Friday, September 16, 2011

25 year old "mother" kills twins

Booting up my computer today, the first thing I see on the newsfeed is "Lindsey Lowe, Tenn. Mom, Confesses To Smothering Newborn Twins". I was thinking that was a typo and it was supposed to say "teen" mom, then it would make a little more sense. But no. You go into the article and it says she is a 25 year old woman (not girl) living with her parents, working in a pediatric dentists's office. She "thinks" she got pregnant in January, but never went to the doctor to confirm it. Working in a dentist's office, I'm going to take a gander and say it was not because she did not have health insurance. She gave an apparently, relatively painless birth, sitting on a toilet. Article says the baby "fell out", into the toilet, and she proceeded to smother it. Then, a few minutes later, oops, another baby "fell out", and she done the same thing to it.

The anger that is going through my mind right now cannot be expressed, but my mind also is not surprised. This is an example of WHAT has this world has come to. We have encouraged a decade of people to never be responsible for their own actions. I say decade, because I have watched over the last 10-15 years the societal excuses that have become mainstream, that takes away any kind of hint that a person should be responsible for their own actions. I know what a lot of people reading this post will think- "this is an example of worldly child rearing" ... but hold on. The end of the article mentions the family's pastor coming to be with them the evening the woman's father found the babies in the laundry basket. He is quoted as saying "... Lindsey and her sister grew up in the church and were regularly involved in youth activities.".

So here we go. Another (assuming) Christian family in the news, giving the world another reason to yell "hypocrites". Hey world- why not stop a minute. This was a grown woman. Yes, she was raised with (assuming) Christian values, but that does not take away her own responsibility for her own actions in her own life. It would seem obvious she is not living in a manner that is traditionally taught in Christian homes. It is obvious, to me at least, that this woman was not right with God. It makes me wonder if she has ever had a relationship with God. We must not assume that just because you are raised in a "Christian family", by parents who are Christian, that it makes you a Christian. It does not. Only your personal decisions regarding your own salvation makes you a Christian. Religion, appearing to be a "good person", none of that makes you a Christian. Only through Christ, confession, repentance, and acceptance of Him as your Savior makes you a Christian.

So what has this world come to?
Religion and Christianity aside, we have come to a state of mind that we can always blame someone, or something else for our actions. Even murder. I seriously doubt justice will be served for these twin babies. Her lawyers are going to claim she was mentally disabled somehow ... if she was sick enough to kill her babies, would there not be other symptoms of her illness well beforehand? She lived with other people, saw them on a daily basis, and held down a professional job. People are going to blame the missing father. Seriously? The guy obviously did not know, since this birth was a 'surprise' to the woman!

People are going to blame the church environment and 'the shame' that comes with unwed mothers. Not buying it. If you are in a church environment, you know you are doing wrong when you do it. The 'shame' is nothing more than regret that you got caught doing wrong. Do not blame the people who are doing right (or have yet to be caught publicly with their own sin). Then again, we cannot expect people on the outside of the church to truly understand what it is like to be on the inside. (This goes even from church building to church building, I believe!)

Christians are likely going to think it was somehow the parents' fault. Really? The woman is 25 years old. Right and wrong has been learned. Sex outside of wedlock is not a hard concept to grasp. It looks like it was taught well, because the woman did not want to get caught with the result of her sin so she killed it. The parents done their job, at 25, it is the adult's responsibility to do right. Some might even say it was the parents' fault because they allowed her to continue living with them as an adult. No, not buying it. You're grasping at straws here. There are plenty of young adults and twenty somethings who live with their parents and are productive, honorable members of society. Some are going to blame satan and his 'attacks' on Christian families. I'm not buying it. That's too easy.

How about this:
We are born sinners.
We deserve to go to hell because the wages of sin is death.
Jesus come to this earth to die on the cross, to pay for that sin.
We have the choice, repent and accept Christ as our Savior, turning away from the grasp sin holds on our lives, OR, we continue to allow sin to rule our hearts and live in the absence of a true relationship with God.

Lindsay Lowe was living without a true relationship with God in her life. This was why she killed her babies.

IF she ever professed to have Jesus as her Savior, either she was not sincere, or she turned away from Him. (On the basis of "by ye fruits are ye known...", I'm going to lean towards any profession not being sincere because I cannot wrap my head around murder being capable of even the most backslidden of Christians.) Her relationship deficit with God can be corrected. That's what I love about my God. No matter the vilest of sinner, He would have died if they were the only person on this earth. Those babies are with Him right now. Should we be concerned with earthly justice? I believe so. What about spiritual justice? I pray that happens, too.

I pray this woman will realize she is lost, be saved, and live the rest of her life- be it in jail or not, living closer to God than she could ever imagine.

(read the article here)

John 7:24
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It IS that simple

A friend of mine posted a verse on his Facebook page today:

“Give the following instructions to the entire community of Israel. You must be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.” Leviticus 19:2

someone replied to him:
"Can you be a sinner and holy at the same time? It is said that we all are sinners."

to which I replied:

"When God looks at me, all He sees is the finished work on the cross by His son Jesus Christ. Yes, I am a sinner. Yes, I have a Savior, therefore, I have the ability now, through His power, to be holy; because He is. ♥"

Yes. The gospel IS. that. simple.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Homeschooling, Unschooling, Public Schooling

This year we made the big jump of bringing out kids our of the private school they have attended their entire school careers minus eight months. They are in the 4th and 7th grade. Toni, the Happy Housewife, posted this morning "Why do you homeschool?". Well that's a good question. Honestly? The truest, honest answer that is most accurate is, we sought the Lord, and He revealed His will for us. It was very easy to yield to, which I found VERY ironic considering three short years ago, I prayed and prayed and prayed for peace about homeschooling and found NONE. (See first link in post.) Then you go into the "sub-reasons" for homeschooling (in no particular order of priority) a) it's much lesser expensive, which will afford our family more opportunities to do things that can honor the Lord b) I'm tired of being "poor" (oh, did I say that out loud?) c) it will work better with my at home work schedule when the 2012 election season gets in high gear ... oh there's more, those are the highlights.

