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Chunky Granola

It's been fun experimenting with granola here in Kyiv. I have an abundance of inexpensive kasha grains readily available--I can't identify them all and my Russian dictionary doesn't give much detail beyond "grain cereal." I think we've used oats, wheat, corn, buckwheat, millet, and I'm not sure what else.

My favorite recipe is Mollie Katzen's stove-top, dry roasted granola. (I believe is in her "Enchanted Broccoli Forest" cookbook.) It's best for small batches of granola.

For large batches, I like this recipe. It is low-fat and I can adjust it to be low-sugar. The technique that makes it "chunky granola" also helps the smaller, crushed grains, be part of the chunks instead of gathering at the bottom of the granola jar.


8 c Rolled oats
1 c Nuts (more if desired -- up to double this amount)
1/2 c Sunflower seeds
1/2 c Whole millet -OR- whole buckwheat groats
3 c Whole wheat flour (or more)
-OR- part cornmeal, rice flour,or other whole-grain flour
1 t Salt (or more, as desired)
1/2 c Honey (or more, -- up to double this amount)
1 c -Hot water, or up to:
2 c -Hot water *
1 t Vanilla

* Note: More water makes the granola chunkier, less makes it crumbly.

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl or pot, combine oats, nuts, seeds, millet, flour, and salt. Mix together honey, water, and vanilla, and stir into dry ingredients. Spread on a lightly oiled baking sheet and squeeze mixture together to form small chunks, but don't crowd; the chunks need to bake clear through. Roast until golden brown, about 10 to 20 minutes. (With the larger amount of water, reduce heat and bake longer.) As it bakes the granola may need stirring to brown evenly. Cool thoroughly before storing.

Variations: Replace part of the water with the freshly squeezed juice of 2 oranges (and add the grated rinds if the oranges were not sprayed with pesticides), or use 2 teaspoons orange oil.

For "gingerbread" granola, use half molasses (for half honey) and add 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ginger and 1/4 teaspoon cloves.

For a nice change, substitute maple syrup for honey.

Source: "Diet for Small Planet" by Frances Moore Lappe

Family Favorites:

* Pina Colada Granola: No nuts, dried coconut, dried pineapple bits, coconut sweetened condensed milk

* Carmel Apple Crunch: Dried apples, raisins, dinnamon, carmel sweetened condensed milk, walnuts


* I like to use sweetened condensed milk in place of the honey, because it is less expensive and I can get flavored milks here (peach, coconut, strawberry, lemon.) I usually use half a can for a big recipe--I find I need very little sweetner when adding dried fruits.

* I like to add a handful or two of store bought cereals--rice puffs, corn flakes, whatever--to give a little more variety to the texture.

* I use a cream-of-wheat type kasha in place of the flour in this recipe, and use a bit less than the recipe suggests.


March 31, 2004  |  Comments (10)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Gems from Comments

From AutMom's comments at Le Sabot:

From the article:

"Researchers argue over the definition of life, but they generally agree that it must have three elements: a container, such as the membrane wall of a cell; metabolism, the ability to convert basic nutrients into a cell's working parts; and genes, chemical instructions for building a cell that can be passed on to progeny and change as conditions change."

Funny, I think this is what the pro-life movement has been saying for years. And if it is "life" then terminating it would be...

That's brill. . .


March 31, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Can you not see?

I am alive
I have a name
My hands and feet
clench and stretch.
My eyes are blue and my hair a mahogany brown.
Dimpled cheeks and mother’s hands.
I have an in-y,
not an out-y just like dad’s.
And a pinky finger longer than most, just like grandma’s.
A laugh and cry and sigh and song to sing.

I am alive
Can you not see?
Hidden behind the veil of tissue and warmth

Read the rest.


March 30, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



Baby Care Info in Russian

These are online resources recommended to me by a breastfeeding supporter in Kyiv. My Russian isn't strong enough to have screened all the info at these sites, but I trust that they will be helpful for mothers.

