading my favorites, and found this quote today that I cannot help but post. My husband is at a home school conference this weekend. He called today to tell me about an awesome session he was in with Voddie Baucham. Of course, I recognized that name so started to dig around the web to find out what I had read about him before. I found this quote (regarding public schools) and it's gonna stay with me for a while so I thought I'd share it with you. What's your response?
I have asked before, and I will ask again, how far do they have to go? What do they have to do to our children before we will leave? Do they have to molest our children? They’ve done that. Do they have to beat, maim or kill our children? They’ve done that too. Do they have to fail to educate our children adequately? They’ve done that. Do they have to deny our God and his laws? They have done that too. Do they have to lead our children away from Christ and his Church in droves by indoctrinating them in Atheistic Secular Humanism? Check that one off too. When will enough be enough? When will our desire to raise our children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph. 6:4) outweigh our addiction to free daycare?

Go here for the entire article.


On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness - FREE Giveaway!

I have the privilege of reviewing Andrew Peterson's new book, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. He is one of my favorite songwriters/bloggers. If you'd like to receive your own copy of this new book, just leave a comment below. I'll pick one random entry and send the winner the book for free!

"In the once-quiet land of Skree, Janner Igiby, little brother Tink, and crippled sister Leeli stumble upon lost jewels of the mysterious King of the Shining Isle Anniera. But Gnag the Nameless seeks the treasure for purely evil ends, so our brave trio, accompanied by their trusty dog Nugget and ex-pirate grandfather, must escape his minion Fangs.

Singer-songwriter Andrew Peterson spins a page-turning tale of redemption peppered with songs, poems, and hilarious asides that follow the Igibys through a fantasical world of wonders, complete with...
*memorable characters like Brimney Stupe, Armulyn the Bard, and the soft-shoe dancing Peet the Sock Man
*fanciful creatures: sea dragons who sing by the light of the moon, spine-tingling toothy cows, snarling horned hounds, and mischievous flabbits
*and dazzling places: from Books & Craines Bookstore and Anklejelly Manor, to Fingfap Falls, and across the Ice Prairies...not to mention the Dark Sea of Darkness.

Sensory descriptions and characters rich in heart, courage and smarts make this a tale children of all ages will cherish, the whole family can read aloud, and book groups will surely discuss for its overarching theme of hope with layers of meaning about the life's tangle of the beautiful and the horrible, the temporal and the eternal, and good and bad.

Andrew Peterson is a critically acclaimed singer-songwriter and recording artist best known for his Dove Award-winning songs of the yeard, "Nothing to Say" and "Family Man." A natural-born storyteller (being a preacher's kid from the south), he wrote and produced the popular Christmas song collection, Behold the Lamb of God. He has recorded seven albums and tours every year. Andrew and his wife, Jamie are the parents of two sons and a daughter and live in Nashville, Tennessee. His website is"

If you'd like to order the book yourself, go here.


Out of Focus

When I was in high school, I had a wonderful yearbook advisor. I was one of the editors my senior year, and I spent a lot of time in her classroom. She gave me significant responsibility and treated me like an adult rather than a student. At one point, however, she noticed that things seemed out of balance in my life. (I have a tendency to get, you know, Miss Busy Body. I'm sure that's a surprise to you.) She called me in her office and asked me to take a look at one of the cameras the photographers were using. She said, "Just look through this lens and tell me what you see. I think there's something wrong with this camera." I thought she was nuts to ask me, but I did what she asked (rolling my eyes all the way, I'm sure.) I looked through the camera and saw a blur. I said, "There's nothing wrong with this camera, it's just out of focus." As I gave her the camera back, her eyes said it all. I had been fighting to keep everything in balance, and when it didn't work I assumed something was wrong with me. Yep, like the whole world will stop revolving if I don't get to the 4:00 meeting on time. She taught me that I just needed to re-focus on my priorities. This issue has been a struggle for me for a long time.

So, as I sit here in the wee hours of the morning (having been awakened once again by a 7-month old who is still not sleeping through the night-God's way of reminding me, AGAIN, that I do not have it all together) I realize - through the Lord's leading, I'm sure...that I need to re-focus.