I thought Toni made a good point, that I will add to my own reasons, when she said:
"The bottom line is that the system is broken. As a homeschooler we’ve chosen to flee the system rather than try to fix it and many people think that is the wrong solution... Teach your child to think, to question, to solve problems, to challenge the status quo. Focus less on grades and grade levels and more on learning experiences.
When they ask Why teach them how to find the answer."
We've only been at it for four weeks, but I have already had this revelation. One of my kids become paralyzed when they get to a point where they do not know an answer. I found this really surprising and we've been working on this for the past week. At first glance it just seemed they wanted to have you give them the answer, but the Lord revealed their lack of confidence in their own selves to start figuring out the solution on their own. WOW!

Toni had linked to this article on Seth Godin's blog, which is a very good article with valid points that anyone who is responsible for the education of children should read. That article, made me think about an article I read some time back on Jessica's blog (Bohemian Bowmans), that contained a video. I highly, HIGHLY recommend spending a few minutes in her post, and for you to watch that video. It makes tons of sense, and if it doesn't to you now, it will make you think about the ideas and it will eventually make sense :) Not to mention, in this article, Jessica hit on the very "heart reason" that made it so easy for me to say "yes" to homeschooling, when I was the one who said for years "I do not have that kind of relationship with my kids to be able to be with them all day, much less do school":
"I was becoming painfully aware of how quickly their childhoods were going to be over and what a sucky job I was doing as a parent to pass on to them what I actually thought was important. None of which was found in this place called “school” that I was sending them away to 8 hours a day...It was to create an authentic loving relationship with them that would go beyond parent and child, to discipler and disciplee."
Now, for my 'local' friends of mine, as you know, we are not doing anything near close to 'unschooling'... this year. I'm not even going to say whether what we're doing is actually working. I believe it might be too soon, because there have been too many extremes of emotions going on in this house in the past four weeks to know whether what we're doing is positive or negative at this point. I do know, I love getting up in the morning and not having to be anywhere, and know that we're late when we get there. That's awesome :)

Are we connected? Follow me on Twitter and friend me on Facebook :)

I give up

Ten months ago I bought a couple of domain names that suited my interests. The idea was, that  was going to create my own sites and get on to the business of blogging, because that's what I enjoy. People, perfection will kill you. Costs have been tight this year, especially since the Spring, and the little it would cost to pay for a year's worth of hosting, keeps getting pushed back because I frankly think it's more worth going out on date night with hubby. Soon, though, I feel it in my bones, the hosting is going to be here. Meanwhile, I'm tired of not writing, not exchanging ideas, not having an outlet for myself. So i give up. yes, here's my humble little blogger hosted blog. Reactivated. There's no bells and whistles, just me; because I need to write. You see, we started homeschooling four weeks ago. My eyeballs are about to start bleeding! I need this outlet, so I'm taking it. Forget what the pros say about having your domain name, and not having the latest and greatest plugin. Oh. Well. That will come later. Until then, I hope you will still comment and give feedback. Welcome, to my little blog :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

5 Reasons People "Unfriend" You on Facebook

This is good for a laugh, but has at least a smidgen of truth in it, too, I believe. What do you think?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tell Me Thursday: Here's a Tissue

This was taken at our favorite Hibachi Grill Restaurant. We were standing in front of the aquarium & Hannah says "Hey mom, look- that dragon needs a tissue. His nose is running"


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Should Parents of 'Sexting' Teens Be Punished?

A new law introduced by State Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin, Texas), would make "sexting" a Class C misdemeanor requiring a court appearance for the teenaged violator, and would allow a judge to 'sentence' his or her parent to participate in an education program on sexting's long-term harmful consequences.

Right now, teens caught sexting in Texas can be charged with possessing or trafficking in child pornography. There are similar laws in Florida, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Utah that I know about. Secularly speaking, I find that interesting considering teens, in my opinion, are still children themselves to be charged with "child" pornography charges. If children looking at children, is considered "illegal porn", then why isn't the act of adults looking at adults "illegal porn", as well? (Hmmm...) This offense carries the potential of decades of prison time, plus the requirement that the teen register for the rest of his or her life as a sex offense pervert. Yet, it is perfectly ok for adults to commit the same crime, and its legal. Why is it that children 17 and under are worth "protecting" from the dangers of porn, but people over 17 do not have the same protection, resulting in porn addictions and sometimes broken marriages? What about the cash strapped women who result to stripping in bars, are they not worth protection from the danger of strangers 'oogling' their bodies, and the emotional scars of humiliation and the potential ruin of their reputation in the future?

Lust is lust, correct? If we're ignoring moral absolutes, and not taking a stance that sex before marriage is wrong, then why is sexting a problem? Kids are taught about sex in middle school, and are offered condoms at school. Parents are fighting for legislation that requires their notification and consent for their underage child (=teen) to have an abortion, which means if a kid can make it to an abortion clinic, our society has said it is ok for them to make a life and death decision to have an abortion without their parents even knowing what is going on.

However, it is NOT ok for them to LOOK at pictures, of something they have seen already, in most cases, in person? Underage children having pictures of other underage children, is really how different than adults having pictures of other adults, if we're not, as a society, saying that sex should be off limits until marriage?