Baby from Conception to 1 Year by J. Tsaregradskaya
Ребенок от зачатия до года

Baby Book by W and M Sears in Russian
Ваш ребенок. Все, что вам нужно знать о вашем ребенке - с рождения до двух лет

BF-friendly Parenting Board

www.mother.ru has a Russian LC

BF Articles in Russian

www.detki.de lots of good info.
D.W. Winnicot's book

Continuum-Concept related

livejournal communities for moms, in Russian:

Интересуются Вы этой книгой?
«Как научить младенца спать всю ночь» Гари Эззо / Эццо?
Вы должны читать Ezzo.Info.

Thanks to lactation counselor and mom of three, Victoria Lyubarsky.


March 29, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Little Lamb

Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life, and bade thee feed
By the stream and o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, woolly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?

Little Lamb, I'll tell thee;
Little Lamb, I'll tell thee;
He is called by they name,
For He calls Himself a Lamb.
He is meek, and He is mild,
He became a little child.
I a child, and thou a lamb,
We are called by His name.
Little Lamb, God bless thee!
Little Lamb, God bless thee!

--William Blake

For Lenise


March 29, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Turn or Burn. . .

A call to repentance?


March 29, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Recommended Reading

Long, but thought provoking:
Caitlin Flanagan's How Serfdom Saved the Women's Movement

I'd like to subscribe to The Atlantic Monthly. Hubby would, too.


March 29, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



Open My Eyes, Lord

"An uncultured person may see a beautiful work of art as an object of vision, but he has no appreciation of its excellence.

He may see the figures of a complex mathematical equation, but they have no meaning for him. Horses and cattle may see the same beautiful sunset or other phenomenon in nature that men see, but they are blind to all of the artistic beauty.

So it is when the Gospel of the cross is presented to the unregenerate man. He may have an intellectual knowledge of the facts and doctrines of the Bible, but he lacks all spiritual discernment of their excellence, and finds no delight in them." --Loraine Boettner


March 28, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Life is a Puzzle

I have found my Christian walk to be like a 5000 piece jigsaw puzzle.

When I was younger, I had part of the puzzle together, and I knew the picture was an ocean scene. A few years and a few pieces of the puzzle later, I see the green of the sea is really trees. A few more pieces in place, and things seem so much clearer--but now I know that I'm not going to really understand "the big picture" until I'm done.

That's what my walk with the Lord has been like, in some ways. Not that I was "wrong" when I was younger--I just saw only a small part of the puzzle of the life God has given us. The pieces I had led me to emphasize one thing or another. Sometimes I did have pieces in the wrong place.

I am sure I don't really understand it all, but I am assured that God is faithfully revealing Himself to me.


March 27, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Music and Memories

I went on down to the Audubon Zoo and
They all aksd for you
They all aksd for you, for who
Well they even inquired about ya.

I went on down to the Audubon Zoo and
They all aksd for you
The monkeys aksed
The tigers aksed
And the elephants aksed me, too.

I picked up a Buckwheat Zydeco tape today, and got so sentimental. When I bought it, I didn't realize they had this song on it.

I remember my Mom and Maw Maw singing that to me when I was little, growing up in New Orleans. I thought they had written it for me. *grin* It is odd hearing a memory like that sung on an album.


March 27, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Happy Anniversary!


A big ol' kiss to my Hubby on his first blogiversary. . .


March 27, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Bibliophile Blogathon

Carmon is in the midst of a 24-hour blogathon. Already posted on Shakespeare, California and quantity vs. quality. (And I bet we'll get both today. . .)


March 26, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



A Little Flag Waving

The U.S. has the most lethal military in the history of the world and yet we go out of our way to reduce the number of casualties that we inflict. That’s just one more reason I love my country.

Yeah, what he said.


March 26, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink




We have a glitch in Netscape that results in all browser windows closing when I click the X on a pop-up. Which I do automatically.

I've had the same post written up THREE times this morning and keep losing it right before saving it. Grump. Well, I guess you will just have to suffer without my brilliance this morning.


March 26, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ezzo Exposé Wins Gold

A chilling account of the "Babywise" method of childrearing designed by a controversial evangelical Christian minister. Looking at the results behind the recommendations, the writer uncovers guilt-ridden parents who discovered the treatment to be harmful. . . A gripping read.

And with that summary, Parenting Publications of America awarded a 2003 Gold Medal in Investigative Journalism to Cindy Webb and Betty Casey of TulsaKids Magazine.

