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Summer Evening

This evening I sat outside on the lanai, drank iced coffee and read a new theology book (thanks, Tim).

The boys were playing with a neighbor(!) in the pool. Five splashing boys.

It was peaceful.


May 31, 2006  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Birth Art

**warning, very sensitive**

This link goes to a page with c-section birth art.

Very moving.


May 30, 2006  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Memorial Day 2006

Here's health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve;
In many a strife we've fought for life
And never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.

One week ago, my 18 year old brother-in-law kissed his mom and girlfriend goodbye, gave us all hugs, and went off to Paris Island for boot camp with the Marines.

He's just one of many young men and women through this country's history who have gone, given their youth, and sometimes their lives for this country and its ideals.

In Memory.


May 29, 2006  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



From Salon.Com: More on Michael and Debi Pearl

Lynn Harris, writing for Salon.com, seeks to understand and explain the parenting teachings and allure of Michael and Debi Pearl.

One of the things that has been interesting to me with the rising concern about the Pearls from the "mainstream" is to see how an "outsider" perceives the teachings that are quite standard within a specific Christian subculture. In referring to this subculture, I'm not speaking of the more broad conservative, evangelical subculture--but that which tends towards a more separatist, independent, "home" oriented.

While I've not fully identified with this specific subculture, I've been close enough to it to understand and see the motivations of those within it. Likely, many of you who visit me here at TulipGirl have been a part of that subculture or are close enough to those within it to understand it, as well. And while they have done admirable background work, it's apparent that Lynn Harris and Mandy Locke don't seem to quite understand many of the factors involved with accepting the sort of teachings the Pearls promote.

Intentions within this subculture are good, but what I've seen is replacing what is truly Biblical with ideals that build a particular subculture and set of values. Values which, in themselves, are not necessarily bad. But taken as a whole are elevated to a place of prominence within this subculture, at the expense of what is truly Biblical. At the expense of the Gospel.

(Related to this, read Christian Families on the Edge from CRI.)


May 27, 2006  |  Comments (8)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Bob Dylan's Birthday

Bob Dylan is 65.

I remember the first Bob Dylan song I ever heard was when I was in 4th grade. My teacher, Mr. Earley, brought in his vinyl and played it for the class.

Well, the whole thing started at 3 o'clock fast,
It was all over by quarter past.
I was down in the sewer with some little lover
When I peeked out from a manhole cover
Wondering who turned the lights on.

Well, I got up and walked around
And up and down the lonesome town.
I stood a-wondering which way to go,
I lit a cigarette on a parking meter
And walked on down the road.
It was a normal day.

. . .

Down at the corner by a hot-dog stand
I seen a man, I said, "Howdy friend,
I guess there's just us two."
He screamed a bit and away he flew.
Thought I was a Communist.

Well, I spied a girl and before she could leave,
"Let's go and play Adam and Eve."
I took her by the hand and my heart it was thumpin'
When she said, "Hey man, you crazy or sumpin',
You see what happened last time they started."

This was during the early 80s. Height of the Cold War. We lived in Arizona, near the Mexico border. I don't remember anyone ever telling me about a Red Dawn scenario, but I did figure that if Commies ever did invade the US, they'd come up from Mexico.

Mr. Earley used to play guitar with Bob Dylan in California.


May 24, 2006  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 6

Q. 6. How many persons are there in the Godhead?

A. There are three persons in the Godhead; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost
Matthew 3:16-17, Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14, 1 Peter 1:2

equal in power and glory
Psalm 45:6, John 1:1, John 17:5, Acts 5:3-4, Romans 9:5, Colossians 2:9, Jude 1:24-25

(via OPC/CRTA)


May 21, 2006  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Listen to Biographies, Thanks to Monergism

Monergism continues to expand its offerings. Just today I discovered it has expanded its links to audio files / mp3s to include several biography series.

Included are a series by John Piper including lectures on David Brainerd, John G. Paton, William Wilberforce, J. Gresham Machen (C5 was almost named Machen), Martin Luther and John Calvin, of course, and many more. Also available are historical biographies by Michael Haykin including Athanasius and Basil, Leo and Patrick, Charles Finney & Revivalism, Horatius Bonar, and many others.

I started with Piper on Jonathan Edwards, especially since I've recently been reading on Edwards' theology of children.

It's amazing how fast the kitchen gets clean when I'm listening to lectures like these.


May 21, 2006  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Climbing in Bed with a Book

Feeling yuckier today than yesterday. I overdid it yesterday, but I wouldn't have missed Andrew's graduation for anything. (Pics later, I hope.) But now it's time for me to crawl in bed with a book. I have a new theological text to read, thanks to Tim Challies.

I'm feeling too nauseated to drink coffee. Bummer. But at least I have a good book.

