recipes. whatever is true. adoption. whatever is just. redemption. whatever is honorable. modesty. whatever is pure. motherhood. whatever is lovely. think about it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

...And Justice For All

Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.
1 Timothy 4:12

I have been working with the boys this last week on memorizing and reciting the 'Pledge of Allegiance'. I have found that just repeating it at all times of the day in completely random settings has caught their attention. In the car...the bathtub...during chores...before bedtime, etc. when their listening ears are on- granted, it doesn't hurt that I'm standing tall with my hand over my heart and using my best theatre voice! :)

So...last night during our bedtime routine, I decided to test it. The boys and I were sitting in my youngest's room and I suddenly burst out with, "I"! and then pointed to my 4 year old. He continued to repeat the entire pledge (I inserted a couple of prepositions to keep the flow moving, but he did the rest). When we came to the very end, however, he stalled just for a minute with, "...With Liberty and...??"

My 26 month old promptly jumped to his knees on the bed, threw his hand over his heart and boldly proclaimed, "...Justice for ALL!"

I thought I was going to fall off the bed! Isn't it amazing what they can learn even so young? We are going to work on the book of Deuteronomy next. :) With all seriousness, this has really shown me how little ones are truly able to learn and memorize with a greater capacity than even I can at my age.

Be encouraged! Now is the time to start memorizing large passages of scripture that they will take with them and hold in their hearts for years to come!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Picture Perfect

Sleeping soundly, my oldest just looked too 'picture perfect' to pass up a good 'ole kodak moment!

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Bonfire

What could be better than an indoor "bonfire" over the heating vent at 7:30am? My eldest built up the "fire" with lots of "wood" and we were ready to go! Using dough hooks from my stand mixer, by boys roasted their treats. Ahhh, yes... marshmallows in the morning!

Friday, October 26, 2007

To The Editor... Continued from 10/25 Blog Posting

To the Editor:

I find it appalling that the article written by Marianne Gabel was given such credence by your newspaper. I was shocked that you chose to print such a highly debatable topic without any measure given to the other side of the argument. The notion that families would be encouraged or even forced to limit their family size for the 'sake of the nation' is dangerous on many different levels. Ethically it is incomprehensible and economically it is disastrous.

Consider the implications that China is currently experiencing. Journalist Matt Rosenburg states that, "China's one child policy was established by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1979 to limit communist China's population growth. Although designated a "temporary measure," it continues a quarter-century after its establishment. The policy limits couples to one child. Fines, pressures to abort a pregnancy, and even forced sterilization accompanied second or subsequent pregnancies. This rule has caused a disdain for female infants; abortion, neglect, abandonment, and even infanticide have been known to occur to female infants."

Data shows that the population of 143 million Russians today will drop drastically to 111 million in 2050. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently directed his nation's parliament to develop a plan to reduce the country's falling birthrate. Putin called the problem of this dramatically declining population, "The most acute problem of contemporary Russia." Their youths are encouraged to take part in mass wedding ceremony's at camps with the purpose of "procreating for the motherland".

An article taken from a recent U.S. census bureau finding states that the U.S. population growth rate is slowing. "Despite these large increases in the number of persons in the population, the rate of population growth is projected to decrease during the next six decades by about 50 percent, from 1.10 between 1990 and 1995 to 0.54 between 2040 and 2050. The decrease in the rate of growth is predominantly due to the aging of the population and, consequently, a dramatic increase in the number of deaths. From 2030 to 2050, the United States would grow more slowly than ever before in its history."

The issue of Social Security in the U.S. is troubling. There is less Social Security money because there are less workers and there are less workers because 45 million people have been aborted since 1973. The economy will collapse unless we do something to raise the birth rate. The decrease in childbearing and the increase in contraception and abortion over the last thirty years have, in part, brought us to the point that we are today.