In a survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 15 percent of cell-phone-owning teens ages 12 to 17 had received nude or nearly nude photos by phone. Four percent of the teens said they had sent out sexually explicit photos or videos of themselves. In a different survey by, 15% of the teens (defined as 13-19 years old) who have sent or posted nude/seminude images of themselves, say they have done so to someone they only knew online. (THAT is a statistic that needs to cause worry in all parents hearts!) 2009 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that 46% of all high school students reported ever having had sex—46%of girls and 46% of boys. In a January 2010 study by the Guttmacher Institute, in 2006, the pregnancy rate was 71.5 pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15–19, the abortion rate was 19.3 abortions per 1,000 in the same age range. So for every 71 pregnancies, 19 ended in abortion. That's about 27%, correct? Yet, excuse my simplicity here, but these states are more concerned with ... naked pictures? Can we all agree that the emotional complications of teen sex in general, and the scars that come from pregnancies ended in abortion, and the challenges of being teen parents (especially mothers) are far harder to overcome than the potential "dangers" of sexting?

Then you have this introduced legislation that holds parents accountable for what their kids are doing. Society doesn't want parents to be involved if their daughters are pregnant and wanting abortions, something that will scar them emotionally for the rest of their life- but they want parents involved in the receipt of pictures over cell phones? Can we say "misplaced priorities"? Why should parents have to assume responsibility for something that their child, knowing it is wrong, made a conscious choice to do anyway?

Senator Watson says "This bill's legal provisions ensure that minors are punished for their improper behavior, but do not face life altering criminal charges,"; "This bill ensures that prosecutors, and, frankly, parents, will have a new, appropriate tool to address this issue," "It helps Texas laws keep up with technology and our teenagers.". Really? I'm glad to see that he is able to recognize the extremity of the existing laws, but if my child was caught shoplifting at the mall, when I went to the police station to pick him/her up, and asked them if they knew what they were doing was wrong, yet chose to do it anyway- you bet your bottom dollar I would not have an issue with them receiving the punishment required by law. Should I receive a punishment because my child shoplifted knowing it was wrong? I think not. There is no difference between this and sexting. If a child is old enough to know the difference between right and wrong, then they are old enough to accept the consequences of their actions.

If a child never experiences the cause and effect of this world, they will never learn. How many habitual felons are there out there whose parents took the blame for them when they were young? I believe if we as a society, say that parents must be punished for a child's actions, then that child should not be allowed to behave as an adult until the parents are no longer accountable for said child's actions. They should not drive, or vote. Then again, I'm still trying to figure out why sexting is illegal, but teenage sex ... isn't.

What are your thoughts? Should sexting even be illegal? Should parents be punished for a child's actions?

GratiTuesday: February 7th

Yesterday I had a special situation come up that I wasn't prepared for. Dad has been working at my "aunts" house an extra day for the past few weeks. So where normally I take him over there on Tuesdays, I've been taking him on Mondays, as well. Add to this morning's trip to my aunt's, mom had a Doctor appointment, too. (I'm their designatured "runner".) I leave the kids at school, make the 15 mile trip from school to their house, then off to breakfast we go. On the way to my aunt's from breakfast, Jackson's teacher calls. She was concerned because his eyes were really pink, and his sinuses were very swollen. He didn't have a headache, but said his allergies were bothering him. I know if it's bad enough for a call, then it must be bad. However, I couldn't do anything because I'm in the next county, going the opposite direction, taking dad to my aunt's then mom to her appointment!

So I start calling and texting. No one is available to run any Benedryl up to the school. We get to the Doctor appointment, and I get on my notebook and post on Facebook asking for help, explaining what's going on. Within two minutes someone had said they would take it. Within 20 minutes, the medicine had arrived. I was about thirty miles away, and the Lord used Facebook to make it happen. And the friend that stepped up. Homeschooling mom of four. If there was anyone who could have said no, they were too tied up in their own day, it could have been her. But no, she didn't hesitate!

God is so good. He is able to meet us where we are at. He knew that was going to happen yesterday, and had it all under control. Praise Him.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Rachael Ray Picks Local Hot Dog as 'Best in South'

This is very, very cool. I can't eat regular hot dogs unless I'm ready to weather a migraine because of the msg / nitrates. However, that was not always the case. I grew up right down the road from Pulliams BBQ, where they are known for their famous hot dogs more than the BBQ if you do a poll among us locals. I, personally, love the BBQ just as much as the hot dogs, myself. So to see that Rachael Ray has deemed Pulliam's hot dogs 'Best in South', and among the top four in the NATION, awesome!

Pulliams is getting some great press recently. Just yesterday I found a local blog, Carpe Salem, that posted their Pulliams "experience". As I said, I grew up close by Pulliams. I probably started going up there in third or fourth grade. I remember thinking I was big stuff having my own money to get my own hot dog, and riding my bike up there all by myself to get it. You see, all they cook is the hot dogs and BBQ- you can get a drink, chips, or a pie to go with them, though. The hot dogs were wrapped in napkins, then bagged in a small brown paper bag that fit just right in the basket of my pink banana seat bike. My kids now devour the hot dogs and it wasn't very long ago dad and I were having a conversation about Pulliams celebrating one hundred years of business. I remember being so thankful to be able to pass such a simple, but special experience down to my children.

Now that I can't have hot dogs, I love the BBQ even more. Although, there are times I do get a craving...and when I do, I'll go to Pulliams and make that migraine count!

So, what is your relationship with hot dogs? Love them? Hate them? What's your favorite brand?
Last fall I found Oscar Myer's "MSG/Nitrate/Nitrite Free" line, and was very happy. I don't overdo it, though. It's nice to know when we're attending a hamburger / hot dog event, I can bring my own, affordable hot dogs.

What about you?