Update: The book is good. But my concentration is shot. Ugh. Sipping Good Earth tea that Kristen sent me, and I've been saving for the right time.


May 20, 2006  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Sick Days. . .

All the boys are coughing. T8 slept away most of yesterday. I've been vomiting. Oh, joy.

Anyway, there are some business-y things I still have to attend to. Phone calls to make. People to contact. Plus, it's the boys' last day of school.



May 19, 2006  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Them good ol' boys. . . Singing. . .

Driving home tonight after dark, all the boys except T8 were asleep. We were listening to the radio, windows down, holding hands, singing together. . .

"Bye bye Miss American Pie,
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ol' boys were drinkin whiskey and rye
Singing "This'll be the day that I die,
This'll be the day that I die."


May 18, 2006  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Woman Shoots Gator

Just a few days ago I posted about alligator attacks. And now. . .

A woman shot an alligator that she found on her lanai, attacking her dog. From the details in the story, if this wasn't in our neighborhood, it wasn't too far away.


May 18, 2006  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Organic Cilantro-Lime Salsa

With the goodies from our organic co-op last week, I made Cilantro-Lime Salsa. Four small jars are gifts for the boys' school teachers. I haven't done any canning since returning from Ukraine, so I did note for the teachers to store it in the fridge rather than on the shelf.

This is my standard recipe for Salsa for canning. There is a temptation to use more peppers/onions, but to keep it safe the ratio acidic:non-acidic ingredients needs to stay consistent with this recipe. The batch I did this week was much smaller than the recipe, but maintained the proportions.

Salsa for Canning

5 lb tomatoes
1 lb green peppers
1/3 lb jalapenos
1 lb onions
1 cup vinegar, 5% acidity
3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper

If you want chunky salsa, take the time to cut the ingredients into uniform sizes. This can be time consuming, but rewarding. After I discovered the ease of using the blender, I've opted for less-chunky salsa.

Whir tomatoes and other ingredients in a blender. Tomatoes can simply be halved. Onions and bell peppers quartersed. Clean all seeds from peppers (you may want to use gloves.) Keep the vinegar aside and add to blender as necessary to help as it chops the veggies.

Roma or paste tomatoes work better than large, wet-juicy sandwich tomatoes. Vine or hothouse ripened have a better flavor than gas ripened. Go for the freshest, bestest ingredients when canning!

Combine ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 10 minutes. Personally, I like how salsa tastes after it's simmered for at least and hour. But if you like the "fresher" taste, 10 minutes is sufficient.

Follow standard canning instructions for sterilizing jars. Fill jars--pints are good for gift giving. Larger bottles are better when you live in Ukraine and are stocking up on salsa for the year. Leave a 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process for 20 minutes in a waterbath canner.

When canning salsa, be sure to keep the vinegar/tomato/other veggie proportions accurate, for safety.

Today's variation included:
Organic fresh cilantro, one bunch
Organic jalepeno peppers, only 3
Organic limes, 2 peeled and blended
Vine-ripe, local-grown roma tomatoes

Update: I'm a tad disappointed in this batch. I think I should have added just a squeeze of lime juice near the end of cooking, and maybe used less cilantro. . .


May 17, 2006  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Buddha's Birthday

This morning the radio mentioned that Buddha's birthday is coming up and then played Gandalf Murphy and The Slambovian Circus of Dreams. The song? I Made Buddha Cry.

Just a snapshot of my life.


May 17, 2006  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Paris Tulips

Paris Tulips.jpg

(Via Paris Daily Photo, via Tim and Jo)


May 16, 2006  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Blogging Pet Peeves. . .

I've said it before. . . So, why rehash it? Just that the same ol' same ol' peeves have been bugging me again. . .


May 16, 2006  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Internet Addiction Test

My sister thinks I'm an addict.

This'll show her.

You are an average on-line user. You may surf the Web a bit too long at times, but you have control over your usage.

What about you? Take the Internet Addiction Test. They even offer a "Virtual Clinic" for those who need help.

(Via Lifehacker)


May 15, 2006  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Three Alligator Deaths / One Week

In our neck of the swamp, the water table is low, the temperature is rising, and the alligators are mating.

That has led to three alligator-related deaths in a week. Very unusual.

Considering our neighborhood has several small lakes, it is not uncommon to see alligator snouts barely above water. Hubby has tried to point several gators out to me the past week--I'm usually too slow to see them as we drive by.

Obviously, we're keeping the kiddos away from the shoreline and in after dark.

In related news, R7 jumped into the pool the other day and then freaked out when he saw a snake was swimming, too. J9 thought he saw a wild cat right at the edge of the woods behind our house. And neighborhood lore is that a two year old who lived two doors down from us died a half-dozen years ago from a poinonous snake bite.

And here we are, safe in suburbia.