It is at this point that my fellow soldiers in the trenches would resort to a prescription drug to help them get back into alignment. That sounds very nice to me right now. Very nice indeed. But I am going to attempt to make the harder choice and actually plow through the muck. I need to make some difficult sacrifices in order to make room for the necessary things. Good is sometimes the enemy of Best. I cannot do this on my own, as God is reminding me constantly. But, I know there are some things that need to take a back seat. Blogging is one of them.

Blogging is my outlet. Well, one of them. But, it has become a crutch. I use it for "me" time in the mornings, but it can easily turn into an all-day adventure moving from one blog to another until I feel I've had my fill. Meanwhile, there is laundry and errands and a 3 year-old in desperate need of a spanking, uh-hem, I mean, attention.

In an effort to put first things first I am taking a bloggy break to spend time focusing on my God, my family, my body, my children and my home. It may come as a surprise to you, but I cannot do it all (as I've said before, especially not all at the same time.) Baby number 5 has officially catapulted this family into more than I can handle, and I need to look through that camera again and re-focus. Here's a peek at my to-do list which haunts me everynight...

Read Beth Moore study for next week
Re-paint John's room
Move Peter into John's room
Move baby Rachel into Ruth's room
Train Gideon to come when he's called (before I lose him)
Read Andrew Peterson's new book and blog about it
Add BooMama and Half Pint House to sidebar
Plan weekend getaway with hubby (which is coming up in 2 weeks!)
Call baseball parents to see who'll volunteer to be team mom
Train Rachel to sleep through the night (all my tried and true tricks haven't worked)
Organize scrapbook stuff
Vacuum the house
Find a pre-school for Gideon for this fall
Clean trash out of backyard to make spring a little more enjoyable!
Take a nap

Ok, you get the idea. I need a maid.

I'll be back after the dust has settled.


Look at THIS Book!

It's Monday so it's time to exchange book ideas. The last time we talked about your favorite series to read aloud to your children. Thanks so much for the great ideas. Right now we are reading the Jesus Storybook Bible, and that's been fun.

Today, I want to hear about a book that changed your life. No pressure or anything. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers changed me. It changed the way I look at people who were raised differently than I was, it changed the way I read the Bible, it changed the way I think about the Old Testament, it changed the way I look at sin. And, most people I've talked to who have read the book have similar reactions. The friend that recommended it to me told me that the reason she first read it was because her uncle had read it years prior and he was "still learning lessons from it today." I've found that to be true for me as well. I am still learning lessons from Redeeming Love even though I read it in 2002.

Here's a brief synopsis, but I won't spoil it for those of you who haven't read it. Redeeming Love is the fictional retelling of the book of Hosea. It feels like the book was set in the late 1800s where the main character was a child prostitute. Her redeemer is a man of God who follows the Lord's leading to rescue her from a life of sin. If you can get passed the first chapter (it could be rated R) then you can make it through the whole book. Although, if you have abuse in your past, it might take you a while to work through the feelings the book conjures up.

So, what's your story - a book that changed your life?


Connecting through Worship

My sister gave us tickets to the Steven Curtis Chapman concert last week. Since then, I have been on a SCC kick checking his blogs and reading about his adoption ministry. Steven's appeal has evolved from entertaining, contemporary Christian music to passionate ministry outreaches and now into a shining example of how an entire family can join together to serve the Lord through music and ministry. Forgive me for posting another You Tube bit by SCC. But this one features Chris Tomlin - the 2 of them together, now that's WOW Worship!


The Missing Link

This is why I won't be posting in the next few days. You never know how much you use the letter E until it's taken away. And, have I mentioned how much I love 3 year olds?


Deception Can Be A Beautiful Thing

My friend got me the Deceptively Delicious cookbook for my birthday. And I AM LOVING IT! Yes, the recipes are easy and delicious - but what I'm really loving is deceiving the grumbles out of my herd. This week has been so much fun! If you haven't jumped on the bandwagon, here's the idea: puree some veggies that your kids are likely to never eat and then mix them in with what you are already cooking. Serve it up and your kids never know they just got a whopping dose of antioxidants and Vitamin C. It's a beautiful thing to sit at the dinner table and smile while Peter gobbles down his vegetables. What's even better is when he turns to me and says, "Thanks Mom for making the food I like!" I am counting down the days until he's an adult and I can spring the surprise on him. What? You don't like sweet potatoes? Really? Huh, that's've been eating them in your French Toast for the last 10 years!!! MMWAHH-HA-HA!