A desire for balance should be pursued to live well and enjoy the earth we live on. When ecology, however, arbitrates morality, we all suffer.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Consider Reducing Baby Emissions

"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."
Psalms 127:3-5

This morning I sat down to read our local paper and came upon the following article. I was shocked and disgusted at the message it portrayed. If you are as apalled as I was after reading, please respond (in Christ centered love) to the editor of the Northwest News and/or the author below. Let them know that this is not the kind of articles that we want to be printed our papers. Please remember to sign your name, as anonymous letters will not be read or printed and keep the comments 300 words or less, per the standards of the paper. I will comment about my views on this article in a later post.

Author Marianne Gabel:

By Marianne Gabel, One Earth

Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2007 2:05 PM EDT

"The busy people on this planet make greenhouse gases (GHG) that cause climate change. Most folks understand that. But we make something else: more people. Population increase is the "missing piece" in discussions of global warming. It is a sensitive but very important topic. Let my imaginary friend, the Inquiring Reader, lead the conversation.

Inquiring Reader: What is the global population now? Where is it headed?

One Earth: There are about 6.7 billion people crowding the planet today. The United Nations has predictions about how much earth's population will grow by 2050, in 43 years.The "likely" prediction is a 40 percent increase, to 9.2 billion people. The "high" projection is 10.6 billion, the "low" projection 7.9 billion people. All projections assume at least some drop in birth rates. If we keep reproducing at the exact rate we are now, does 12 billion sound scary enough?

I.R.: Close to double! But what's the connection to global warming?

One Earth: Human activity makes carbon dioxide. Over the last 2,000 years, the increase in people and the increase in carbon dioxide emissions have marched in lockstep.

I.R.: Who's going to be having those babies that the U.N. is predicting?

One Earth: Most will be born in the developing world. The population of the 50 least developed countries is set to double.

I.R.: But those people won't be driving SUVs. How will they increase greenhouse gases?

One Earth: More people, more carbon, even if each person's share is smaller. Also, they cut down trees to plant more crops and to get wood for fuel. Because trees grow by locking up carbon dioxide, forest cutting is causing nearly 20 percent of the world's GHG increase.
I.R.: What about in the developed world, like the United States?One Earth: Population in the developed world won't grow very much between now and 2050, except from immigration. But we -- particularly Americans -- create a lot more carbon dioxide than the poorer countries. Americans represent about 4 percent of the world's population but we produce 25 percent of the CO2. So a baby born in the United States already has a size 13 carbon footprint.I.R.: Is Central Ohio any different?
One Earth: The Delaware County Engineer's office reported this spring that the county's population had grown 42.5 percent since 2000. Franklin County added almost 30,000 people during the same time span. A lot of planted and forested acres have been paved over, and there are a lot more cars. If we want to find places where CO2 increases should be cut, we can start right here, in our own growing counties
.I.R.: Isn't more being done everywhere to reduce global warming gases?
One Earth: Yes, and of course that's critical, but you know what? We could work very hard and find our carbon reductions offset by more people arriving on the planet.
I.R.: What needs to be done? It probably needs to be done quickly.
One Earth: The good news is that in the developing world, things can turn around quickly if women have information and access to family planning. Between 1950 and 2005, women in Mexico and Brazil went from averaging more than six children each to about 2.4 children. When women in poorer countries can choose family size, they consistently choose smaller families. They know they can take better care of fewer children and make the whole family better off. But they can't do it unless contraception is easily available! America should give a huge boost in our international aid to offer voluntary reproductive health services to the women who want it.
I.R.: What about here in the U.S.?
One Earth: When 35 percent of births in the United States are from unplanned pregnancies, it's just as important for Americans to have solid information and access to contraception. We need to pay much more attention to family planning. We've been stingy in ensuring money for contraception at home as well as in the underdeveloped countries. Bush Administration policies have been downright obstructionist.For a change, though, a bipartisan bill called the Ohio Prevention First Act, co-sponsored by state Rep. Jon Peterson (R-Delaware), is in committee in the General Assembly. Its purpose is to prevent unintended pregnancies. Let's hope it passes.
I.R.: But don't we love babies and want them?
One Earth: Of course! Every child should be wanted and loved, and every child deserves a chance at a happy life. As global warming unrolls, every day offers us choices that can improve the odds for all children on earth. Smaller family size is one of those choices.
I.R.: Imagine the difference if we can hold global population to 7.9 billion instead of 9.2 or 10.6 billion, and can cut our greenhouse gases, too!
One Earth: There would be less pollution, less disease, fewer waves of people driven from one place to another in search of food and water or hounded by weather catastrophes and wars.In other words, our choices can reduce epic human suffering. A population increase that doesn't happen could be our most compassionate and moral gift to the future of all life on earth, including our own.

