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Mothers' Little Helpers

For 4+ years I avoided family and parenting books like the plague. Once bitten, twice shy. Instead of books, Hubby and I discussed ideas and theology, pragmatics and principles. I asked my Mom and MIL for advice; bounced ideas off of other mothers in the thick of things with little ones; sought wisdom from the older moms who had been there, done that. I related every theological point I studied to parenting. I made mistakes and had successes.

All the while, I did a lot of loving up on and praying for my boys.

Finally last January I dove in and read four parenting related books.
Families Where Grace is in Place
Relational Parenting (On sale: $2.99!)
Heartfelt Discipline
Biblical Parenting

I hesitate to recommend any parenting materials. Christians are well-meaning but seem to be vulnerable to getting caught up in legalism, rather than applying the Gospel in their families.

Each of the above authors emphasize that there is no "program" to replace a lifestyle of discipleship, relationship and love. These books are not prescriptions for parenting, but provoke thought as we work out the answers to the question, "How can we apply the Gospel of Jesus Christ as we raise our children?"

While I find much that is worthwhile in these books, I have reservations about them as well. When reading any parenting materials, it is important to be willing to search the Bible, apply theological thinking to family relationships, and look at what we can learn by observing God's creation. This help us focus on relationships and parenting by the Spirit, rather than getting caught up in man-made rules.

I intend to write my own reviews of these books in the coming week. Until then I encourge you to read the Amazon reviews and the discussion in this post.


January 31, 2005  |  Comments (14)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Curious Goldie Goes to Church*

"When my friends and I first converted to Christianity in the late 80’s – early 90’s in Russia, we were all about joking and laughter. We grew up on C.S. Lewis. So, when I came here, I had some expectations about the Evangelical community as a society where intellect and sense of humor were high priority. Instead, to my horror, I saw this… unfunny crowd! Is that the way you’re supposed to be if you’re Evangelical? If you asked me a month ago, I would have said yes. Now, after briefly reading IM, JollyBlogger and a few other Christian blogs, I’ll say – no, not really. --Curious Goldie

I've known Goldie online for awhile--she's is an intelligent, interesting woman (and great translator!)--and has just started blogging.

In a recent post, she touches on the disenchantment she found in the Evangelical subculture in the US. Interestingly, the online Christian community and blogs in particular have given her new hope.

Be sure to check Curious Goldie's Suburban Adventures regularly. I can guarantee it'll be thought provoking.

*I just couldn't resist a H.A. Rey allusion, even if the title doesn't quite fit the post.


January 31, 2005  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Dynamic Blogging Duo

New husband and wife blogging duo, Steve and Jenn, have some great posts up this week.

Steve reminisces fondly about Larry Norman and not-so-fondly about Bill Gothard:

Nineteen years old and driving around listening to "How Great Thou Art" a cappella 24/7. . . . I had "made a commitment" not to listen to CHRISTIAN ROCK!!. Yes Christian Rock...songs about Jesus that have beats and tempos not approved of by Sir Gothard. Aaaahhhhh, my friends thought I had lost it. Like a lemming to the sea I was!

Jenn addresses good hermeneutics and gives an example in her post the Latest Spiritual Gobblydeegook? She also talks about psychology and faith in Indoctrination 101:

Though there is some psychological stuff that is counter to our faith, there is some learning to be gained from the psychological community just about the general nature of people and how we respond in different scenarios. I believe this falls under the area of “general revelation” from God just as much as what I learned about biology and chemistry in college also falls under “general revelation” in understanding the beauty and intricacy of God’s physical creation.


January 31, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Come, Ye Sinners

Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
Full of pity joined with pow'r:
He is able,
He is able,
He is able,
He is willing; doubt no more.

Come, ye needy, come and welcome,
God's free bounty glorify;
True belief and true repentance,
Ev'ry grace that brings you nigh,
Without money,
Without money,
Without money,
Come to Jesus Christ and buy.

Come, ye weary, heavy laden,
Bruised and broken by the fall;
If you tarry till you're better,
You will never come at all:
Not the righteous,
Not the righteous,
Not the righteous,
Sinners Jesus came to call.

Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness he requireth
Is to feel your need of him;
This he gives you,
This he gives you,
This he gives you;
'Tis the Spirit's rising beam.

Lo! th'incarnate God, ascended,
Pleads the merit of his blood;
Venture on him, venture wholly,
Let no other trust intrude:
None but Jesus,
None but Jesus,
None but Jesus
Can do helpless sinners good.

Listen to Trinity Hymnal #393/#472 courtesy of the OPC.