Here's what I've done so far or plan to do this week....
sweet potatoes in French Toast
spinach in ground beef/tacos
squash in mac & cheese
cauliflower in scrambled eggs

My cookbook is by Jessica Seinfeld. There is also a cookbook/website, published earlier by Missy Chase Lapine which has even easier tips for hiding vegetables in your kids food.


Noise To God

We've had our share of bumps and bruises these last few weeks. We have cabin fever and the kids are literally bouncing off the walls. Just this evening, Gideon (3) banged his head on the wall during a pillow fight. I was comforting him and said, "Calm down and be quiet so we can pray for you." John (7) piped in, "Uh, Mom, God can hear us through all the noise." Thanks for that reminder.

Choosing Children

UPDATE: There is a good discussion going on at Mommy Life about this question. Barbara posted it for me - I asked for her input - and others have weighed in on the topic.

A friend recently told me that she and her husband are thinking about not having children. She asked for my input and below is my response to her. (This is what you'd call ranting and raving, hence the name of this blog.) If you are a couple who has chosen not to have children I am sure you have very good reasons for your decision. But, I have yet to come across Believers who can in good conscience choose not to bring life into the world.

I'm assuming my position is obvious. Are you thinking of adopting or just no kids at all? Is this something you believe God has told you or is this your plan? I firmly believe that God created the institution of marriage for the express purposes of 1) helping our spouse fulfill the plan God has for him/her 2) to raise up an army of little God-followers. (Like arrows in his quiver....) Choosing to not have children once you are married is like choosing to travel to a tropical island, but opting to stay inside the airport the whole time. What's the point? Don't get me started. Oh, wait - you already did. The main reasons I hear couples choose to not have children is because of a) money, b) the desire to keep things the way they are/fear of the unknown, c) careers are first priority, d) ministry opportunities aren't family friendly, e) fear of failure

She responded..."Our main worry is that we are too selfish to be good parents, and that our ministry isn't well suited for children."

I agree that ministry requires a lot of time and effort. You have to decide if this is what God is calling you to do for this season, or for your lifetime. I tend to believe we live our life in seasons. Rarely are we doing the same thing 20 years from now - if so maybe we aren't growing the way God wants. If you choose ministry over children and go so far as to prevent pregnancy what does that say about the level of trust you have in God. Can't He give us the provision to do both? If God wants you to be so commited to this ministry that you shouldn't become parents then maybe He'll prevent pregnancy?

Also - the selfishness factor. We are ALL too selfish to become good parents. That's the work of grace in our lives. Being a parent is the closest resemblance to the love God has for us in that He gave us His only Son. (I would venture to say that adoption is an even clearer picture of what God does for us.) When you become a mother something spiritual happens. You are totally given over to another human. You care about them more than yourself. You think about their needs more than your own. It is agape love at it's best human definition. I fail daily. My selfishness creeps in daily. It is hard - it is very, very hard; but there is no greater joy... and that is an understatement.

When I read the Bible, there are dozens of scriptures which assume that women have children. I have never read Paul say, "If you decide to become a mother." It is an assumed role in that is how God created women.

I know there are thousands of Believers who desire children but are experiencing infertility. I pray for those families and hope that God chooses to expand their family either through pregnancy or adoption. It is not these families that I am addressing, but rather those who have chosen NOT to expand their family beyond the husband and wife relationship.

What's your feeling on this?


Don't Like It - Switch!

One of the best things I've learned from Barbara's journey from Evangelical to Catholic is that we in the Protestant world have too much of a smorgasboard mentality. Don't like the worship leader? Go to another church! Don't think women should wear pants? Find a church that supports dresses only. Don't like the pastor's preaching style? Find a church where Sunday morning consists of 3 songs and a poem. We use our freedom in Christ as an excuse for this lack of commitment.

This article just popped up on My Yahoo. Seems like Evangelicals aren't the only ones.

From America's Unfaithful Faithful by David Van Biema...

"The report does not speculate on the implications of its data. But Lugo suggests, 'What it says is that this marketplace is highly competitive and that no one can sit on their laurels, because another group out there will make [its tenets] available' for potential converts to try out. While this dynamic 'may be partly responsible for the religious vitality of the American people,' he says, 'it also 'suggests that there is an institutional loosening of ties,' with less individual commitment to a given faith or denomination."