Ready To Shop?

washing cloths

If you are trying to break out of the rut of a materialistic Christmas, I would like to recommend to you Gospel for Asia.

Gospel for Asia (or GFA) is a ministry that builds support for indigenous Asian missionaries. Native missionaries are extraordinarily effective since they have already mastered the languages and nuances of their cultures. Today, over 85 percent of Asian countries do not allow western missionaries to come and freely preach the Gospel and plant churches. These brothers and sisters in Christ live purposefully at the level of their neighbors, often in severe poverty, all for the sake of the Gospel. GFA passes on 100% of your donations directly to the missionaries or the cause that you designate.

For an eye opening experience, take a peek through the GFA Christmas catalogue at Here you can find water purifiers, water buffaloes, wells and a spring of life overflowing.

This Christmas, please bust traditional self-gratification and buy an Asian a chicken! Such a small gift will be an incredible blessing! A great legacy to give to your children...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Endurance To The End

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me"

Philippians 4:13

Okay, mommies...remember when the blessed event finally arrived? After nine months of waiting and waiting and waiting your little one was prepared to make their grand entrance into the world! You prepare for the labor. You plan for the birth. You even buy special objects to get you through it. We all go through it. For some, the pain and hours endured during the labor and delivery process was less than others, but we still had to endure through it. With our husband by our side we again had to be patient and wait throughout the process.

God designed our bodies with such precision that, barring any complications, the baby will make it's way from the security of the mothers womb to the hands of the awaiting doctor or midwife. The pain is intense and the process involuntary. Even when we turned to the nurse and proclaimed that "We were done! Thanks anyway, but I've decided to go home!", we were gently reminded, "Sorry, honey...but it's too late now!" And we endured... until that beautiful baby was placed on our chest.

I thought about this as I ran my race this last weekend. I was only a couple of miles from the finish line and I was exhausted. My feet were numb, my hands and arms tingled, and my legs begged for a break from the endless auto pilot of movement. For months I have trained and prepared for this day. I have endured the long runs, invested in the gear, and planned for these last begrudging miles.

God designed our bodies, barring any physical handicaps, to carry us to that finish line. Run it, walk it, or crawl it. We were going to finish it. As the miles started creeping up and up, I started noticing people stop running and moving to the left or right of the road. Bending over to catch their breath...stopping for a restroom break...guzzling water and then crashing to the grassy curb. Some even shaking their heads and unlacing their running shoes.

This pain was voluntary. I wasn't dealing with the pain I had no way of stopping... I was causing the pain! Myself and all the other runners that day could have stopped at mile one or two..or twelve. Trust me, by mile twelve I definitely wanted to stop. It was everything I had to push myself across the finish line. There was joy in finishing! Sheer willpower and craziness pushed us to continue. I can honestly say that it is the most pain that I have purposely put my body through in my entire life. And through Christ, I endured...until that medal was placed around my neck.

Endure, my friends through the voluntary trials of life. Remember, it is Christ who gives us strength to push on!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Where Does Your Help Come From? Part II

"Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Isaiah 40:31
So as not to lengthen the blog below, I have created a Part II of the half marathon saga. :)
I realized after some feedback that my fabulous medal could not be seen in any of the pictures that I first published. So, ladies and it is! (Could my smile be any 'cheezier'?)

Where Does Your Help Come From?