Update: See Hubby's related post, More Offal from Ezzo. And Sam chimes in with her two cents.

(Via Ezzo.Info)


March 25, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink




I think today was the happiest birthday I ever had.

My oldest woke me up this morning with a hug and "You're beautiful, Mommy.

I smiled.

"And you're thirty.

R5 wrote "Mommy's Birthday" and drew a picture on a card for me. Throughout the day he brought me presents he had wrapped up in socks, backpacks and scraps of paper.

I went out for lunch with some girlfriends and was reminded of how beautiful downtown Kyiv is in the spring. (Today is the first day I could go out without a heavy coat!)

The boys together put on a lego play, complete with Queen Mommy, King Daddy and my four knight princes who protected me from a shipful of pirates as I cheered them on from the tower.

And hubby took me out for yummy fajitas, guacamole and tortilla chips, and strawberry daquiris at Kyiv's Tequila House.

I feel content and peaceful. What a way to start a new decade.


March 24, 2004  |  Comments (20)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Abortion in the Courtroom, in the University and on the Street

I. US District Judge Casey is allowing Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand to testify in an abortion-related trial later this month, explaining his research on pain in fetuses and newborns.

Considering how soon after conception the infant's brain begins to deveolop, I'm not surprised that Dr. Anand's research has concluded that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks gestation.

II. A Canadian medical student is being denied his diploma because he will not perform or refer for elective abortion. I guess killing is more important than healing in some medical schools?

III. Rebecca Porter whose "My Abortion Hurt Me" sign was destroyed at a Kerry campaign rally earlier this month, was well recieved at a Bush rally today.
Go Rebecca!
Go Bush!

(Via Drudge and AfterAbortion)


March 24, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Just for fun. . .

Today the boys have been playing the original penguin batting game and the newest one, which C3 calls the whooh-whooh-whooh game (complete with arm motions--when you see the game, you'll know what I'm talking about.)

David and Ange alerted us to StrongBad's 100th e-mail.

And Hubby is hosting a caption contest--the winner gets the much-coveted title of "Clog of the Week."


March 23, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Marla's Moved!

While she's still at home in Sweden, Marla has a new URL: http://swedanmar.blogspot.com.

I wonder who's going to jump the UpSaid ship next?

Update: Samantha has moved to a new home realm. So, who's next? Sora? Sarah?


March 23, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Faith of our Fathers

Faith of our fathers! living still
In spite of dungeon, fire and sword;
O how our hearts beat high with joy
Whene'er we hear God's glorious Word:

Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.

Our fathers, chained in prisons dark,
Were still in heart and conscience free;
And blest would be their children's fate
If they, like them, should die for thee:

Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.

Faith of our fathers! God's great pow'r
Shall draw all nations unto thee;
And through the truth that comes from God
His people shall indeed be free:

Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.

Faith of our fathers! we will love
Both friend and foe in all our strife,
And preach thee, too, as love knows how
By witness true and virtuous life:

Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.

Listen at the Trinity Hymnal Online #487


March 21, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Islam and "The Rod"

Middle East Media Research Institute has just released a report on Islamic Shar'ia law related to wife-beating.

In January, Sheikh Muhammad Kamal Mustafa, a Muslim cleric in Spain, was sentenced for publishing his book "The Woman in Islam" which includes the application of Shar'ia law as it relates to wife-beating.

One of the interesting points brought up in this article is the various interpretations of what the rod is and how beatings should be administered. For instance, in Mustafa writes,

"The [wife-]beating must never be in exaggerated, blind anger, in order to avoid serious harm [to the woman]." He adds, "It is forbidden to beat her on the sensitive parts of her body, such as the face, breast, abdomen, and head. Instead, she should be beaten on the arms and legs," using a "rod that must not be stiff, but slim and lightweight so that no wounds, scars, or bruises are caused." Similarly, "[the blows] must not be hard."

Please pay attention to the description of the rod, "must not be stiff, but slim and lightweight so that no wounds, scars, or bruises are caused."