Look at THIS Book!

This is the first in a series of posts where we'll take a look at our favorite books on a certain topic. (No, this isn't Oprah's Book Club. I'm no where near that serious. I need mush for my brain.) In between diapers, homeschooling, errands and breathing - I like to read. That's a hard thing for me admit. See, I attended law school (didn't finish) and each night we were required to read about 200 pages. At the end of that year, I swore I'd never pick up another book as long as I lived. Two hundred pages is a lot of reading, people! Reading was the last thing I wanted to do for fun! That was then. Things change. And now I enjoy it. But, I don't have hours to spend browsing Amazon or the library to figure out which book to read next. I usually rely on the recommendations of friends. As I've mentioned before, Francine Rivers' books are always on the top of my list. But, I've read everything she's written and until a new one comes out I need some ideas. Here's where you come in.

Every week I will post a book recommendation and ask you to share your ideas as well. What fiction book are you currently reading? Who is your favorite biography? Which cookbook do you turn to in a pinch? Which books do you choose for your children? What book changed your life?

I plan to post Look at THIS Book! every Monday, but don't hold me to it. I'm going to do my best to be here for you every Monday with a good book recommendation. This is assuming there are no trips to the emergency room, laundry catastrophes or sick children in the mix. That could hold things up a bit. (I know today is not Monday, we've had 2 snow days and it feels like Wednesday, so what's your point?)

Here goes....


I'm asking b/c we've never accomplished this goal. I have lists of suggestions, but we haven't found a good system for getting this done at our house. As a child, my favorite book series was Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke. I really don't remember much about the series, just that I enjoyed the process of reading this with my mom and my sister.

Now it's your turn. Don't let me down, even you lurkers out there are welcome to join in. You do not have to have a blog to post a comment, and you do not have to sign up with Google to contribute. You can be anonymous if you like, or you can link us to your blog so we can read more of your ideas.

Let's Go!



After living vicariously through Shannon and the bloggers' trip to Uganda, I find myself in an odd place. Do I sell all my possessions and give my money to the poor? Do I continue to live in my over-indulgent, Wal-Martified, super-sized world? Where's the balance? I'm not sure yet.

Last night my husband was reading and listening to Jeff Deyo (one of our favorite worship leaders.) Here's a quote that I won't easily forget...

We need to speak and live out this quote from a national pastor who was later martyred in Zimbabwe Africa:
"The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made; I'm a disciple of His! I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I'm finished with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need preeminence, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, depend on His presence, walk by patience, am uplifted by prayer, and labor with power. That's what it means to be a disciple of Jesus."


What's Your Gift?

If you have been in church for any amount of time, chances are you have been asked about your spiritual gift. Go here to see what gifts God has given you to use to bless others. As for me? No surprise. I scored high on the Administration/Hospitality questions and embarrasingly low on the Mercy/Intercession questions. What does that mean? I like to be in charge and need to pray for compassion! What's your gift?


A Must Read

I'm assuming you are reading this. If you are online at all, and if you've ever read a blog then you've got to read this. There is a team of bloggers in Uganda right now on a trip with Compassion International. Every day I read about their journey and tears fill my eyes. We are so blessed. God help me to remember that.


Day to Day

As a stay-at-home mom, most days I feel like I haven't gotten anything worth while accomplished. I have my to-do lists, I run essential errands, and I feed the masses. But it's easy to look at the world around me and feel like what I'm doing under this roof doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things.

I know better. In my heart I know that I am planting seeds for the future. I know that today's work won't be rewarded for another 10 years or so. I know when I'm 60 I'll look back on my life and be glad that I made this sacrifice.

But, then there are days (lots of them) when I can't see the forest for the trees. Bickering siblings, rising grocery bills, multiple laundry piles and shower-less days seem to pile up more quickly than good stuff.

This song made me cry and made me stop and remember why I'm doing this. Maybe you feel discouraged, too? Please listen and know you are changing the world One Heartbeat At A Time.


When I Was A Kid

Does your child have an imagination? That seems like a stupid question, but really think about it. When you turn off the tv or the computer can your child entertain himself? Pete at The Rabbit Room has me thinking about this because of his experiences with teenage boys...