"My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth"

Psalm 121:2

Today is Tuesday morning and I'm still a little sore. Mainly because I decided that I was too tired on Sunday afternoon to do my customary "post run" icing of my left ankle and knee. So now, I'm paying for it.

We had a beautiful weekend! My parents took the boys on Saturday afternoon and we headed downtown. (In truth, my mom was so kind to have both until later that night since dad was at the OSU football game). They had lots of great grandparent time and even got to attend a bonfire at the neighbors house with grandpa later that night!

It was our 7th anniversary weekend and we acquired a lovely hotel right in the middle of 'race central' for our time away. Hundreds of other runners and their families were staying there as well. A great sense of camaraderie! We went to the expo and picked up my racing packet, bib number, and free tech shirt- very nice!

Afterwards we headed deeper into the city to check out the view and get some dinner. Ended up at a trendy little Italian hot spot. We enjoyed our alone time together, but couldn't help talking about the kids and missing them too! Although, I think it was decided that this may not be the best place for highchairs and diaper bags! :)

After dinner we headed back to the hotel and watched Chariots of Fire and I prepped for an early a.m. race day.

Next day I awoke (besides the 16 times through the night) at around 5:15 am to eat my breakfast and get my metabolism moving. I finished getting dressed and Hubby and I headed over to the One Columbus building to meet up with my training team from the YMCA.

The race started at 8am (although I didn't officially cross the timing mat until 8 minutes after that). The race capped at just over 10,000 runners/walkers! I stuck by my two training girls the entire race and we encouraged each other to keep going, even when it got really tough!

The run was beautiful! We went through a lot of gorgeous neighborhoods filled with a harvest of color filled trees! The people along the entire marathon route were wonderful! They cheered and encouraged! The water stops were always plenty-filled and ready to serve us! The streets were filled with celebration for all of us!

I think it was around mile 11 or 12 and I was really feeling it. (Initially, when I first starting training about 12 weeks ago, I decided that I was going to use the "run/walk" approach to my marathon training. Later, I decided that my goal would be to run the entire race with absolutely no stopping.) So, at this point I'd been running for about 2 hours straight with some small hills thrown in and I was wanting to body was begging me to stop. All of a sudden I heard a lady's voice call out loudly from her porch, "Where does your help come from? Come on, where does it come from?"

A smile crept up on my face as I felt my energy increase. I wanted to scream it from the rooftops... "My help comes from the Lord, my Creator! The Maker of Heaven and earth!!!!" I began to praise the Lord in prayer as I looked up to the beautiful blue sky! What an encouragement!

I saw the finish line ahead and practically bolted to reach it. I finished with a respectable first half marathon (13.1 mile) time of 2:22. The fact that I ran for that long still amazes me.
Praise be to the Lord, to Him be the glory!

The winner of the full marathon (26.2 miles) came in just 10 minutes after me. That is very humbling. Yikes...

After the race my body revolted just a tad and decided to send me into a wee bit of shock. My husband joked that "it couldn't figure out why you were trying to kill it, so it decided to fight back".

I got to take a little visit to the medical facility, but once my vitals stabilized I was good to go!

I am excited to run it again next year! Be blessed in your day and enjoy the pictures!

My Training Team Coach & Girls Post Race

Pre-Race in that lovely lime green shirt
Pre-Race Morning w/ my Team
Sunrise on Race Day...
Oh, those jitters...we're about to start!
Here I am! Grey shorts, white top and knee brace!

Click on the link below to see the Columbus Dispatch Slide show of the race. I am in the 7th hit pause to see me and some friends from my team!

Friday, October 19, 2007

How To Build A Kite...Just Consult Your Nearest Biblical Commentary

Rev 4:1 "After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, 'Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this."'
Ok- so probably one of the longest titles I've written out! Today has been an extraordinarily windy day! Gusts up to 30+ mph! We have no trees around us...just lots of cornfields and let me tell you, that wind gets moving!
Well, my oldest decided that it would be a wonderful idea to build a kite, since we don't own one. He exclaimed, "Mommy! I know just the book that tells us how to build the most perfect kite! I'll be right back!"
He shortly returned with daddy's commentary on Revelation. Yes, indeed, dearest...the most perfect book to teach us about 'flying away'!