January 30, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Adoption and Condemnation

1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

14. . .because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Romans 8:1-4, 14-17

From Charles Hodge, on Romans:

Since men, being sinners, cannot be justified by works, but because by the obedience of one man, Jesus Christ, many are made righteous, and since through him, and not through the law, we are delivered from the subjective power of sin, therefore it follosws that there is no condemnation for those who are in him. There is no condemnation. . . Again, this does not only describetheir present state, but their permanent position. They are placed beyond the reach of condemnation. They will never be condemned.
The controlling principle for believers is not the sinful nature but the Holy Spirit who dwells in them as the source of knowledge, of holiness, of strength, of peace and love.
Paul asserts that those who are in Christ are restored to the divine favor. Why? Because they are sanctified? no; rather, because they have been freed from the law and tis demands and introduced into a state of grace.
The law could condemn sin. What it cannot do is to free us either from its guilt or power. It can neither justify nor sanctify.
What the law could not do was to reconcile us to God. It was in view of this impotency of the lasw to effect salvation to sinners that God sent his Son to make expiation for their offenses andthus bring them back to himself.
The sacrifice of Christ was the condemnation of sin. That is, he bore our sins. He was made a curse, in the sense that he endured the curse due to our sin. His sufferings were penal, as they were judicially inflicted to satisfy justice. The immediate purpose and effect of a sacrifice is expiation, and not reformation or inner purification. . . . The argument of the apostle is that no condemnation comes on us, because God condemned sin in Christ.
In saying, however, that the immediate purpose and effect of a sacrifice is to expieate sin, and therfore that sin is therby condemned and not destroyed, it is not forgotten that propitiation is the result of expiation, that our sins are atoned for by the blood of Christ, so that we can be restored to his image and favor. Justification is not on account of, or on the ground of, sanctification, but it is in order to bring it about, and therefore the two are inseparable. The justified are always sanctified.

Sidenote: This post is in progress. . .


January 30, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



We're Reading Greek Myths

The boys are under the table with their bowls of borsch on their chair seats. I just heard one of them say, "We're hydras. . ." I guess eating under the table means they are in their cave.


January 30, 2005  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Another Amazing Giveaway

Update: Wow, I'm one of the Amazing Grace DVD winners! Thanks Tim and Monergism Books! Tim will be announcing the next giveaway on February 6th.

Amazing Grace

Wow, Tim! Please use referral ID is 21274.

Monergism Books is donating the prize. (And Rebecca is tempting me to place an order with them--international shipping is only $10!)


January 29, 2005  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Adopted and Accepted

"When we realize that our adoption is permanent, we have the courage to celebrate our identity by looking and acting like our Father. We recognize and love our brothers and sisters because they look and act like Him, too. But even when they fail to have a family resemblance, we love them because our Father loves us when we fail to resemble Him. . .

But God does not just give us a list of house rules [referring back to the "one another" verses] He gives us grace to follow the rules. His Spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control that enables us to act like our Father. And our Elder Brother intercedes for us before the Father's throne." --Susan Hunt, Heirs of the Covenant


January 29, 2005  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Speeding Lisa

A guy who regularly comments on Hubby's blog e-mailed this week about tonight's Speeding Lisa concert at Art Club 44. It was great. There is just something about good rock'n'roll that is balm to the soul.

They started the set with a rousing rendition of Razom Nas Bagato, but leaving out Ми не бидло, Ми не козли. A bit of whimsy came across in Back in the USSR. The Ukrainian girls behind us went wild for Basket Case and I'm a Believer (during which I couldn't help but think about Joe's recent post and wondering if any seeker-types out there had already fiddled with the lyrics and included it in a church service.)

The rest of the show rocked, and I must say my fave is still Anarchy in the Ukraine. The only thing that could have improved the music would be adding Bullet with Butterfly Wings. *hint, hint*

We saw a few people we knew there, and had a chance to visit with Castor after the show. It was a great night and I don't remember the last time I got home from a date at 3:30 am. Check out Hubby's blog for some pics.


January 29, 2005  |  Comments (8)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



X-ATI Students "Move On"

Responding to well-meaning and oft-repeated advice from ATI-supporters, dozens of ex-ATI students recently resolved to "get over it" and "move on" with their lives.

"It really doesn't matter than your spirits were crushed attempting to conform to a man-made system of spirituality," said one Gothard supporter, "or that your perspective of God suffered nearly-irreversible damage. What's important is that you break free from the chains of bitterness in your lives. I have an excellent diagram about that."

Read the rest of the tongue-in-cheek post at X-ATI Guy.

It seems, sadly, that a lot of our Christian journeys started at the Strait Gate, we found ourselves on a cultic path that imitated the Way. We find ourselves bruised by the shackles of legalism and false teaching.