Our future in laws

The Lord always has a rhyme and a reason for everything He says in His Word. We might not understand His ways initially, but if we stay our course, it's amazing at how God reveals Himself in our lives. Our kids are still elementary aged right now, but it is already apparent how important it is for them to consider who that "special person" will be, the one that they spend their lives with. When they were in public school, we had examples upon examples of how important it is to recognize godliness in their friends. Jackson with his fourth grade confidence, was the social leader in his class. Hannah, being in first grade, needed a little more guidance, but done just fine. As they've gotten older, it's led to more interesting conversations. I actually think it might be harder as they are older because it's not necessarily black and white and they have to make more of a conscious choice to fight their flesh. It's during this time, that they need to understand that through the friends they choose, their mate will come.

God is specific about marriage. As the Jews in the Old Testament, we are to be yolked to each other, other Christians. Those who believe the same way we do. Otherwise, there will be conflict, and we do not need to put ourselves in a position where we must compromise a conviction or biblical principle, for the sake of our spouses. The same with friendships. Can they have friends who are not Christian? Of course. How else will their lights shine? Should their closest friends, the ones they go to for wisdom and advice, be non- Christians? NO. Because:

"Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly."
Deuteronomy 7:3-4

Do you pray for your children's friends?
How about their future husband or wife?

(Maybe now is a good time to start?)

Around the Web 2/3/11

Interesting posts and blogs I've stumbled across this week:

Beki rocking the duct tape. (@TheRustedChain) I was so tickled to see someone so open about their relationship with duct tape as I. A couple of years ago I discovered the new colors and patterns the duct tape people were putting out. I bought some bright, hot pink duct tape for my three year old class at church. The carpet is a darker blue, so it really "pops". We have anywhere from 12-18 kids each week, so getting them all to the bathroom can be a challenge. Part of our "system" is, three big, bright pick duct tape Xs on the floor next to the exit gate. As our "bathroom runner" has three in the bathroom, about the time they're to return to the room, I'll have three more standing on the "pink spots". That way when the other three come back, the next three will be ready to go!

I liked Joanne's (@JoanneKraft) post "Name Dropper or Networker?", advice for new writers especially, but I do believe it can apply to anyone. It made me think of my returning "grief" over us not winning our State Senate race this past November (district was gerrymandered against us, but I had high hopes!) I told Hannah when we won, and her class made their 3rd grade field trip to Raleigh (our state capital) this Spring, she'd get to point to a State Senator in the legislative building and say "I know him!". We didn't win, but we're still going to Raleigh. Only mommy will be the only one who knows people.

Sherra's (@bakingupchaos) little boy Case is turning six! Happy Birthday Case! I remember when we "met" when he was just a little tyke before either of us ever thought about blogging. She would create the prettiest graphic signatures with pictures taken of him. That was six years ago. She now has FOUR boys! My what time does to us :) Be sure to check out her photography blog. If you live near College Station, Texas, she's offering discounts for Spring weddings, go check it out!

Kim's little man Isaiah is having his surgery next Tuesday (2/8/11), please pray for him. She posted the nicest devotional the other day about ancient boundary stone (Proverbs 23:10) but the cutest post had to be about forgiveness, at 1am.

The greatest surprise I found on the web this week? Amanda's back! This is going to be awesome. I've missed her pictures of the girls, especially Emma's antics.

What have you seen on the web that's worth sharing? How about your "Around the Web" post?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Chick Fil A Controversy

I've been tweeting for over a month about the rage against Chick Fil A in Pennsylvania and the calls for boycotting the chain because they disagree with the company providing food to "some of the most ferocious anti-gay groups around". At first I thought wow, that's quite a charge, what are these groups doing? Participating in lynchings? Contracting hits on gay people? I mean, what actually defines "ferocious"?
Merriam Webster says:
"1: exhibiting or given to extreme fierceness and unrestrained violence and brutality
2: extremely intense "

The group in question was the Pennsylvania Family Institute. In Particular, Chick Fil A is providing lunch for thier marriage seminar "The heart of marriage: getting to the heart of God's design for marriage".
View the promotional trailer:

From their Mission and Values page:
"The Mission of the Pennsylvania Family Institute is to strengthen families by restoring to public life the traditional, foundational principles and values essential for the well-being of society. We are a research and education organization devoted to restoring these values to our state and nation. We produce policy reports, promote responsible citizenship and work to promote unity among pro-family groups."
and their About page:
The Need for Strong Families Has Never Been Greater
In the last three decades, the number of out of wedlock births in Pennsylvania increase an astounding 400%, more than doubling for age 19 and younger.
In 1960, less than 1 out of 5 marriages in Pennsylvania ended in divorce. Today, statistically half of all marriages taking place this year will end in divorce.
In 1992-93, Pennsylvania ranked 4th nationally in total public school spending, yet the state has a high illiteracy rate, with SAT scores and high school graduation rates consistently below the national average.
Young people are becoming more violent. From 1987 to 1992, juvenile aggravated assault increased in Pennsylvania by 59% and juvenile drug offenses rose 96%.
Hard-core pornography has proliferated breaking down barriers of decency and offering its patrons a distorted view of morals and sexuality.
Each day 33,000 people contract a sexually-transmitted disease. That equates to over 12 million cases per year, up from 4 million in 1980.
Sobering as they may be, these numbers are still cold and faceless. At Pennsylvania Family Institute they come alive, representing real people who are experiencing the results of a culture that is turning its back on the family.
So where is the ferociousness?