I Fired the Babysitter

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace."

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Well, the boys and I have officially gone one week on a TV free diet. I found that we were both depending upon that small box way too much during the day when daddy was at work. I didn't find out quite how much until we didn't have it... Granted, they maybe only watched one hour (sometimes more) a day, but it sure adds up. Instead of motivating their imagination to excel during a span of boredom, I would turn to a 'show' to get them through it. Honestly, it allowed me to ignore their true needs. So, fellow bloggers, I fired the babysitter.

We are finding new books at the thrift store to read together, more playdough creations, games, baking together, creating forts in every room imaginable, and working together to finish chores. I, however, would love to hear some new ideas! My boys are ages 2 & 4 and have very active imaginations and love fresh things to do!

I look forward to your comments and emails! Have a wonderful weekend and be encouraged in the love of Christ!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Rain Hats

For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.
Isaiah 44:3
This morning at the breakfast table we heard the 'pitter-patter' of a rain shower begin. The boys were delighted and ran over to the windows to look out. I smiled as I walked out of the room for a couple of minutes. When I returned, my oldest son had opened the back door and enjoying the rain in full force. I noticed that they both held spoons (metal, mind you...) over their heads. I inquired as I went to get the camera for "blog material" as daddy puts it. "Rain hats, mommy!" Of course! Why didn't I think of that? Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Should I Get the Bumper Sticker?

Grandpa & Friends

"Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
Matthew 19:14
My dad is the neighborhood "grandpa" to the kids on their block. His second shift job allows him to be home during the day and go into work in the evening. His day is free to work around the house on the many projects (my mom is smiling right now...) and be with the grandkids and neighborhood children who adore him.
My parent's neighbors are a wonderful Christian family who have opened up their home to many beautiful children either through fostering or adoption. I think currently there is 8 in the home under the age of 13. They love my dad. He is always outside working on some project that "needs" their help and they can't wait to jump in alongside him and my boys.
I came over the other afternoon after some grocery shopping and found my youngest on Grandpa's lap and five others (including my oldest) on his "hayride" wagon. Had to grab the camera! They were all in giggles as he "hooped & hollared" on each turn. I am so happy that my children (as well as all those cutie's from the neighborhood) have a great man of God that is loving them now and one day will mentor them to be great fathers and grandpa's.
Aren't we so blessed that our Heavely Father adores us even so much more? Be blessed today and dwell on the verse above about Christ's love for the children. We are his children and he desires us to come to him...even now.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pumpkin Patches & Rainy Days

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
Genesis 8:22
This morning the boys and I got up nice and early to venture out and do some errands. We enjoyed our time at the library, post office, and then to Sam's Club... or as my oldest refers to it, "Samples Club". Oh, for the joy of some good eatin' out on the run!
After we finished, we stopped by Grandpa & Grandma's house on the way home. My mom was in the mood for an adventure and had the great idea of hayrides and pumpkin patches for the morning field trip. I called around and found a few places that had it's fields open, but no hayrides. So, we set out on our little adventure...with Grandpa & Grandma in tow.
Unfortunately, as soon as we stepped out the front door, it began to rain. Oh, well- we're the ambitious folk! Nothing will stop our harvest fieldtrip! We drove to a farm market that I like to frequent (about 25 minutes) from our home. As we were making the turn down the lane, my dad commented, "Hmmm, I thought we were going to Hoffmans. This sign say's "Yutzy's". It then dawned on me that I had the complete WRONG market in mind than what I had called earlier that morning.
Thankfully, they too had a pumpkin patch. Unfortunately, it was closed to visitors. Actually, it turned out quite nice because they had already picked out some gorgeous pumpkins and had them sitting for sale on the front porch of the market. The pictures weren't as classic as I'd hoped for, but with all the mud and rain, it was really a blessing! (I also was able to do some shopping inside too- Yummy!)
Enjoy the pictures and have a blessed day!
Mommy & Bubby with our BIG pumpkin!
At the Farm Market with his pumpkin.
Grandma, Lil' Bub, & Mommy

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Lovely Day Was Had By All!