This is the same wording used by some Christians about the type of rod that should be used when punishing children. For example, Gary Ezzo teaches that children ought to be "chastised" with a "biblical rod" which he describes as "somewhat flexible, not stiff or unbending" instrument (GKGW, p.220). Ezzo families sometimes describe this being a wide strip of rubber tubing, a rubber show sole, a thin razor strap, or a large glue stick.

Michael and Debbie Pearl similary suggest that "a light, flexible instrument will sting without bruising or causing internal damage. Many people are using a section of ¼ inch plumber’s supply line as a spanking instrument."

Credenda Agenda suggests, ". . .wood seems the obvious choice. Look for something about a cubit long that flirts with flexibility, but be sure it's strong enough. . ." Volume 14, Issue 4

Both Ezzo and Pearl call for immediate obedience from children, followed by "chastisement" with the rod if they don't comply without delay.

At least the Muslims show more patience with their wives--beating with a rod is the third step in "wifely discipline." The first is gentle verbal admonishments and the second is being removed from the marriage bed.

From the photos in the MEMRI article, the Muslim's "small rod" is a bit bigger than a glue stick.


However, the photo of the "large rod" seems to be much closer to a shebet, the type of rod that is referred to in Proverbs.


For further reading, I recommend Laurie Moody's study on Biblical Discipline and Joan Sewell's study Suffer the Little Children.

Update: Though taking a different angle, this story is also being talked about by The Commissar, Chris, DhimmiWatch, Matt, John , Allah and Marsupial Mom.

(Via schoolraider)


March 20, 2004  |  Comments (20)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Poetry of Playing

A Good Play

We built a ship upon the stairs
All made of the back-bedroom chairs,
And filled it full of sofa pillows
To go a-sailing on the billows.

We took a saw and several nails,
And water in the nursery pails;
And Tom said, “Let us also take
An apple and a slice of cake;”—
Which was enough for Tom and me
To go a-sailing on, till tea.

We sailed along for days and days,
And had the very best of plays;
But Tom fell out and hurt his knee,
So there was no one left but me.

This evening the boys had a blanket thrown over their jungle gym, and pillows and boxes piled around it. Definitely the very best of plays.

Tonight while snuggling with R5, I read R.L. Stevenson to him. These poems colored my growing up years, and it brings such joy to share them with my children.


March 19, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



On Educating Men. . .

"And so it cheers me when I look at the growing number of young Christians involved in classical schools, parochial schools and homeschooling. Much of this education seems focused not only toward preparation for university, but preparation for manhood."

--Hubby, on why we homeschool


March 19, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Mourn with those who mourn

Four Baptist missionaries were killed by terrorists on Monday. They were in Iraq helping provide clean water supplies. The missionaries included the parents of Scott, a fellow blogger.

It has been said that "the blood of the martyrs is the seeds of the church." May the Church grow strong in Iraq, to the glory of God.

(via World Mag Blog)


March 17, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



The Itsy-Bitsy Spider

The boys spotted a spider climbing the kitchen wall today. I rightly told them that we ought to be glad we have spiders because they eat harmful insects. Then I saw its hairy long legs and an ugly red mark and got scared. I squished it.

I googled to see if I could find a photo listing of spiders in Ukraine, especially to see whether there are poisonous ones in our area. We've had brown recluses and black widows for neighbors other places we've lived, and I know what to look for before deciding whether to kill them.

I found this arachnology site, and one on the spiders of northwest Europe. All the sites specific to Russia or Ukraine wouldn't open for me tonight.

I wonder what Sciolist could tell us?


March 17, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink




My browser keeps getting errors. I've tried to post TWICE tonight, and both times had it all freeze up right before hitting "save." Sure will be glad when we finish updating stuff and our computer works how it is supposed to.


March 17, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



To Be King. . .

"For this is what it means to be a king: to be first in every desperate attack and last in every desperate retreat, and when there's hunger in the land (as must be now and then in bad years) to wear finer clothes and laugh louder over a scantier meal than any man in your land."
from The Horse and His Boy, C. S. Lewis

We just finished the fourth of the Chronicles of Narnia, that I'm reading aloud to the boys. I was so moved by this--oh that the leaders of our countries had the attitude and strength of King Lune!

Update: More quotes from recent reads are posted by Hubby, and MarsupialMom, .


March 16, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



What R5 Said This Morning. . .