May 15, 2006  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Do Not Call / Junk Mail Banning

So, we've been in the States a year. Our mailbox overfloweth with junk mail. Hubby put us on the Do Not Call list and took steps to minimize junk mail when we first moved in. For one reason or another, we're back on some lists. Here are the resources I've used today to minimize junk mail, phone calls, and e-mails.

Do Not Call Registry (free, register online)

E-mail Opt Out List (free, register online)

Junk Mail:
Opt Out Mailing List ($5 register online, free register by mail)
More Steps to Limit Junk Mail
More Opting Out Info
Opt Out in the UK

Pre-Screened Credit Cards (via Brian):


May 12, 2006  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



More Sadness on Sean Paddock / Michael and Debi Pearl

The autopsy has been released for Sean Paddock, the young adopted boy who was abused and who died at the hands of his mother. His mother had turned to Michael and Debi Pearl's parenting resources, and had been influenced by them.

From the article:

In the week before 4-year-old Sean Paddock's death, he refused to stay in bed at night . . .

That was when Lynn Paddock, his adoptive mother, began wrapping the child tightly in blankets to keep him still through the night, the report said. By the third night of battling the straying child, the bundling was so thick and so tight that Sean couldn't move.

Sometime in the early morning darkness Feb. 26, the 30-pound boy suffocated to death. Because of the constraint, Sean's lungs couldn't completely fill with air, eventually robbing him of oxygen, said Deborah L. Radisch, a pathologist with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

To my knowledge, Michael and Debi Pearl do not give specific instructions to wrap a child tightly in blankets if he in not "obeying" and is getting out of bed at night.

However, they do teach in their book "To Train Up A Child":

"If you have to sit on him to spank him then do not hesitate. And hold him there until he is surrendered. Prove that you are bigger, tougher, more patiently enduring and are unmoved by his wailing. Defeat him totally. Accept no conditions for surrender. No compromise. You are to rule over him as a benevolent sovereign. Your word is final."

They Pearls teach parents that they should use whatever force is necessary to restrain a child, to hold him there until he is surrendered. . . defeat him totally. Using blankets to do that isn’t specified in what I've read, but it definitely fits the "spirit" of what is taught.

The autopsy also showed other signs of physical abuse.

"Layers of thin, long bruises -- old and new -- stretched from Sean's bottom to his shoulder blade, the autopsy said. In addition to the binding, Paddock had been whipping the boy with a plastic plumbing pipe, Johnston County sheriff's deputies have said.

Investigators say Paddock had also been whipping Sean's 8-year-old sister and 9-year-old brother with the thin, flexible pipes. . ."

Related here at TulipGirl:
On the Pearls and Parenting
Pearls Po-Russki
Biblical Relationships or Behaviourism
Children, Good and Grown

More News On Sean Paddock
On Perfectionism and the Pearls
A Switch or a Cross?
Authoritarianism and Isolationism Among Us (small type, worth the effort of reading)
The Pearls: The Basics, On Original Sin
To Train Up A Child Review
TTUAC: One Family's Experiences
Another Family's Experience
Chapter-by-Chapter Review of TTUAC
Avoiding Millstones
TTUAC Short Review


May 10, 2006  |  Comments (12)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



I Just Got A Phone Call. . .

Because my Mom was reading my blog. And she wanted to comment on something but decided to just call instead. *grin* Made my day. I don't call or e-mail my folks or my sister enough. I'm glad that at least my Mom reads and comments here and my sister blogs, too.


May 10, 2006  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Surprise! Coffee!

Today I had a mysterious box awaiting me at home. I opened it, and found it FULL of coffee. As in THREE POUNDS of coffee and goodies.

Last month, Rebecca posted about BloggersFuel.Com and their promotional for blog reviewers. I signed up, but quickly forgot. I thought I was much too late to the game.

I put on my new always blog on a full tank cap and opened a bag of coffee. Oh. My. The aroma. Rich, wonderful.

It's brewing now. Look for reviews on Boca Java's Blogger's Fuel coffee in the near future.


May 10, 2006  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Those Who Can, Code

Thanks to TechieMommy HippieMommy, the comment function is once again working properly.

So, jump in and join the conversation!


May 09, 2006  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Headline of the Week

Luther defeats Pope by 10 votes in Republican Race

There he stood.
He was destined to win.
Other suggested subtitles?


May 08, 2006  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Children Learn What They Live

When I was growing up, we had a piece of driftwood hanging on the wall with the poem/wisdom Children Learn What They Live on it.

The version we had was a little different from what I find online, and traditionalist that I am, it bothers me I can't find one worded exactly as I remember it.

But it did start the same way, "If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn. . ."

Very little of raising our children has to do with "parenting" per say, or "parenting philosophies." It has to do with living our lives, dependent upon God, being sanctified day by day, and living in the moment with our children.

Jo(e) has a wonderful post about this.