Even after we are once again on the narrow path that we walk by grace through faith to the Celestial City, it's easy to question ourselves, our faith, our discernment.

It's not simply a matter of "moving on. . ."

Update: Related blogging this week can be found at Batesline, BloggyBlog,
KITW here, here and here, Discount Geek and Reasons Why.


January 27, 2005  |  Comments (10)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Cemetery of Choice

Legal, illegal, professional, amateur, and self-induced. Abortion can be deadly.

Christina at Real Choice is the conservator for the Cemetery of Choice, which keeps a record of those women who have died as a result of abortion.

She also pointed me to an article about Latachie Veal's death, which I mentioned last week.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Praying for the families who have lost loved ones to abortion.


January 27, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



PCAers are Cool.

Check out PCA Blogs and the new blogroll/aggregator for Presbyterian Church in America bloggers, initiated by JollyBlogger.


January 26, 2005  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



The T in TULIP and Children

As for my children...this doctrine [of Total Inability] helps me realize what's really important. What amuses and dismays me is that a lot of people will shout, "All babies are totally depraved!" and then will rush in with feeding schedules, harsh training regimens, and all sorts of other draconian responses. As if these things will help! The all-too-common approach seems to be, "Our children are totally depraved and therefore we need to turn to this child rearing program that is guaranteed, if followed faithfully, to produce whitewashed tombs."

Uh, that's not my goal as a parent.

Read the rest of Rebecca Prewett's thoughts on The Total Depravity of Infants. You might want to follow that up with The Child as Sinner (which relates to children in the Covenant) and Our View of Children as Blessings. Good reading all--one part theology, one part mommy-inspiration, one part thought provoking.


January 25, 2005  |  Comments (16)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Just Call Me Prime Minister


Yes, our dear Yulia Tymoshenko was appointed Prime Minister today. She'll be confirmed by parliament in mid February.

(Via Kyiv Post)


January 24, 2005  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Yushchenko, Tak!

Victor Yushchenko was inaugurated today.
What a victory for the people of Ukraine! A triumph over corruption!


President Yushchenko with his daughers, Sofia and Krystyna

Photo: AP/Efrem Lukatsky

Via Neeka's Backlog

My Mom wrote to me from Chicago, Today I watched the inauguration of Yuschenko and felt joy for the Ukranians as they sang with their orange scarves bundling hopeful hearts....and felt close to you. . . I am glad you will take home a greater part of history. . .

Both the inauguration and that note made me smile and cry.

More inaugaration photos at Le Sabot, Orange Ukraine, Blog de Connard, and Neeka's Backlog.


January 23, 2005  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Thanks, Carol!

My boys enjoying their treats from Canada!


January 22, 2005  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



32 Years of Roe v. Wade

In Memorial: The Blackmun Wall

Women killed by legal abortion.

Scroll to Panel #28 and notice the name Latachie Veal.

I remember when 17 y/o Latachie Veal died in 1991. We were the same age. She died at the hands of Dr. Robert Crist in Houston--the same abortionist who serviced one of the clinics in San Antonio where I lived.

Latachie was bleeding after her abortion and when she asked the staff for help, she was assured her symptoms were normal. She was sent home and not monitored. She stopped breathing later that evening. In spite of CPR and 911. She was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Robert Crist continued to perform abortions, killing babies and some mothers, in several cities around the country.


January 22, 2005  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ezzo in the Blogosphere

While Gary Ezzo has barely been mentioned here the past few weeks, his name has been coming up all over online. Interestingly, it isn't the mamas who are blogging about him, but the dads. . .

For example, everyone's favorite goddess-loving daddy-blogger, The Zero Boss, admits he struggles against the Christian stereotypes he holds and praises the Christians who vocally point out the errors of Ezzo's ways.

In that article, he mentioned Hubby's post Sex Ed, Repressed Authoritarian Style. Be sure to read the full critique of Reflections of Moral Innocence and comments from Dr. Barbara Francis.

Gid has a new baby in the house, and so is thinking more about cue-feeding and how PDF feeds into a parent's need to control.

And Jenn's husband almost hijacks her new blog--but instead asks her to post a collection of links he's uncovered about Ezzo.

Late addition: Also, read Carol's info on Ezzo-style crying, and comforting the needy infant.


January 21, 2005  |  Comments (12)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Virus Alert

The other day I linked to the Quizilla "What 60s Person Are You." Since then, I've heard several sources link that quiz to a virus. I'm deleting my quiz post (I'm a Mod! *L*) and I recommend running whatever virus detection software you use.

So, consider yourself warned.