Often when boys are asked what they want to do when they grow up, they don’t have an answer, not even a wild and crazy one like ‘be a rapper’ or ‘play in the NFL’, they just shrug. They’ve never thought about it because they’ve been spoon fed their entertainment for the whole of their short lives and have never had to entertain themselves with their own imaginations.

Read the whole article here.


Things Have Changed

Over at Scribbit she wrote about her daughter's reaction to a rated PG movie. I don't think being the youngest (or oldest or middlest) is a curse, but there sure is a new set of rules! For example...I let Gideon get away with things that I never (ever in a gazillion years) would have even contemplated letting Peter say or do. But, then again 7 years have passed between parenting them. What's in store for Rachel? Oh, my.

How you know he's not an only child....
*he runs through the kitchen yelling, "I Anakin, I kill Darth Vader!"
*I hear him say, "Shut Up!" in the other room and when I address the issue with him, he immediately says, "I not say it, John did!"
*while our family sits in a gym full of cheering fans, he runs off by himself to use the restroom and comes back without blinking an eye that something could be awry
*He says, "Mom can I play Lego Star Wars after I drink my chloklut milk?" (
*while the other children squiggle and writhe while I'm giving them haircuts, Gideon brings the haircutting kit to me at least once a week asking if it's his turn yet
*I walk in the kitchen to find him climbing up into the freezer to retreive a popscicle (the one I told him he couldn't have 5 minutes ago)
*he dresses himself (I'll just leave it at that.)


The Student or The Money...Which Is More Important?

This article from the New York Times looks at the rising numbers of students who are being taught at home using online programs, some funded by public school systems. But, when the experts take a look at the benefits of these public-school-at-home programs they almost always refer to the loss of money the programs create. Never mind that the children are benefitting and receiving (sometimes) a higher level of education.

Despite enthusiastic support from parents, the schools have met with opposition from some educators, who say elementary students may be too young for Internet learning, and from teachers, unions and school boards, partly because they divert state payments from the online student’s home district.


Does It Take Good Preaching To Be A Good Preacher?

Just read this article at Crosswalk. Here's an excerpt...

Preaching may seem foolish to a generation steeped in high-tech entertainment, clever comedic monologues, and spectacular imagery and sound. But preaching has always seemed foolish to those outside the pale of faith. The problem is not that preaching is foolish to unbelievers. The problem is that preaching has become foolish—through mere adequacy—to those who claim to be followers of Christ.


A Few Observations

This year, our two oldest children are in "real" school. We are homeschooling John, and of course Gideon and Rachel are at home. Now that half the year has passed, I feel like I have a grasp on the differences between real school and homeschool. Here are a few observations...

Real School
gives Mom a break
children respect other adults
children make new friends
we are all worn out at night
family spends a lot of time in the van
family is governed by school calendar
parents make new friends
we all get up early
children deal with boy/girl awkwardness

Mom has no free time
children respect their family
children become close friends w/ their siblings
we all have relaxed evenings
family spends majority of time at home
family operates on our own calendar
parents swim around in a fishbowl
we stay in our jammies all day
children don't recognize the weirdness of the other gender

Notice: positives and negatives on both sides and this is just skimming the surface. My heart is still drawn toward homeschooling because I think the benefits outweigh the negatives. However, as I said earlier, we are not hard-core homeschoolers. We take one year at a time, and try to discover what each individual child needs. All in all this has been (and continues to be) a great experience with real school. The school is superb, the teachers are caring, and the friendships will last a lifetime.


Party Planner

I just read that Megan is planning her daughter's birthday party, and it reminded me of how much I love to do this for my own children. We've had a Dress-Up party complete w/ a nail salon and a fashion show. We've had a Barnyard Puppet party complete w/ a puppet theater and face painting. We've had a Wild About Horses party complete w/ horse rides, cowboy hats, and the horseshoe game. All of these were very low-cost parties to plan, and the kids remember them for years to come.

I love the whole process of it. We have children in every season of the year, and they are allowed to have a big party on their odd-numbered birthdays. (Thereby not breaking the bank for Mom and Dad and teaching them a little patience and expectancy in the process.)