Philippians 2:1-4
"Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others."

A wonderful friend of mine came over today with her two beautiful little girls. We had an enjoyable morning of conversation and playtime! The kids are quite a hoot to watch together. They can 'rough & tumble' like nobody's business! Little 'miss' sure holds her own with my big boys!
I was extra blessed because she brought a fabulous lunch for us as well. We had creamed chicken casserole, cooked carrots, jasmine rice, and homemade bread. Doesn't food just taste better when it is prepared just for you? Thank you, dear friend!
I don't know her exact recipe, but I will share a similar one that we love around this household! We both actually came up with this casserole from other friends who brought us meals around the time of our pregnancy/births. It's a great comfort food! Enjoy the meal and the pictures below!
Creamy Chicken Casserole
Ingredients: 4 chicken breasts (frozen) and cubed; 2 cans cream of soup (your preference- either mushroom, chicken, celery, etc.) 16 oz container sour cream; 1/2 cup diced scallions, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan OR mozzarella cheese; salt & pepper to taste.
Combine: All ingredients in mixing bowl and spread evenly in baking dish. Heat 45 minutes at 350 degrees; then remove and sprinkle Chicken flavored Stove Top dry stuffing from box (do not add water) across top and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
Serve over rice. Cooked carrots and salad are very nice to add as well with the meal!
My little guy swinging up quite high on his play set!

My friend's adorable daughter enjoying the sunshine today!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Bloggy Boyz

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,the fruit of the womb a reward..."
Psalm 127:3-5
Due to popular demand, I am adding more pics of the boys...hopefully on a bi-weekly basis! Enjoy!
"Firefighter Boys" (No, I wasn't burning the food...they just felt compelled to put out the flame under the pan!)
My youngest enjoys helping daddy in the yard. No... the mower is NOT on! :)
Oh, that brotherly love...
Is it me, or does my little guy look a bit concerned about what's over the other side of that zoo fence?
My oldest loves bulldozers and all things big machine related! He actually had the opportunity to drive and work with some of these big construction rigs at our local science center!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Curious George Does Not Have a PhD

Genesis 1:26
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth,and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
Remember a few posts ago when I promised 'more to come' on the whole truth of animal instinct vs human will? Well, here it is...
Some mornings as I clean up the breakfast dishes or work on my blog, I allow my littles to watch a Curious George episode on our local public television station. We are very careful in our home to make tv the exception and not the rule, but on those occasional mornings I am encouraged that we still have some good options to choose from.
I should not have been surprised, however, when the influence of our culture would step in and defile an innocent child's program. After the 15 minute episode, there is a 2 minute spot of 'reality tv' where children of their peer group (preschoolers) do a project that relates to the show. This is all well and good...except for the intro stated by a little girl or boy at the beginning of every show. I'll never forget hearing it for the first time... "George is a monkey and he can do things you can't do".
Allow me to just insert the following before continuing the story...The Curious George program is all about how George 'saves the day'. He is dealing with humans in the middle of a city where he lives. He uses a rational thought process (not instinct) to figure how to do something (not animal related) that no one else in the show (humans- who are shown as very nice and loving, but give up easily and frankly aren't very smart) could do and thus, is the hero of the show. Which, in essence, isn't horrible...until immediately followed up with, "George is a monkey and he can do things you can't do". If the show portrayed animals in their habitat and then stated this... I wouldn't think twice... it's the idea that George lives where you live, around the same people you're around, and he can do things you can't do (because he's a smart monkey and you are just a human). Okay,now to continue...
I quickly ran into the room and turned off the tv. Then to the amazement of my children I began ranting and raving about how special they are and how they are created in the image of a Holy God and that allows them to think, create, and imagine! There is nothing that George can do that they can't! They still sat looking bewildered, but finally nodded their heads and continued playing with their toys.
As a homeschooling mommy of a four year old, I know that repetition is the best way to teach him to learn and retain. Our local public tv station knows that too- Repeat this fallacy twice every show, every day, every week, and every year. Lather, rinse, repeat. We must be so careful not to let our culture infiltrate our children.
For the record, I would really like to know what George can do that my children couldn't do...
Remember...this is why we go to the zoo and watch them on the other side of the glass. A little monkey will only 'evolve' into an big monkey...and I assure you he will never get a PhD.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Countdown Begins