Oh. The group supports a state constitutional amendment to define marriage as man and woman. To watch the trailer for the event, one would be hard pressed to think the event was focused around gay marriage, as a matter of fact, no where in the event information is the definition of marriage even mentioned, contrary to what is saying:
"The February event co-sponsored by Chick-fil-A is called "The Art of Marriage," and it's intended to be a launching point for Pennsylvania to return to "the biblical definition of marriage." Given the work of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, it's hard not to see where this event is going to go -- straight for the jugular of anyone who supports marriage equality for same-sex couples."
Man, talk about violent rhetoric! "Straight for the jugular"? Are they trying to imply that this group is conspiring in some way to kill gay people? Contrary to what this group believes, when I attend faith based meetings that talk about topics pertaining to my marriage, gay marriage is the least thing on my mind. My marriage, and my life, is on my mind. The comment that I found most dramatic was:
"And if you're spending money on Chick-fil-A sandwiches, you're helping the Pennsylvania Family Institute deliver this message." (message being, supporting traditional marriage through a citizen vote instead of judicial activism)
The above comments then lead up to the call for a boycott of Chick Fil A because of the donation of sandwiches to a marriage seminar. That leaves several thoughts. I'm not a "boycotter" myself. I'm a firm believer that, if you do not like what a business is doing, you have the right to not spend your money at that establishment. I do believe, however, that over-inflated calls for boycotts are too dramatic for my tastes. The call by for people to boycott Chick Fil A, I believe, is as equally dramatic as the calls for boycotts by the American Family Association. You do not need a dramatic diatribe to convince people to do something. Let people make the choice themselves. "Did you know Chick Fil A was donating food to a marriage seminar event promoted by a group that supports a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as man and woman?"

The defense of Chick Fil A has been interesting. The other day, I heard the quote on the radio AND read it online myself, the current President of Chick Fil A, Dan Cathey (son of the founder):

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution:
Cathy says Chick-fil-A operates its business on Biblical principles but "is not a Christian company."
But to watch this video, it seems Mr. Cathy might be spinning a little:

Dan Cathy Statement from Chick-fil-A on Vimeo.

To insist that Chick Fil A is anything BUT a Christian company, strikes a nerve with a great many conservatives. While not questioning the company's founding principles, I question, however, just how committed Dan Cathy is to his father's vision. The evidence is clear, for me, to feel comfortable in doing so. There is no doubt that the company values Christianity, you can hear that through the music played in the dining rooms of the restaurants; but WHY did he say the company was NOT Christian? Is he comfortable enough in his statement that providing food is not the same as endorsing a group, that the chain would donate food to anti-marriage (poke poke, that is MY buzz word) groups that are vehemently FOR marriages having to be validated by the state to begin with? In other words, those groups who are pushing sooo hard for homosexual marriages to be legislated the same as heterosexual marriages?

These are my questions:
If providing food is not the same as an endorsement- will Chick Fil A, as an olive branch to those who are so angry with them now (to shut them up?)- donate food to groups that do not live to glorify Jehovah God in all that they do?

Is it possible, to live one's life morally, in line with biblical principles, and NOT be Christian?

What are your thoughts?

I look forward to reading your responses below. For now, I'm headed up the road to Chick Fil A for lunch- because I appreciate the people who work there and wish to see their jobs secured through my money.

Tell Me Thursday: Groundhog Day 2011

Welcome to this week's edition of "Tell Me Thursday" (about) "Wordless Wednesday". When I got my new camera last year (Sony Cybershot) I went crazy at the soccer games taking pictures. I love getting the "action shots". I was flipping through an album from last year's Spring season, deleting a ton of them because we'll never see those kids again. (At the same time I'm making space on my hard drive, of course!) I ran across this picture and thought what an interesting moment to capture.

The girl on the left is standing literally at an angle, and the boy on the right's foot is literally at waist level. Then you have your girl in the middle, standing there just looking at the ball!


Things that make you go "hmmm".

I recently noticed that the operators of the Tell me Thursday website have not ran their linky in a month, and have not updated their Twitter account longer than that. I still plan on doing Tell Me Thursday because it works for me. It's not really a "Wordless Wednesday" if there are words present, correct? :)

Share your Wordless Wednesday and Tell me Thursday links today so I can see what you shared this week!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

“Mommy, what’s an abortion?”

Talking to Girls about Abortion
I had a conversation recently I was definitely not ready, or prepared to have. One evening my nine year old daughter, Hannah, and I were sitting in my bed about to watch a movie. I was just finishing up writing something on the laptop and had Twitter open.  I saw a tweet from a pro life activist and without thinking clicked the link in the tweet, thinking it was going to an article. Oops. If I had looked closer, I would have seen it was a picture link. The tweet said something along the lines of “know the truth about abortion”. I thought that was a curious way of putting things, don’t you? Well, the truth was there, right under my nose! I quickly clicked away having Hannah right there beside me, but she saw it. It was a picture of a baby aborted … late term.  It was one of an entire album of pictures of aborted babies of varying points during a pregnancy.  She insisted I click back to the picture- “Mama, what was THAT?”.
The conversation went something along the lines:
“It’s a picture of a baby that has been aborted.”
“Mommy, what’s an abortion? Is that baby dead?”
“Yes, that baby is dead. A doctor took it out of its mommy’s belly before it was ready to be born, and it was not able to live.”
“Why did the doctor take it out?”
“Because (long pause) the mommy didn’t want to have a baby.”
“Did the mommy know the baby would die?”
(long pause)

“Why did the mommy want the baby to die?”
“Some women get pregnant but do not want to have a baby, so they get abortions”
“Why do they get pregnant if they don’t want to have a baby?”
(My mind is racing at this point, sitting in utter disbelief we’re having this conversation at all)

“They don’t mean to get pregnant on purpose, but sometimes they just do. Maw maw and paw paw did not get pregnant with mommy on purpose, I was a surprise to them.”
“…and they did not get an abortion so you were born.”
“Isn’t aborting a baby, killing it?”
“What do you think?”
“Do you think aborting babies makes God happy?”
She saw the preview for the “next” and “last” pictures and said “click mama, click!”. So we clicked through the entire album. Bloody pictures, an arm, a leg,  tiny feet ... little tiny bodies. She sat there staring at one picture for a minute and her voice cracked a little, and she said “turn it mommy. That’s making me so sad. I’m never going to have an abortion. I’m going to have my baby!” I give her a hug and say “I know that makes God happy. Just remember you have to be married before you start thinking about babies”
She answers me with “Isn’t that the only way you can have a baby?”
“Why yes, sweetie, it is. Let’s go get a snack.” “Okay!”
Hey, she’s nine. I’m keeping it simple!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Dear Rachael Ray