John's birthday is next and this year he gets to have a big party. I, of course, have grand plans for planning the party myself and making it all unique and what not. But, as the kids get older (especially boys) I'm learning they don't care much for the do-it-yourself kind of deal. They want action! I'm a little too much of a girl to provide that of my own volition. Hence, the decision to rent out a party room at one of the popular (loud, germ infested, overpriced, testosterone filled) entertainment venues. So much for creativity. BUT, at the end of the day I'll have nothing to clean up and a little pooped-out boy with a freckled-face grin.


Birth Rate In America Way Up

UPDATE: Check out this article in Time Magazine where the writer attempts to explain why More Is Merrier.

According to this article by AP Medical Writer, Mike Stobbe, the birth rate in the U.S. is way up. Here's an excerpt...

Bucking the trend in many other wealthy industrialized nations, the United States seems to be experiencing a baby boomlet, reporting the largest number of children born in 45 years...

Experts believe there is a mix of reasons: a decline in contraceptive use, a drop in access to abortion, poor education and poverty.

Could it be due to perhaps HIGHER education and more informed couples who are realizing the whole "population squeeze" theory is incorrect, and having big families is not a drain on society but rather good for our culture?

The last sentence of his article hints at it, but doesn't elaborate...

The influence of certain religions in those latter regions is an important factor, said Ron Lesthaeghe, a Belgian demographer who is a visiting professor at the University of Michigan. "Evangelical Protestantism and Mormons," he said.


Christianity and Liberalism

As I've mentioned before, I am trying to find my place in the categorized, denominational, seeker-sensitive, relevant, smorgasboard of modern theology. I don't know where I belong, but I know where I don't.

My friend wrote a book review and I wanted to note his thoughts on Christianity and Liberalism ...
Read this book and it will change your world. Preach this and people will call you intolerant, narrow, and divisive. Great. Christianity is what it is. Being steadfast and faithful to the Word of God and to the doctrines it contains is not popular, but it is the difference between life and death. Jesus, Peter, and Paul were not tolerant or broad-minded when it came to what Christianity was (and is) and why it was necessary to believe certain things. Too many people today who call themselves Christians believe that they are believers and love Jesus. The problem is that they don’t hold to what the Bible states, and they believe in a Jesus that is not Biblical.


The Recipe For Kristin

3 parts Genius
2 parts Poise
1 part Charm

Splash of Attractiveness

Sip slowly on the beach

Ok, well that made me smile. I'm not sure I like the fact that there's only a splash of attractiveness, but hey... THREE parts genius aint so bad ;)


Works For Me - Books For Boys

This week at Shannon's, she's hosting Works For Me Wednesday Backwards Edition. Here we ask for your help. I'd like to know what your favorite books are for boys to read (grades 3 and 4.)

For Christmas, we gave our children these books and they have been totally worth the money. But, I know I'm going to need some other wholesome choices hanging around the house for my son to pick up. What do you suggest?


All Done

I finally finished the last book in the novella series by Francine Rivers. She wrote 10 books in all: 5 about Biblical men and 5 about Biblical women. I just recently completed Silas. I am so glad I invested my time in these books. Even though they are a quick read, the books are full of thought-provoking dialogue that sends me back to Scripture time and time again.

The series on women featured historical fiction stories about Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba and Mary. The men had their turn with stories about Aaron, Caleb, Jonathan, Amos and Silas.

My favorite in the women's series was Tamar where I learned to not judge another culture. But then again, Rahab helped me learn about how God draws us all to Him, Ruth helped me learn about devotion, Bathsheba helped me learn about steadfastness, and Mary helped me learn about patience.

My favorite in the men's series was Caleb where I learned about submission. Aaron helped me learn about God's love, Jonathan helped me learn about ties that bind, Amos helped me learn about staying strong through the long-term, and Silas helped me learn about God's precious Word.

I was never intrigued by characters such as Amos and Tamar until I read these books. Now I think about them frequently. Thank you again, Mrs. Rivers for placing these centuries-old individuals into my everyday life. After I've read her books I see Scripture in a whole new light.


Huckabee On Education

Here is the transcript of an interview w/ Mike Huckabee by Terence P. Jeffrey. In the interview Huckabee specifically answers questions about his view of school vouchers, homeschooling, and teaching about God in the public schools. He sounds typically politically blah-blah, BUT he does answer the questions. I could do without all the self-promotion but I guess that's what running for President is about these days. May the Best Marketing Team win!