January 21, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Brainerd and Catechisms

Jan. 18.

Prosecuted my catechetical method of discoursing. There appeared a great solemnity, and some considerable affection in the assembly. - This method of instructing I find very profitable. When I first entered upon it, I was exercised with fears, lest my discourses would unavoidably be so doctrinal, that they would tend only to enlighten the head, but not to affect the heart. But the event proves quite otherwise; for these exercises have hitherto been remarkably blessed in the latter as well as the former respects. -- David Brainerd's Journal

I've found that for me, doctrinal studies move my heart so much and not simply my brain. I remember reading the theology section in a textbook when I was 17 and feeling like I was rejoicing with the angels in heaven as I sat with my legs over the arm of my Dad's oversized recliner.

OKCalvin encouraged me several months ago to be sure that the boys were learning their catechism. We're using this Catechism for Young Children. The kids are definitely in the "Poll Parrot" stage, and like rhythmic recitation of the questions and answers.

At the beginning of the New Year, I started memorizing the Westminster Shorter Catechism via the plan found in TableTalk. (Yep, that's another plug--you really should subscribe.) I especially like this online version of the Westminster Shorter Catechism with the Bible proof texts listed in frames. Not this time around, but eventually I want to memorize those verses associated with each question.

And while I'm not sure whether Brainerd had simply a question/answer method of teaching or the Westminster Shorter in mind when he wrote in his journal, I've been as remarkably blessed, as he said.


January 18, 2005  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Kids vs. Marriage

"A deeper problem I have with the advocacy of date nights is the underlying message behind them. Invariably the message that is clearly stated . . . or subtly alluded to is that children are a hindrance to the marriage, and parents must be regularly separated from the children to maintain a healthy marriage. . . . I think setting them up as adversaries to the marriage is unhealthy. The Bible states that children are a blessing. But far too often I think that in Christian society we don’t really see them that way. We see them as "in the way" far to often. . . "

While I personally enjoy date nights with Hubby, I think Jenn is right on in her essay Children vs. the Marriage?

I have heard teachers and writers too often encourage antagonistic relationships within families--parents vs. children, husband vs. wife. (Gary Ezzo springs to mind.) While I don't believe these teachers or parents are desirous of that outcome, their ideas set people up for interacting in controlling, conflict-ridden ways within families.

Wouldn't it be great if the Church encouraged adults to embrace attitudes ones of "We're all on the same team! We're in the same Body of Christ!" within their families?


January 18, 2005  |  Comments (11)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Mothers and Babies and Bloggers

[It is] so rewarding and satisfying to my mother heart to know I have been created to meet my baby's needs.

Babies were born to be breastfed.


January 17, 2005  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Trials and Faith

"Consider it all joy my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4 NASB
"I must have faith. I must believe what God has told me in His Word. I must see that what comes first to my thoughts is not always reality. Those could be fears and worries and anxieties. . . Faith comes by hearing God’s World and believing what He says. And that is the key to trials being considered occasions for joy." --Dr. Mark Dever, in TableTalk January 2005

I've been very blessed through using TableTalk as an aid to my spiritual disciplines. Kim at The Upward Call is also using TableTalk with her family, and summarizes what has been impacting her in her Trials, Trials post.


January 16, 2005  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Total Truth Giveaway!

Update: Tim has announced the winners! Enjoy your new book, Bob R. & G. Clarke. Tim also mentioned he'll be announcing a new giveaway in a few days.

Update: Tim has now posted his review of Total Truth. Hurry--you still have a day and a half to enter the drawing!

Have you ever heard of a New Year's Resolution to give away books? This month Tim is featuring and giving away Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey.

"In today’s cultural etiquette, it is not considered polite to mix public and private, or sacred and secular. This division is the single most potent force keeping Christianity contained in the private sphere—stripping it of its power to challenge and redeem the whole of culture."

Enter the drawing here. Please use 20079 as the referral ID.

One of Tim's specialties is book reviews, and so when you have the time check out the Book Review Archives.


January 16, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink




"I never imagined I’d be sitting in a Vietnamese café listening to two American girls sing to me in Ukrainian." – Tanya, as relayed by Lil' Miss

"Holy murderous malefactors, Yushchenko! Those oligarchs pounded you harder than anybody since Gongadze. How are you still standing?" - "Robin" over at Orange Ukraine

"The notions that Islam is a "religion of peace" and that jihad means only "moral struggle" are woven from the gauziest of spin." - Hubby

". . .gender apartheid cloaked in religion, aimed at controlling women. . ." - C&R's Patrick, in the midst of explaining where leftist social policy and Islam meet


January 15, 2005  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



From Australia

Check out this commercial. (Short download.)