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but [only] one receives the prize? So run [your race] that you may lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours. Now every athlete who goes into training conducts himself temperately and restricts himself in all things. They do it to win a crown of leaves that will soon wither, but we do it to receive a crown of eternal blessedness that cannot wither. Corinthians Chapter 9:25&26

Only 10 days until my first ever marathon. Half marathon. Okay- granted, a 13.1 mile run is nothing to sneeze at, but I hate that it's called the "half". It equals a whole race and that's what I've been training for the past 11 weeks. That may not seem like a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, but 11 weeks of non-stop schedules, work-out routines, eating plans, mandatory bedtimes, etc.... it goes on....

My husband and parents have been very supportive and encouraging. My first "long run" was about 10 weeks ago and my mom and dad were having a garage that Saturday. I stopped by with the kids and was delighted to find a large homemade sign on the front door for all to see. It read, "Proud Parents of a 9.5 mile Runner"!

So far, no injuries that are keeping me from my goal. I look like part of a Special Ops Unit with all my support braces, gear and running paraphanelia. My husband bought me a forerunner gps training watch- I have yet to figure it out completely, but am really excited to obtain its potential. After all the bad press lately in Chicago and Virginia about water/gatorade stops not being prepared enough for all the thousands of runners coming through, I'm glad I wear my own hydration belt. Quite the deal, actually- found it online at a company in Hawaii for a total of $2.95. (Most can't be purchased for less than $40.oo) Seriously, it's worth a picture just for a good giggle now and then.

When the race is over I am going to feel a bit mixed in my emotions. I'm already preparing for it. So, I've prepared myself with two more back to back races. The Thanksgiving 4miler on Turkey Day and the Jingle Bell 5K run the following weekend. Nothing like a good run with the possibility of a snowshower on the side.

My dear friend, Joanie, and I went on a 10 mile run a few weeks ago and had such a great time. She has run the full Chicago Marathon some years back and was such an encouragement to me! We talked and laughed most of the time- one of my most favorite runs I can think of... Right toward the end of our run we were felling a little drained from miles and miles of running, pain in our joints, exhaustion b/c of the warmth, but encouraged to see the 'finish line' ahead of us and just around the bend.

This is our life, in essence...We must pursue and finish the race. We live in a fallen world full of obstacles, but as believers we are filled with joy that the Holy Spirit brings in our everyday lives. We must keep our "eye on the prize", but also enjoy the race. God didn't create us to just 'get through'. We were created to enjoy each step and each day to its fullest as we strive to serve Him and our fellow man.

I watched a short video diary of a runner in the Chicago marathon from last week. She wanted to have the perfect race; the perfect time; the perfect weather; the perfect conditions; but she didn't have any of it. However, despite the poor time, excrutiating heat, lack of fluids...she finished! (One of the small percentage of runners that was able to complete the race before succumbing to the heat or the cancelling of the race). She received her medal after pursuing over 26.2 miles in extreme conditions! And do you know what she said after it was all over at the finish line? "It meant nothing to me...absolutely nothing"

I pray that no matter what situations you go through in life, you will find joy in not only receiving the prize, but also running the race.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Human Will vs Animal Instinct

I came upon a short paper that I apparently wrote in response some random conversation about the topic or something I heard on the discovery channel. Here is a short excerpt...

"While animals and humans both have the desire to survive, it was created within them very differently. God provided animals with the instinct to live, protect, eat, kill, etc. to maintain a certain order or balance within the animal kingdom. It is driven by instinct only to survive and multiply.