(Update below)

Dear Rachael Ray,
I have been observing the exchange between you and Randall Christensen, the costume designer for the show "Dancing with the Stars". I thought your addressing his letter last week and apologizing for any offense was very gracious of you. The fact is, not one time did you ever say the outfits the contestants on the show wore were ugly. You stated a personal opinion of how "little" the outfits were. You should NEVER apologize for having an opinion! You are entitled to have an opinion, Rachael!

I have watched you since my now nine year old daughter was a toddler. She has grown up watching you cook. Countless hours we have cuddled up on our couch watching 30 Minute Meals on the Food Network, and I can't begin to explain how beneficial it has been in my quest to get my child to eat a variety of foods. In the past year, my daughter has become quite observant, and she has only mentioned ONE thing she wished you done differently. She wished you did not show as much skin "up top". Much to our delight to see you stick to your principles last week and for her to see that you, one of her role models, are indeed a modest person (even if some of your shirts are sometimes too low cut for her tastes). She still admires you for who you are, and respects that your clothing choices are sometimes different than what she wishes you would choose.

I was hoping to see you continue to stand up for your principles (because you are right) when Mr. Christensen wrote you back. This evening when my daughter sees you agreeing to try on one of his custom, designed-for-you dresses, I am going to explain this scenario as one of conflict resolution. I HOPE, come Thursday, when you try on Mr. Christenson's dress, you will stick to the truth. If it shows too much skin, you will say so, and stand by your conviction that while the dresses he designs for the contestants are fine for the contestants, it is not your personal preference to show that much of your body.

As a fan, but more importantly, the mother of a fan, I hope you will be willing to convey the fact that it is more important to stick to your value of personal modesty, than it is to have someone who cannot respect your own opinion, "like" you; because in our society, it's hard enough to teach our daughters that people who cannot accept you for who you are, insisting you change yourself in order to be "accepted" -- are bullies, without having what decent role models we have left for our children, succumb to bullying.

Wendy, mom to Hannah

Well, she done it! She put on her custom dress made by the Dancing With The Stars costume designer. I believe she was sincere, clearly uncomfortable, but very respectful. Jackson sat and watched it (Hannah didn't want to), and even he mentioned how uncomfortable she looked. The dress, I didn't believe, was much different in length than the outfits she wears with leggings, and it was a simple, spaghetti strap top. In other words, he made it more conservative than what you typically see on the show, but flashy and less enough material Rachel was out of her comfort zone. Why take my word for it, go see the video here. I still don't agree with the premise of the whole ordeal, but, it is over, and she stayed true to herself. That's why I love Rachael Ray.

This is why kids act up

Have you seen the news today? If not, this was a highlight from this morning's news:

This is the summary of what happened-
"The brawl broke out during a game between the Butler Bulldogs and the East Mecklenburg Eagles when a Butler player's father started arguing with a school resource officer on January 28, 2011."

Maybe, just maybe, if the adults in our society actually ACTED with the maturity that adults are expected to behave, our children would not run around with such utter disrespect- not only for each other but for adults and other authority figures in their lives. It's behavior like this, I believe, is why children run around acting like the world owes them something and they end up never truly contributing anything positive to their environment. So sad.
Even worse? This happened in my state. How embarrassing!

Thoughts? Agree? Disagree?

Why multiple twitter accounts?

I first started on Twitter in 2009. My primary interest was following and tweeting about politics. When I started designing my own Twitter backgrounds, I created a second account to test out my backgrounds. I figured I could tweet about all things FLYlady on that account. Then I started following the "Mommy Bloggers" on the second account. I then realized it would likely be easier for people who did not see the same politically as me, to reciprocate follows on the second account. Social Media is about building relationships, correct? So I had my "political" relationships on the first account, and "non political" relationships on the second account. Then in December I decided to get back into blogging for myself, so, here we have the third account. The third account, essentially, was meant to replace the second, and be a better representation for my "personal brand".

Then I started going to the gym, and realized it would be easy to keep up with what I done at the gym, by tweeting my workouts as I completed sets, treadmill sessions, etc through the second account. The plan is, I tweet the details, then come home and copy the tweets into my workout logs. In the end, the second Twitter account found a purpose, anyway! Not to mention, if I would start getting more organized with FLYlady, I could start tweeting about that again, too.

Are you on Twitter (what's your handle)? How many Twitter accounts do you have? Do you use different accounts for different things?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Isn't it Amazing

One can never ponder enough upon Christs birth, can they? What a beautiful song!!

Have a blessed Sunday!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Why did the chicken cross the road?

SARAH PALIN : The chicken crossed the road because, gosh-darn it, he's a maverick!
BARACK OBAMA : The chicken crossed the road because it was time forchange ! The chicken wanted change !  
JOHN MC CAINMy friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.
HILLARY CLINTON When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure right from Day One that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't about me.
GEORGE W. BUSH We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.
DICK CHENEY : Where's my gun?
COLIN POWELL Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.
BILL CLINTON I did not cross the road with that chicken. What is your definition of chicken?
AL GORE: I invented the chicken.
JOHN KERRY Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.
AL SHARPTON Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.
DR. PHIL The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his current problems before adding new problems.
OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.
NANCY GRACE That chicken crossed the road because he's guilty ! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.
PAT BUCHANAN To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.
MARTHA STEWART No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.
DR SEUSS Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.
ERNEST HEMINGWAY To die in the rain, alone.
GRANDPA: In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.
BARBARA WALTERS Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its lifelong dream of crossing the road.
ARISTOTLE It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.
JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.
BILL GATES I have just released eChicken2008, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken2008. This new platform is much more stable and will never reboot.
ALBERT EINSTEIN Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?
COLONEL SANDERS : Did I miss one?