January 15, 2005  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Love in the Family

More for the Mommy-Inspiration files. . .

You cannot spoil anyone by truly loving them (meaning always doing what is best for them, not what is expedient or easy). Loving means meeting needs as you see them. And that can and does include the important skill of delaying gratification and learning to live WITH your fellow human beings, all at appropriate ages.

If love is your motivating force, you will be able to enjoy a relationship with your family from birth to old age. That isn't to say all will be rosy, but at least you will know that your motivation is on track even when your practice is a bit out of whack for a time. I remember telling my oldest when he was 12 that he could always trust my motivation was love for him even if things didn't always seem that way in the moment.

I try to live that every day, to love and act from love all the time. And even when I fail at it from time to time, I know where the mark is again. . . .Just live, love and be loved. We only get this moment right now... --Patti, Mom to 9 in Ohio


January 15, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



The Bible Guide To Sex and Marriage

Top 10 Biblical Ways to Acquire a Wife
This is satire.

Christian Sex-Ed, Repressed Authoritarian Style
This isn't.


January 14, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Show Us Your Desk!

Two of my boys playing on the computer.

Join in the fun by posting the place where you blog, and leaving a comment here so we can come check it out! (Via Life With Four Kids via Quiet Life.)


January 14, 2005  |  Comments (11)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



The Beauty of Cue-Feeding

Babies will usually fall into predictable rhythms on their own and those rhythms will be a unique synergy between their unique needs and their mother's unique milk supply that is right for them and that automatically adjusts as their needs and their mother's milk supply vary. --taketime

Update: Carol has come "out of hibernation" to write a must-read post for new moms. Gid has a new baby and some in-the-midst-of-everything good things to add.


January 14, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Welcome New Bloggers!

I know several people that I'm excited to welcome to the blogging world:
Knitted in the Womb
Spiritual Ingenue
Really Need a Nap
Little Miss Reformed
Publius Pundit
Comment Me No Comments
and a whole slew of GCM Mamas.

So as you get started journaling online, here are some ideas I've found helpful over the last year.

First, it's nice to have a pretty blog. Play around with CSS and HTML. Hire someone like Tim or Jeri. Check out the Colors of 2005--my faves are the Desaturateds (hat tip FireEric.) Become a follower of the Scripty Goddess. Or just remember that content is king and accept having a plain-jane template for awhile.

Join The Truth Laid Bear and watch your blog go from an Insignificant Microbe to a Playful Primate. Maybe you'll even be a Higher Being one day. Track who is linking you or the news stories you're linking through Technorati. It's also fun to register at BlogTree and follow your blog's "geneology."

Also, I suggest joining a group of similar blogs. Christian ones include the Evangelical Blogroll, League of Reformed Bloggers, The Church Directory, and Blogs4God.

If you really want to get the scoop on blogging, check out Joe Carter's recent How to Start a Blog series.

Keep reading and commenting on blogs. Revel in having an organized place online for your writing and ranting. Most of all, enjoy blogging!


January 13, 2005  |  Comments (10)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Teaching Multiplication

The boys have long known how to do skip counting for 2s, 5s, and 10s (ala Ruth Beechick) but only lately have I been introducing them to the more formal concepts of multiplication.

Tonight I was looking for some multiplication worksheets online and came across some great web resources:

Multiplication.com: Activities, online and family games, printable workseets and other teaching ideas.

Multiplication Worksheet Creator: Lots of choices in customizing worksheets.

EdHelper Multiplication: Cut-n-paste their worksheets into Word to print. Illustrates with dots the basic multiplication concept.

Multiplication Worksheets: By number families.

Natural Math: Learning multiplication with minimal memorization. (via Rachel Ann.)


January 12, 2005  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Keep the Customer Satisfied

I've spent the evening not blogging, but listening to a new double-CD of Simon and Garfunkel and following along with the lyrics. Hubby bought it for me when we were in the center today--gotta love living in the piracy capital of the world.

S&G have quite a sentimental hold over me. I remember being 11 and waking up early in the morning, going out to my Dad's camaro, and listening his S&G 8-track until I had to go to school.

Now the years are rolling by me,
they are rockin’ even me
I am older than I once was,
and younger than I’ll be, that’s not unusual
No it isn’t strange, after changes upon changes,
we are more or less the same
After changes we are more or less the same

Can you imagine us
Years from today,
Sharing a park bench quietly?
How terribly strange
To be seventy.
Old friends. . .

It’s the same old story
Everywhere I go,
I get slandered,
I hear words I never heard
In the Bible. . .