I just figured it out. . . You can't take care of us if you don't wake up, and you can't wake up without coffee.

March 15, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing;
Our helper he amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great;
And armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God's own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he,
Lord Sabaoth his name,
From age to age the same,
And he must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim,
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo! his doom is sure;
One little word shall fell him.

That Word above all earthly powers,
No thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Through him who with us sideth;
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also;
The body they may kill:
God's truth abideth still;
His kingdom is for ever.

Listen at the old Trinity Hymnal online.


March 14, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Support The Birth Site

As I've mentioned before, The Birth Site is a free click-to-give program helps pregnant women. Click through today and consider adding a link to your blog.

Supporting Blogs:

Quenta Nârwenion
Mark Nicodemo
Oblique House
Musings for the Ether

Other Supporting Sites:

Friends Across America
Stop The Insanity
Conservative Unitarian Universalist
Tim Chamber's Causes
Washington Uni Students for Life Resources
Bradley Uni Students for Life
Ivy League Coalition for Life
Dartmouth Coalition for Life

Let me know if you link to www.thebirthsite.com, and I'll be sure to add your blog to this list.


March 13, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Fruit Which is Lasting

I can stick artificial flowers on this tree that will not flower; or I can create the conditions in which the tree is likely to flower naturally. I may have to wait longer for my real flowers; but they are the only true ones.

- John Fowles

(via Rev. Mike)


March 13, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Breastfeeding and HIV

“Exclusive breast-feeding seems to protect against the transmission of HIV through breast milk, which is counterintuitive, I know,” --Donald Thea, Zambian Exclusive Breastfeeding Study

March 12, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Some Tech Questions. . .

Part of the reason I started blogging was because I wanted to redo my old website, Me and My Boys. It was a pain to try to recode the info with CSS from the old html. I knew that the tools were available through CSS and MT to do it from watching Hubby blog.

But I'm getting so frustrated trying to figure things out. Googling for answers has just led to pages that are a step above my tech prowess.

What I'd really like are links to websites that explain MT templates, CSS, and such without too much added jargon. Also, I'd appreciate if anyone would be willing to e-mail me (alex8b8 AT hotmail DOT com) a cut-and-pasted copy of their main template and main css stylesheet so I can compare the coding with what I see on the screen and in my template. Thanks!


March 12, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



When Mother Reads Aloud

When mother reads aloud the past
Seems real as every day;
I hear the tramp of armies vast,
I see the spears and lances cast,
I join the thrilling fray;
Brave knights and ladies fair and proud
I meet when mother reads aloud.

When mother reads aloud, far lands
Seem very near and true;
I cross the desert's gleaming sands,
Or hunt the jungle's prowling bands,
Or sail the ocean blue;
Far heights, whose peaks the cold mists shroud,
I scale, when mother reads aloud.

When mother reads aloud I long
For noble deeds to do--
To help the right, redress the wrong,
It seems so easy to be strong, so simple to be true,
O, thick and fast the visions crowd
When mother reads aloud.

From "Favorite Poems, Old and New"

(For Carmon, long overdue)


March 12, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Not Silent in South Dakota

Evangelical Outpost ensured that bloggers everywhere knew of the crucial pro-life legislation that is in process in South Dakota.

Now, AfterAbortion is publicizing a request that women who have experienced abortion write or travel to South Dakota to share how abortion impacted them.

Caron Strong, the California state leader of Silent No More/Operation Outcry, is asking post-abortive women to write to legislators in South Dakota, or even to travel to Pierre, South Dakota, on March 14-15, to "hold signs that describe how abortion specifically hurt you". This event will be held at the Capitol Building in Pierre from 7:00 AM until 10:00 AM on March 14. Women will line the steps of the building as the legislators come in for the day.

And for everyone else, let us be faithful to pray that this will pass, protect women and children, and perhaps even start a movement that returns abortion-legislation to the individual states.


March 11, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Abortion in the Black Community

Tales of Abortion is a documentary of abortion among black women. According to American Collegians for Life, this film focuses on the stories of women in a bookclub called "Sista CEO," talking about their abortions.

While the black community has often overlooked the negative impact abortion, it is one of factors that Star Parker highlights in her call to stop government social engineering. I recommend reading LaShawn Barber's recent review of Parker's book, Uncle Sam's Plantation.