If I fall down, I'm going to sue!

I saw this story on Fox this morning, and thought "Hey, that's a serious "America's Funniest Home Videos" clip! Check it out:

Then I hear the rest of the story, this woman has retained a lawyer and is suing because she's humiliated because the video was put on You Tube by the mall security and "she" was being laughed at. Seriously? Her name was never mentioned in the video! They had NO IDEA who she was. All the people who viewed this video knew was some person, who is not identifiable by any stretch of the imagination- was apparently too concerned with texting on their phone to watch where they were going and flipped straight into the mall's water fountain.


Sorry lady- that's FUNNY! Only now that she is going public to try and milk the situation with a lawsuit, is she identifying herself as the one who was not paying attention and natural consequences took over. What makes it worse is, now that she has revealed her identity, we find out she's a mall employee! Of ALL people who are forewarned of your surroundings, she would be!

Yes, texting and walking IS dangerous, when you are actually on the street and could potentially walk in front of a bus. But Ms. Marrero, you weren't. You were in the mall. You tripped straight into a fountain. End of story! To actually bring a lawsuit forward because ... you were not responsible enough to ... watch where you were walking? Really? That's almost as asinine as a girl's parents suing the city because their daughter fell into a man hole because she was not watching where she was walking while she was texting. (Who was I supposed to sue when I tripped on grass and smashed my face in?)

What has happened to our society that as soon as YOU do something YOU are responsible for, the first thing that happens is to DENY responsibility? For WALKING? Common sense must prevail in our society. Instead of making texting and walking illegal, not taking responsibility for your own actions should be made illegal. So when a frivolous lawsuit is brought forth, and it is dismissed for no grounds, the person bringing forth the lawsuit must pay a STEEP fine and the fine be donated to charity.

Are you with me?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

GratiTuesday: 1-1-11

This week's GratiTuesday post will be short, sweet, and simple. All day I have been grateful for heat .... and a roof over my head. Simple things, but something a lot of people in this world do not have. Yesterday started bright and early at 4:30am, and the school calling just before six cancelling. So I didn't get to sleep in like I was sharing with one of my Twitter friends, but I was up long before the kids were and was able to get a lot of things done. I was thankful for the silence. I'll confess I wasn't thankful for not being able to get to the gym, but I worked through it! ALL DAY, yesterday and today, I've been inside in my warm, cozy house, with my coffee maker pumping out the liquid gold. I also got to sleep in this morning, because school called last night to inform us instead of making us wait until this morning. Yes, I'm thankful for sleeping in, and I get to do it again tomorrow, too!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Giffords, Palin, and Tolerance

I've been observing the Arizona shooting incident and the subsequent news coverage and blog posts since the shooting happened. As soon as I turned on my TV Saturday night and saw the ongoing coverage, my first thought was "Oh no, they're going to blame the TEA Party.". Instantly, I felt bad. Politics was not the story. The story was, someone, who at the time they did not know who he was, shot 13 people, and at the time five was dead, including a nine year old girl. My kids often attend political events with me. That could have been me. My daughter just turned nine. That could have been her. I should have never, in a perfect world, had to have the thought cross my mind of what kind of political mudslinging was about to occur because a Democrat Congresswoman was shot in the head. THAT is the environment in which our Main Stream "Media" has created in our society. Then I stopped, listened, and learned more about her political history.

Gabrielle Gifford's Political History
She used to be a Republican. She then changed to the Democrat party. She is known as a "Blue Dog" Democrat. ("Blue Dog" means "Conservative".) If there was a Democrat that the TEA Party would "like", it would be a Conservative Democrat in theory. It might be news to some, but Sarah Palin does not dictate what happens within the TEA Party. Go even further, there are a number who identify with the TEA Party values who do not even care for Palin, and believe the TEA Party Express, who Palin toured with, oversteps their boundaries within the movement. There are some TEA Party Patriots who when asked, will share they agree with Palin in ideology but are not a follower of Palin and hope she does not run for President in 2012.

The TEA Party
TEA Party people are very opinionated, and independent thinkers. They do not need a "leader" in the movement, they just want the right person to stand up for the values in which the TEA Party stands on. They're very simple:
- Limited Government
- Lower Taxes
- Eliminate Wasteful Spending
- Free Markets
- Individual Responsibility

Common issues outside the TEA Party platform conservatives agree on can be but are not limited to:
- 2nd Amendment Rights
- Pro Life
- Choice in Education
- Religious Freedom

The Shooter: Jared Lee Loughner, 22 Years Old
- Obvious history of mental instability, became a social outcast in the 10th grade and starting hanging around with the "drug-oriented people".
- The year he would have graduated from high school, and charged with possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.
- Among his favorite books is Communist Manifesto
- Registered Independent, voted in '06 & '08 but not in '10
- Anti-Government
- High school friend Mr. Marriotti says "He wasn't especially political, though he expressed frustration with the Bush Administration."
- Had been following and unhappy with Congresswomen Giffords since 2007.
-At the end of November, he finished a series of youtube videos raging against the government and the Constitution and discussed "terrorism."

Ever since the shooting, people have been pointing to Sarah Palin because last year she posted a chart with cross-hairs representing the Congressional districts that were to be targeted in the 2010 election based on the health care vote that occurred in March. After the Democrats pushed the health care legislation through (without some underhanded tricks along the way), Palin tweeted to conservatives "Don't Retreat, Reload." Normal people, which encompass 99% of the people who follow her, took it for what it was: encouragement not to give up on the political process.