Time, time, time, see what’s become of me
While I looked around
For my possibilities

Slow down, you move too fast.
You got to make the morning last.
Just kicking down the cobble stones.
Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy.

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon God they made.
And the sign flashed out it’s warning,
In the words that it was forming.
And the signs said, the words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls.

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me;
I am shielded in my armor,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb. . .


January 12, 2005  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Breast Cancer Fundraiser

Greg Hammonds, whose wife died of breast cancer, is hosting a comment fundraiser. For every comment made, he or one of the other sponsor's will donate $1 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation's National Breast Cancer Foundation’s programs for education and low-cost or free mammograms for low-income women.

I'm comment 245. Let's help get this number way over 500!

Thanks to Rae, for pointing this out to me. Posting in honor of Vickie and Jill who are currently fighting cancer.

Update: Woohoo! While they're still verifying all the comments, it looks like nearly 700 comments were made for the fundraiser. Still waiting to see the total amount raised.

Update, 1/17: Nearly $3,000 was raised for breast cancer screening for low income women! Thanks to all who participated. And, the Hammonds are gearing up for another comment-a-thon on April 1st, the first anniversary of Greg missing his wife.


January 12, 2005  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Cool New Blog

The CounterTerrorism Blog

(Via Le Sabot)


January 11, 2005  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Get Off Your Butt Parenting

My friend Joanne, aka The Happy Homeschooler, has been updating her Positive Discipline Resource Center website. If you've heard the phrases Get off Your Butt Parenting or Pass the Bean Dip, you've already been introduced to Joanne's common sense and witty style of encouragement. It's worth the time to surf and be inspired.

For more Mommy inspiration and ideas, check out:
Parenting Decisions
The Family Corner (The Prewetts)
Gentle Christian Mothers


January 10, 2005  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Iran and the Internet

stop.censoring.us is a website that focuses on internet censorship in Iran. We have several Iranian friends here in Kyiv, and hearing their stories of growing up in Tehran has really opened my eyes to the oppression in that country.

I take for granted freedom of speech, freedom to put online my thoughts and feelings and rants. In Iran, however, that is not the case as stop.censoring.us reports:

"BBC Persian reports that Saeed Mortazavi has personally and directly ordered the major ISPs . . .to filter Orkut and blogging service websites.

. . .

Mortazavi has been directly involved in the recent arrests of technicians and journalists related to a few reformist websites and is said to be responsible for torturing them.

He is also the judge who has shut down almost all reformist newspapers and magazines during the past six years. . .

(Via SlashDot, via Instapundit)


January 10, 2005  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Our Sins Punished

"God is Father (James 1:27) and therfore loves His children deeply. Yet God is Judge (James 5:9) and thus is required to punish sin. God's love and righteousness, we know, motivated Him to accomplish redemption for us based on the sacrifice of His perfect Son who suffered the punishment we all deserve."

--Robert Rothwell, TableTalk January 2005


January 09, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



O Father You Are Sovereign

O Father, You are sovereign
The Lord of human pain,
Transmuting earthly sorrows
To gold of heavenly gain,
All evil overruling,
As none but Conqueror could,
Your love pursues its purpose—
Our souls’ eternal good.

Learn the whole hymn here.

Since the New Year, I've been using Table Talk from Ligonier Ministries for my daily fellowship time with God. (Thanks Marsupial Mom and Swamphopper!) I'm also using the verse, Westminster Catechism question and hymn as part of Bible time with the boys. The devotional passages each day have been very appropriate for things I've been thinking about and living through recently, both good and hard.

All last week I was humming "What a Friend We Have In Jesus." I don't know this week's hymn very well, so thankfully very unmusical me can learn the tune online.

Kim at Upward Call has been inspired by TableTalk this month, blogging on Worship.


January 09, 2005  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



At the Opera

Tonight we went to the National Opera House for a performance of La Bohème, went out for coffee and walked along Khreshatyk.

top hat.JPG

I recently finished reading Bel Canto (recommended by Megan and amazingly found at the Stoned Baboon.) As I watched the audience during the intermissions, I picked out which ones were true opera lovers like some of the characters in the book.

And while there were no Yushchenko, Tak! scarves, orange was very prominent on stage last night. Hubby has more photos and thoughts up.


January 08, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Happy Birthday, Sister!


Daughter to Mother to Daughter

I am a child,
and as I try to find myself,
I see your face.
Even when I am alone, I feel
the tug of your fingers as they
wash and groom, direct and sooth.

I am growing,
and as God shapes me,
I see your creases in my smile,
and discover your worry-lines 'round my eyes.
I bear the marks of our battles,
and covet the trophies of your praises.