(Link to Jo(e) via Moot Thoughts.)


May 08, 2006  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



On Family Worship

“Were you formed for this world only, there would be some form to this objection, but how strange such an objection sounds coming from an heir of eternity. Pray, what is your time given to you for? Is it not principally that you may prepare for eternity? And have you no time then for what is the greatest business of your lives? To train your own children in the things of God?”

-Samuel Davies ( Southern counterpart to Jonathan Edwards in the great revival of the 1740’s)

(Via Ever Expanding)


May 07, 2006  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Homeschooling Neophyte

Our first year of school-building-school was a success. It wraps up in two weeks. I cried when I realized that the boys' last day at our local Mennonite school will be May 18th.

Last week we talked with the boys' teachers and the school admissions officer, and alerted them that they would not be returning in the fall. I know I have at least one friend who is cheering, a victory for homeschooling. *grin*

As most schooling decisions, this one was complex with many factors. One of the factors was NOT a failure of the school they attended or any horrible stories about teacher incompetence or bullies or anything of that sort.

Sure, there were some things I rolled my eyes at about school this year. And some frustration on my part on a couple of the curriculum choices. But overall, our family's experience with the boys in private school was excellent. Each of the teachers was sensitive to our kids' strengths and weaknesses. The "gaps" in their education that I could acutely see last fall, have been filled. J9 can write in cursive, legibly. I think perhaps we should have handled grade placement a little differently for one of the boys at the beginning of the year. But, overall, an excellent year. The boys learned a lot, and this was the best choice for their transition year from Ukraine to the US.

But we will be homeschooling in the coming year.

All of a sudden I feel a bit overwhelmed and quite new at homeschooling--despite 16+ years involved with homeschooling, as a student, a teacher, a parent. And a bit scared at our competency at this. Concerned about finding a good routine. And brand new at all of this, in spite of it all.

I'll probably be blogging on this more soon. Or maybe not. I tend to be open and transparent online, but sometimes do keep things unpublished out of respect for my family and their privacy. Though, I think I'll be asking some h/s questions soon--I've found the blogging community to be an excellent (and efficient) resource that I'm thankful to have.

Note: Just for clarification. . . While I feel like a newbie at homeschooling right now, we've actually homeschooled the kids for years. This past school year was our first year of school-building-school. . .


May 05, 2006  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



International Midwives' Day

Today is a day set aside to honor and thank the women who have dedicated their lives to being with women during the amazing, transitional time of pregnancy and birth.

I'd like to give special thanks to those midwives who were with me during the births of my four boys:

Carol Wolfson and Cheryl Hollifield, Florida

Veronica Wagner, California

Alisa Voss, Texas

Tavish Brinton, South Carolina

(Via The Mommy Blawg. Who reminded me of it last year, too.)

Hey, Alisa! If you ever google your name and find this, please e-mail me! I hate that we've fallen out of touch, and I'ld love to catch up with you. . .


May 05, 2006  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Another Series from Rebecca

Within the conservative, Christian, often-homeschooling subculture, a new(ish) idea has caught on--encouraging the father/daughter relationship, but with an emphasis on "purity."

Check out these thoughtful (and somewhat disturbing) posts:

I'm all for purity but...
Fathers and daughters
Let girls be girls
Alternatives to father-daughter balls

Also disturbing to me is that the mothers are strangely missing from this event, and that there is no corresponding event to urge sons to pledge their purity to their mothers. Doesn't it seem odd that purity is pledged to the opposite sex parent, rather than to both parents?

I don't have daughters. I have sons. And we will pass on to them our values about character, family commitments, sexual purity. . . And while I'm not going to limit our discussion about the birds and the bees, early sexualization is not something that is healthy. Even when done to emphasize "purity."


May 03, 2006  |  Comments (10)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Breastfeeding, Babies and Big Girls

"When DD3 pretends to be a Mommy, she is a very good one. She rocks her babies, she sings to them, she snuggles them in a blanket. And then she says she needs a paci and a bottle. She has no memory of the hours I spent nursing her. She has no memory of seeing anyone nurse. Heck, she has no memory of seeing people do most of the things I did with her as an infant. . . .

I so want DD3 to grow up knowing that it is normal, natural, healthy, and God’s design for a woman to nurse her babies."

Read more from ChewyMom.


May 03, 2006  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Bananas and Onions and Beets, Oh My!

We joined the local organic food co-op. While I still get most of my produce from the non-organic roadside market and the grocery store, now each week I'll be picking up a basketful of organic produce as well.

This week's goodies include organic bananas, beets, onions, sweet potatoes and more. I don't think I've ever eaten beets outside of Ukraine. It's weird to have experiences I associate with Ukraine within an American context.

Right now I have a onion frittata in the oven, with a side salad ready for dinner.


May 01, 2006  |  Comments (12)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



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