The chart she posted was not unlike a chart posted in 2004 by the Democrat Leadership Committee, where the targeted districts were referred to as "enemy lines". Enemies. Where have we heard that recently? Oh, Obama!
"And if Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, we're gonna punish our enemies and we're gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us, if they don't see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it's gonna be harder - and that's why I think it's so important that people focus on voting on November 2," he said. (October 2010)
Have Republicans been blaming all violence committed towards Conservatives, by Latinos, since October because those "Mean, Old, White Republicans" are their enemy? Hardly not. Yes, words do matter. I personally wish my President did not refer to me as his enemy, but that's between him and God. Logic prevails, no one is blaming President Obama for Conservative deaths coincidentally caused by Hispanics because he said Conservatives were their enemies.

Lets not forget our own President has also said:
"If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,"
"They are fired up. They are mobilized. They see an opportunity to take back the House, maybe take back the Senate," he said. "If they're successful in doing that, they've already said they're going to go back to the same policies that were in place during the Bush administration. That means that we are going to have just hand-to-hand combat up here on Capitol Hill."
Anti Government / Revolution / Violence...
One line of conversation that was being had before the election was that Obama was not moving forward fast enough with his agenda, and the "Professional Left" (translate: the liberal base) was upset with him because of it. Buzz was that liberal "enough" legislation was not being passed fast enough. Then MSNBC highlights an author who wrote a book that promotes violence because of a "failed" government:

What about someone who used to be a "homegrown terrorist" now working in the Obama Administration, that to this day has not denounced the violence led by the group he was involved in? To not denounce it, would be to endorse it, and our Presidential Administration employs this person?

Guns do not kill people, PEOPLE kill people.
The debate is already up concerning "gun control". It is a proven fact that when people are permitted to protect themselves, the crime rate is down. Enlgand had a ban on guns in 1997, but in 2007 statistics were released that showed an increase of 340% between 1998 and 2005. In a study titled "Guns, Violent Crime, and Suicide in 21 Countries" by the Canadian Journal of Criminology found that countries with more widespread gun ownership had fewer murders while countries with less gun ownership had more murders. How about Washington D.C.? It was reported just last year that after the handgun ban was struck down by the courts, murder rates decreased by 25%. The same article refers to Chicago's gun ban, and how unsuccessful it is at protecting people.

Political rhetoric did not kill those people on Saturday, mental illness and instability did. Sarah Palin did not trigger this man no more than politics triggered Michael Hayes.

It is a sad day in America when the death of someone has to be politicized. 
Lets STOP THE EXPLOITATION of these precious souls that were lost on Saturday; and
Lets STOP THE HATE towards political figures, period. I challenge any person reading this to explore their thoughts and think about the hate and contempt that is in their hearts towards those who do not share the same ideology.
TOLERANCE goes both ways.

My (new) friend Sarah said it best:
You might not be tolerant if you
Glenn Reynolds hit the nail on the head when he said:
"To be clear, if you're using this event to criticize the "rhetoric" of Mrs. Palin or others with whom you disagree, then you're either: (a) asserting a connection between the "rhetoric" and the shooting, which based on evidence to date would be what we call a vicious lie; or (b) you're not, in which case you're just seizing on a tragedy to try to score unrelated political points, which is contemptible. Which is it?"

"I know this is disappointing to politicians and the media, but sometimes the story just isn’t about you. It’s about the people who were shot, and the person who shot them." - "Stu"

The image of cross-hairs, and guns existed long before Sarah Palin come on the scene, and they'll be around along with the existence of target maps for elections long after she's not on the scene; and people will still be murdered because that is the unfortunate consequence of the society we live in that will never be changed.

If there ever was a time for bipartisanship, it should be now. We can all agree the attention needs to be paid to the ones who lost loved ones, little Christina's parents, and the injured survivors of this unfortunate event. Let God hash out the rest!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Favorite movies from 2010

We saw four "new" movies this year that we really enjoyed and would watch again. In order of level of enjoyment, they go as follows:

Despicable Me
This has to be one of THE funniest movies I have seen ... since Nemo. Kid. You. Not. We laughed SO hard watching this the first, second, and third time :) I'm not a big DVD person because we DVR a lot, but we got the kids the Blue Ray version of this movie for Christmas and it was worth every penny.

Ramona and Beezus
THE cutest of all girl movies. Light hearted, sweet, loving, pink cotton candy and blue butterflies. This movie was ALL girlie, which is why Jackson was glad this movie was seen on a "mom & Hannah" day :) Unfortunately for him, this will be a DVD purchase, as well. He will see it one day! Selena Gomez plays the role of big sister struggling with her confidence perfectly. If this was a hint into her movie acting abilities, I hope she stays with roles very similar to this, appropriate for 8 year old girls.

Not only will we get the DVD of this, but I found a Beverly Cleary box set of "Ramona" books while Christmas shopping that Hannah is going to LOVE. She'll have them finished in no time! (I'm very excited about finding a new set of books for her to read.)

Toy Story 3
I was very surprised when we saw this movie. I expected it to be dud-like, like Shrek 3 was. It wasn't. I cried. There. I said it! This one was equally as good as the first and second movies. Would we buy a DVD? I'm not sure. This one probably will stay in the "DVR column", only because the kids are older. If we have Braden (our part time four year old great nephew) more and settle into a regular routine with him, I'll consider maybe getting a boxed set when they come out with those.

This movie was very cute. We LOVED how realistic that HUGE Great Dane was. Cute storyline. Family friendly, hands down. We'll be watching it again when it is on TV.

What movies did you enjoy in 2010? Any recommendations?