I am a woman,
and as I wince with pain
at learning your trade,
I cradle the child God has given me.
I detect your shadow in her first steps,
and catch your melodies in her songs.

I am a mother,
and as I brush away tears of frustration,
or pin back wisps of golden hair,
I practice your cadenced speech
and try to model your many strengths,
redeem your seldom failures.

I am wiser,
and as my eyes grow weaker,
my vision remains clear:
my hands work feverishly to finish the task
you passed on to me.
You shaped me, and now I shape.
You mirrored, and now I mirror.
You nurtured, and now I try.

For I am a child, a woman,
a daughter, a mother.
And as I hold my granddaughter’s face in my hands,
I see the marks of our instructions.
Together we bear and bury,
give and take,
laugh and cry.

We are mothers. We are daughters. We are sisters.
Intertwined in the quest to raise a generation,
connect the past, prepare for the future.
By God's help, we steward for a season,
and then we wait,
and watch,
and listen...
To one day hear her say,
...I am HIS child

© 2004 Little House Blog


January 07, 2005  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Book Meme

Via Eric over at Fire Ant Gazette: Here's how it works. Copy the list, then remove from it the names of any authors not in your home library, replacing them with names of authors you have. Boldface the ones you’ve added.

1. Louis Berkhof
2. Graham Greene
3. Henry James
4. Anne Lamott
5. Sir Walter Scott
6. Peggy Noonan
7. John Irving
8. Susan Hunt
9. Asne Seirerstad
10. William Shakespeare

Yikes. I guess Eric and I don't have a lot of bookshelf overlap, or at least meme overlap. I picked authors to add that I've had in my hands lately.


January 06, 2005  |  Comments (19)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Date Night!

We left this evening to Babushka and the boys dancing to "Razom Nas Bahato" and spent an evening in the centre of Kyiv.

We walked through Schevschenko Park. The trees were outlined with white against the dark night, and we stopped to watch the old men playing chess in the snow. We went to the Opera House to buy tickets--La Boheme is showing Saturday night. I can't wait!

We strolled along Khreshatyk. The tent city has shrunk, but it's still up. People talking politics, drinking tea, warming hands around fires. I assume people are staying until Yushchenko is inaugurated. It was a glorious night to meander downtown, chilly but not frigid, reminders of the revolution and the holidays, the lights and people.

We spent Christmas money at the Globe bookstore, especially looking for books for the boys from my Dad and Mom. We got them Robin Hood, English Fairy Tales, and Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things that Go. It's a little weird, though, reading the British translation when I remember the American version. Oh, and we picked up The Bookseller of Kabul for ourselves.


January 05, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Spam Happy

I'm just tickled with MT Blacklist and the behind-the-scenes updates that Tim has done around here. And if you like the new look, check out his other work and keep Tim in mind when you're in the market for web development gurus.

But, I've gotten delete-happy, and somehow have accidently deleted some real comments. (Sorry Mr. Strauss and Mark and others. . .) I need to be more careful. . .


January 05, 2005  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



You, Too?

Hubby came home with a surprise for me today, U2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. While I get sentimental when I hear certain U2 songs, I've never been the huge fan other people I know are. But when I read some reviews a few weeks ago, I added it to my wishlist. (I thought I read a review by Gideon Strauss, but now I can't find it)

I've only listend to it a few time while cleaning the kitchen, so don't expect a thoughtful review from me. But I'm enjoying it.


January 04, 2005  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



The Anti-Yushchenko Fringe

In some corners, people still refuse to accept the validity of the Orange Revolution. They do not want to see that it sprang up from the Ukrainian people themselves. They find comfort, or political advantage, in positing elaborate political conspiracies in an attempt to minimize the truly momentous, peaceful revolution it was.

Those of us who live in Ukraine or intimately understand the region clearly see that the Orange Revolution did come from the hearts of the people of Ukraine.

Over at Le Sabot, Hubby is dialoging with Justin Raimondo of antiwar.com. He's well known for his attacks on basically anything America does. Raimondo's anti-Yushchenko (and anti-Ukraine?) rants are simply grasping at air. Why is it some people seem so set upon seeing machinations and conspiracies instead of appreciating this movement for democracy and true freedom?

If you've heard any of the American money bought the election screeds, you need to go over and read Le Sabot. Be sure to also read Hubby's commentary on Jake Rudnitsky's slapdown of the pro-Yanukovich crowd.

Update: Instapundit gets in on the action: A fly, SWATTED.

Also joining in are BloggledyGook, Fire Ant Gazette, The Senescent Man, The Argus here AND here, and in the comments were Orange Ukraine, Aris Katsaris, Ivan Lenin and Mr. Tom G. Palmer. If I were Justin Raimondo, I think I'd go crawl under a rock. . .