(Also via AfterAbortion)


March 11, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Why Nerds are Unpopular

Carol has a series of posts that she has recently written, spinning off from Paul Graham's essay "Why Nerds Are Unpopular."

Whether a homeschooler or a school-building-schooler, Carol's posts are good fodder for thought as we seek to nurture our children as they grow into the people God created them to be.

Post 1: one of my opinions regarding public schools. . .
Post 2: never considered myself a “nerd”, but nor was I “popular”.
Post 3: school robbed. . . me of BOOKS.
Post 4: popular kids were being trained to please.

(FYI, I haven't read the original essay yet--just Carol's thoughts.)


March 11, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Well said, Mr. Frum

When gay marriage advocates wax romantic about love and commitment, they rarely take into account the "law of unintended consequences." David Frum of NRO highlights his concerns about gay marriage impacting the sanctity of human life, especially when gay couples will seek to add children to their families:

"These are purchases and sales of tomorrow’s human beings – steps toward the transformation of children into true commodities.

Obviously same-sex couples will not be alone in advocating this transformation. But they will I suspect be its most ardent and effective advocates – and the institutional and cultural changes set in motion by same-sex marriage will greatly weaken what remains of the opposition to the emerging traffic in potential people."


March 10, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



A Glimpse Into Chernobyl

The other day, I read at The FireAnt Gazette about a young Ukrainian woman who is motorcycling and photographing the Chernobyl region. Of course this was of great interest to me, and I was disappointed that when I clicked on the link, the site had already exceeded it's bandwidth.

Today, however, I noticed that The Politburo Diktat has linked to mirror sites that have been put online to keep this woman's photo and commentary up. The Chernobyl disaster is very much in the collective memory of the people we know, and impacts the choices that many people make even today.

I was surprised, however, to see that The Commissar had neglected to congratulate women on March 8th. Didn't his mother raise him right?


March 10, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (3)  |  Permalink



S Proznhikom!

Happy Women's Day!

Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
"Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all."
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
Give her the product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.
Proverbs 31:28-31

Встают дети и ублажают ее, --муж, и хвалит ее:
'много было жен добродетельных,
но ты превзошла всех их'.
Миловидность обманчива и красота суетна;
но жена, боящаяся Господа, достойна хвалы.
Дайте ей от плода рук ее,
и да прославят ее у ворот дела ее!
Притчей Соломоновых 31:28-31


March 08, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Survey Says. . .

Blogger Michelle is working on her Master's Degree, and her thesis-like project is related to Christian blogging.

I took the two-part survey, and it took about 20 minutes total. I hope (and assume) she'll publish her final paper online. Many bloggers speculate on the topics related to her project--should be interesting to see the conclusions her research suggests.

(Via Such Small Hands)


March 08, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



The Baxter's New Additions

"So I've had enough of suffering in silence. I'll be verbose in obscurity instead." -- Lenise

I'm sure if anyone understands that sentiment, it's fellow bloggers. Our Ukraine-visiting friend Paul has announced his wife's new blog, Paxifist.

And they've also announced another Baxter addition--congratulations!


March 08, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Charm is Deceitful

Charm is deceitful
Beauty is vain
But a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised
A woman who fears the Lord

In a world where we see with our eyes
I pray for eyes that see the heart
'Cause flesh is unfaithful
And is of no gain
But a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised
A woman who fears the Lord

And I know that when He sees me
It won't be beauty that He longs to hold
It'll be the love that He finds inside my heart

'Cause charm is deceitful
Beauty is vain
But a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised
A woman who fears
Yes a woman who fears
A woman who fears the Lord

I've had this Kim Hill/Wes King song taken from Proverbs 31:28:31 in my head most of the week, as we've been gearing up for Women's Day. Cultural concepts related to who women are and ought to be are vary greatly worldwide. I've really struggled to understand what are simply my American Protestant opinions; the truly Biblical essentials are summed up with "a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised."