Humans, on the other hand, are designed in the image and likeness of our Creator God. We have a will to survive, protect, think, feel, create, and imagine. Our decision making goes through an intelligent reasoning process first before any idea or action is carried out. Much of this may seem 'second nature' or perhaps daily routine is habitual, but nonetheless we 'think it through' (if even for a millisecond) before carrying out our objective."

More to come...


Snap, Crackle, Pop

It is indeed a rare treat for our children to experience "mainline" cereal. With my crazy desire to keep all things sugar far far away from them, we end up with prune n' bran oats or flax seed fiber fruties. However, last night during my late night shopping experience, I caved. We ended up with Golden Grahams and alas the infamous "Snap, Crackle, n' Poppin" Rice Krispies. (Know this now...I am a sucker for all things sale priced)

So, this morning, my youngest (2 yrs old) was delighted to choose the Rice Crispies for his breakfast for the very first time. Much to his concern...the cereal began speaking to him. He leaned in for a closer look and listened intently, then quickly backed away and looked to me for affirmation of this 'cereal gone astray'. (see pictures)

He finally was brave enough to eat it and it was thoroughly enjoyed!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A Trip Down Memory Lane...

Last night, dear husband and I decided to take a trip down memory lane. We stayed up quite late (11:15 pm might as well be 3am for the parents of "Crack of Dawn Child" and his faithful sidekick, "I am 2- hear me roar") and looked at hundreds of old pics. We were delighted to find some we didn't remember ever coming across before as well as some 'oldies, but goodies'. Enjoy some of my favorites...

Enjoy your day...

Whatsoever is Pure?!

The lack of discernment in the church today is appalling...

II Timothy 4:3
"For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear."
I have just been visiting my husband's blog and wanted to write my own comments concerning the excerpt in his latest post by John Lee Grady in response to Bishop Thomas Week's "Teach me to Love You" Series. (visit for the complete article)
In part, he states:
"A case in point: Bishop Thomas Wesley Weeks III, who is now facing charges of assaulting his wife, recently stood in his pulpit in Atlanta during a marriage conference and proceeded to teach married couples how to use profanity during intimacy. Yes, the man who allegedly kicked and punched Juanita Bynum in a hotel parking lot last month told attendees at a “Teach Me How to Love You” event that they should get over their hang-ups about cussing. The bedroom, he said, is the place to get down and dirty.“Don’t bring your salvation into the bedroom,” he said in a sermon segment that has been posted on YouTube. “All those special words that you can’t say no more because you’re saved … save that for the bedroom!”
Ahhhh! That is so frustrating to hear, isn't it? The idea that God has basically "set us up" for failure. He made intimacy in marriage to give us a deeper understanding of the relationship between Christ and the Church...and now we must reinterpret?? Love must be "dirty" to be enjoyed? So in essence- we must sin against our Creator to enjoy the spouse he has given us!? Wrong. Dead wrong. Intimacy within marriage isn't evil and God never intended it to be.
"Leave our salvation at the door?" Please, tell me where that lines up with the Word? With that logic, we must ask the Holy Spirit to please step aside so that we may sin without conviction? Sorry, but if we truly have the Spirit of Christ within us, we will not want Him to leave! He is not a coat that we can take off and put on at whim!
How this must grieve a Holy and Righteous God...

Jumping right in...

I wasn't sure if I should start out with a large explanation about me; the blog; and the general state of the union. Unfortunately, I just don't have enough of a grasp yet on we'll just jump right in. *smile* I'll try to have a point to each entry as opposed to random thoughts and ramblings.

Today has been a good day. Yesterday was better. My husband had yesterday off from work since it was a state holiday. Oh, how I miss the hubby when he's at work!

I am training for my first 1/2 Marathon and am super excited! My training is going really well right now- no injuries and only 12 days til the grand event! I am glad I've been training with my own personal hydration belt since it seems that all the races as of late are running out of water. Yikes!

Enjoy your day!