January 04, 2005  |  Comments (11)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



To Fix or Depend?

"God's job is to fix and to change. Our job is to depend, serve, and equip. This is the work of grace."

I read Jeff VanVonderen's Families Where Grace is in Place last January. I found myself nodding as I read, seeing so many of the conclusions I'd come to through studying theology and discussions with friends. Only Jeff VanVonderen had these thoughts organized and drew upon his experience counseling with families.

It's very true, as JVV points out, that we have been

". . .taught to gauge spiritual success by outward performance standards, and not . . .been shown the internal steps that lead to real, from-the-heart-out empowerment and transformation."

Fast forward through a rough year, and I'm rereading the book. However, instead of nodding in agreement with his ideas, I'm recognizing myself and my own struggles in life. I'm seeing how much I still strive to measure myself and my spiritual "success" by outward standards. How much I don't daily turn to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and draw upon His grace.

In this coming year, I desire to learn more to lean into God, draw my strength from and depend upon Him. And may His grace flow out so I can serve and equip my husband and children.


January 04, 2005  |  Comments (12)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink




One of J8's birthday presents was the dice game Yahtzee. I remember playing it when I was a child, and thought he'd enjoy it. The box said "Classic Yahtzee," and so I was surprised when I couldn't read the instructions. Russian, Czech, and two other languages I can't even identify. (Probably Hungarian and Finnish. . .)

I thought I could figure out the scoring in Russian, but then realized I had forgotten enough of the rules to make even that useless.

Google to the rescue! Full Yahtzee rules and explanation online, along with the illustrations I remember from when I was a kid.



January 03, 2005  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Adoption and Attachment Resources

A friend of mine was asking me the other day for which resources I've found online concerning adoption and attachment. A good friend of hers is in the process of adopting an infant, and has been encouraged by church friends to use Gary Ezzo's "Babywise" manual with this adopted child. It's hard--I have an Ezzo-mama friend whose son was dx'd RAD, and an adoptive mom friend whose older child was dx'd RAD.

While one cannont conclusively say that "CIO/Ezzo --> Attachment Problems," there are many resources that indicate the parenting ideas expoused by Ezzo do undermine the development of parent/child attachment. Sadly, these parents do love their children dearly, even when their actions may be preventing a strong and healthy attached relationship.

Attachment Disorders
Adoption and Attachment

Here at TulipGirl:
Loving Families and Reactive Attachment Disorder
Mommies, Babies, and Chemistry
Different But Equal


January 02, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Getting Orange Gear

Dan and Lesya over at Orange Ukraine have taken on the unenviable task of trying to supply Orange Revolution stuff for those outside of Ukraine. They're working out the details.

Get yours while it lasts. Or do the Ukrainian thing, and apply orange liberally and creatively wherever you go, whatever you wear.


January 02, 2005  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Vote for Me!

Join in the Best of the Blogs 2004 awards, and vote for me!


You can vote once each day in each category from now until January 17th. And, be sure to visit the other Homeschool/Education blogs--there's a great collection of them listed.


January 01, 2005  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Happy First Blogiversary to Me!

Last year for Christmas, Hubby gave me my own domain name and webhosting to start a blog and transfer the info from my old site to a new one.

One year and 503 posts later. . . Here I am. The functionality of the site hasn't quite emerged as I envisioned last year, but the blogging and writing have. I'm glad I have all the family journaling that I used to write in e-mails now collected in one place. I like having my own soapbox. And it's been thrilling to be able to help people around the world get a glimpse and better understanding of the Orange Revolution.

And, thanks to Tim Challies, soon my orangey site will be beautified. Already I'm using the updated MT to go through and kill spam. (There is something so therapuetic about that.)

Along with all of that, today I found out I'm a finalist in the BOB Awards for Education/Homeschool blogs. Voting starts tonight. *grin*

Overall, though, I'm very thankful for how the blogging world has brought in relationships and stimulating conversation. I love living in Ukraine, but even as my language skills progress, there is a limit to communication. I don't feel isolated, thanks to blogging and e-mail.


January 01, 2005  |  Comments (10)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Happy New Year 2005!

A few minutes ago, all of a sudden R5 and I realized that it was midnight! 2005! Happy New Year!

We cheered, kissed, and pulled out the bottle of soveitski champagne we had chilling in the fridge. It made a great pop, and just then the local fireworks started going off.

We'll have fireworks outside our apartment building over the next few hours. One of the perks of living on the 15th floor, is having a birds-eye view of fireworks.


January 01, 2005  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



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