March 07, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Growing Churches Ezzo's Way

The long-lived Christian satire magazine, The Door, had a recent spoof of Gary Ezzo and the church growth movement written by Kelley Reep. You can buy and read the whole magazine here, but here's my favorite tidbit of advice:

How to Handle Those Who Disagree With You: "Duct tape is marvelously effective for dealing with both rebellious children and rebellious elders. When they do not obey you the first time, place the tape over their mouth. . . . Philippians 1:17, 'ConDUCT yourselves in a manner worthy of the Lord.'"

March 06, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Breastfeeding Resources in Ukraine

Links for later reference, on breastfeeding and mothering in Ukraine.

La Leche League Russian Handouts
Mother's Source IBFAN in Ukraine
1999 UNICEF Study: Young Mothers in Ukraine
WABA Ukraine Breastfeeding Status
Maternal and Child Care Center "Levoberezhye"
Safe Motherhood Project
Ukraine Breast Cancer Support
Childhood and Motherhood in Ukraine UNICEF Report
Kangaroo Care Poster Four Study in Ukraine
Babies.Kiev.UA in Russian
Sling.Com.Ua in Russian (Good Resource!)


March 06, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Happy Birthday!


Many happy returns to my three year old niece!


March 05, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Psalm 19:12-14

Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.
Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins;
Let them not rule over me;
Then I will be blameless,
And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.

March 05, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Boycotts Abound

Should Christian teachers boycott public schools?

Should conservatives boycott the Girl Scouts?


March 04, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



California Flan

We did have enchiladas for dinner before Bible study tonight. Yum. *grin* My favorite dessert when we have a group over for Tex-Mex is California Flan. I usually double this recipe, and add an extra egg or two because it is so sweet.

California Flan

Ingredients :
3/4 cup Sugar
4 x Eggs
14 oz Sweetened condensed milk
1 cup Water
2 tsp Vanilla

Method :
* Place sugar in skillet and cook, stirring, over moderate heat until melted and golden brown. Pour into 1-quart casserole and swirl to coat sides and bottom evenly with caramel. Beat eggs. Add milk and beat until blended.

* Beat in water and vanilla. Turn into prepared baking dish and place in pan containing 1 inch hot water. Bake at 325F 1 hour 40 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, then turn out on serving plate. Serves 6 to 8

Credit where credit is due: I think that I first found this at RecipeSource.Com.


March 04, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Errand Day in Kyiv

I went to the centre of the city today, to take care of a few things at the office and to pick up some grocery items available at a store downtown.

I took the metro. A few weeks ago, I read that the city transportation service was doubling the fare to 1 grivnia, beginning March 1st. It's an increase from 10 to 20 cents--still a remarkable deal compared to metro fares in other cities in Europe. However, for those who rely on the metro to commute to work, it's quite a jump from spending 30 grivnia to 60 grivnia a month. Compared to the average wage, it is a significant percentage. I didn't see a sign announcing the new fare, so I gave the lady 50 kopeks and she gave me a token. I guess the fare increase didn't go through, just like it didn't go through when they announced a fare increase a couple of years ago.

As I walked through the metro stations both in our neighborhood and in the centre, I asked the guys selling pirated music if they had any Nickel Creek cds. One offered me a Nickelback cd--not quite the same. I asked at the authorized music stores in MetroGrad--a new, underground mall. The guy there just gave me a funny look. I guess I'll just have to be patient and wait for the next time we order something from the States. (And honestly, I'd rather that these musicians get the money due them--but I'm so impatient that I have been asking around for a pirated copy! *blush*)

I saw two black men going down an escalator in the metro. I tried to listen to see if they were speaking Russian or another language, but couldn't hear. I see a black person about once a month here. I saw a trio of Asian students today, also. That's more common. One of the universities in town has a sizable international student body. When we were preparing to move to Ukraine, Marc Canner told us that many people historically have made the mistake of assuming that people in the former Soviet Union countries are very similar to themselves. He summarized that the culture in the FSU has been described as the "most Western of Eastern cultures, and the most Eastern of Western cultures." I see this lived out in unexpected ways.

I found armenian lavash at the grocery store--I haven't seen it sold in our part of town. Armenian lavash is a flat bread that isn't quite like a tortilla, but is similar enough to substitute when making enchiladas. As soon as I saw the lavash, I started craving enchiladas, so I think tomorrow's fellowship dinner will have a Tex-Mex menu.


March 03, 2004  |  Comments (8)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Soccer Moms and Baseball Babies

"Play BALL!" It was the Little League T-ball All Stars game. I was number 17--the littlest on the team and the last to bat. I glanced into the stands, and was reassured to see my mother smiling at me and nursing my baby sister.

I wrote about these vivid and early memories of my mother and little sister a few years ago.

Just today, I came across this article by Elizabeth Pantley and marvelled at how these early interactions among mother, baby, and siblings can make such a profound impression. And how love and nurturing are passed along in our every day family interactions.

My three older children all play baseball, so Coleton and I spend much of our springtime at the ballpark. His first baseball season he was five months old. Since I was a coach on my daughter’s team, Coleton spent his time in the dugout and on the field nestled in his (team-colored) sling, watching the action and listening to the cheers, chants and noise of the play. Between swings at bat the girls would often pass him around from one to the other, entertaining him and trying to make him giggle.

I encourage you to take time for some mommy-daddy encouragement by reading Baseball Babies and Play Ball.


March 03, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Mothers Wear Many Hats. . .

What Sort of Hat Are You? I am a Top-hat.I am a Top-hat.

I'm a bit of a jack-of-all-trades; creative, in a stylistic sort of way, a little vain, a little dark, perhaps a little archaic. I get on alright with people, but I can take them or leave them.
What Sort of Hat Are You?

(via Desolation Angels)


March 02, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



For those who have been jonesing. . .

and you know who you are. . .

Hubby is back to blogging!


March 02, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



February Books

Finished Reading

"Families Where Grace is In Place" Jeff VanVonderen
"Travels With My Aunt" Graham Greene
"The Hobbit" J. R. R. Tolkein
"21 Balloons" William Penn du Bois
"The Paper Eater" Liz Jensen
"Redeeming Love" Francine Rivers
"Catering to Nobody" Diane Mott Davidson
"Pippi Goes on Board" Astrid Lindgren
"Mary Poppins" P. L. Travers
"The Book of Three" Lloyd Alexander (reread)
"The Black Cauldron" Lloyd Alexander
The Secret Country Trilogy Pamela Dean

Still Reading

"Relational Parenting" Ross Campbell
"Lizard" Banana Yoshimoto
"The Birth of A New Physics" J. Bernard Cohen
"Desiring God" John Piper
"Heartfelt Discipline" Clay Clarkson


"Looking Forward"

Read With the Boys

"The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" C. S. Lewis
"The Horse and His Boy" C. S. Lewis
"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" J. K. Rowling (Hubby still reading

J7 Finished Reading
"The Hobbit" J. R. R. Tolkein
"A Boy At War" Harry Mazer (reread)
"Homer Price" Robert McCloskey
"Babe Ruth" Len Canter
"Pippi Goes on Board" Astrid Lindgren
"The Queen's Smuggler: William Tyndale" Dave & Neta Jackson
"Mary Poppins" P. L. Travers
"Disaster!" Mary McIntosh
"The Saggy, Baggy Elephant"
"My First Space Book" Dinah L. Moche
"The Saga of Sweet Basil" Ray Broekel
"The Book of Three" Lloyd Alexander
"The Black Cauldron" Lloyd Alexander
"The Return of the Indian" Lynne Reid Banks
"The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" L. Frank Baum
"The Titanic Lost and Found"
J7 has read other books. . . He just doesn't like writing them down for me!

T6's February Favorite

"Tiger Tales and Big Cat Stories"


March 02, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Women's Retreat Ideas?

Cheri from Canada recently asked:

I note you were away at a Women's Retreat. Would you mind telling me what the retreat consisted of and how it was. We are having our second retreat in April 2004 and insight to retreats (good and bad) are so useful.

Since I've been to very few women's retreats and conferences, I was wondering if anyone would be willing to share their ideas and tips for Cheri?


March 02, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



I'm getting ready to post our February book record (I wish I kept track of all the books I read since childhood) and came across Tenn's list.

Wow! What a reader! Just in the last few months I've gotten to the point where I don't fall asleep when reading aloud to the kids! And, I must say, looking at her list sparked a bit of library envy. . .


March 01, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



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