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With a Bible and a Gun

Today my son turns ten. My baby, my firstborn.

He was born in the same city where we are now living. I labored at the beach with him, before going to the birthing center and then transferring to the hospital. It was a long labor. I wish someone had named transition to me when I was in the midst of it. Pushing was a relief.

When he was born and was placed in my arms, I had an unknown feeling, an unrecognized new love overwhelm me. I remember in that moment identifying with Eve. "With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man."

So J is now 10. To mark his first decade he was given two gifts, his first full Bible and a shotgun.


June 30, 2006  |  Comments (19)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



I Went Out Walking

I went out walking through the streets paved with gold
Lifted some stones
Saw the skin and bones
Of a city without a soul
I went out walking under an atomic sky
Where the ground won't turn
And the rain it burns
Like the tears when I said goodbye

Yeah I went with nothing
Nothing but the thought of you
I went wandering

I went drifting through the capitals of tin
Where men can't walk
Or freely talk
And sons turn their fathers in
I stopped outside a church house
Where the citizens like to sit
They say they want the kingdom
But they don't want God in it

I went out riding
Down that ol' eight lane
I passed by a thousand signs
Looking for my own name

I went with nothing
But the thought you'd be there too
Looking for you

I went out there
In search of experience
To taste and to touch
And to feel as much
As a man can
Before he repents

I went out searching, lookin' for one good man
A spirit who would not bend or break
Who would sit at his father's right hand
I went out walking with a bible and a gun
The word of God lay heavy on my heart
I was sure I was the one
Now Jesus, don't you wait up
Jesus, I'll be home soon
Yeah I went out for the papers
Told her I'd be back by noon

Yeah I left with nothing
But the thought you'd be there too
Looking for you...
Yeah I left with nothing
Nothing but the thought of you...
I went wandering

U2 / Johnny Cash


June 30, 2006  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



What's Abortion, Mom?

Just the sort of question I haven't wanted to hear. And today J9 asked it.

By some parents' standards we're pretty permissive. The boys have seen all of the LOTR movies, myriad times. We've read them Greek myths and talked about false gods and beliefs. They've known street kids and learned how to look for syringes at the park and what to do if they see one. By other standards, we're over-protective. They have carefully guarded them from any sexualized media. They haven't spent the night with anyone outside the family. We spend limited time away from the kiddos. They only learned what divorce was in the past year. Only last month did the two older boys get a "talk" about how God brings babies into families.

The concept and reality of abortion is something I've wanted to protect them from. Knowing some babies are killed? While they are defenseless and still growing in mommy? And that it done intentionally? What a horrid idea for a child to learn.

J9 is quite politically-inclined. He has a Katherine Harris t-shirt. Wants to form a Young America's chapter in the neighborhood. Is proud to be an American, and a Republican. Somewhere along his reading he's seen the word abortion. He saw that word on my screen this evening, and that's what prompted the question.

"What's abortion, Mom?"

My first answer, "Honey, it's bedtime and I'm too tired. Let's talk about that later." Yup. The lazy answer.

A minute later I called him to me. "What do you think abortion is?"

"I don't know. I've just seen the word."

And I weighed. Do I bring him a step further into the knowledge of how fallen our world is? Can I delay it? Please, my son is only nine-turning-ten-this-week. I don't want him to know about abortion yet.

I was his age when I first read Diary of an Unborn Child. My mom had a tract from Last Days' Ministries. I think there were daisies on the front. I know I had a concept of abortion before then, but that's when I really became aware of what abortion truly was.

I have a small pregnancy diary online from when I was expecting C5. Along with it are pictures of several stages of development. So I took J9 to that webpage and we looked at the pictures and I told him about how babies grow in the womb. We talked about how they start with just two cells and the difference between those two cells and a 10 year old is simply time and nutrition. We talked about how funny they look at 6 weeks old. We laughed at the 24 week "old man" baby picture.

And then I told him.

Abortion is when people go to a doctor to intentionally kill a baby before he is born.


I watched his face. His eyes flitting from picture to picture. The look of horror, bewilderment.

He sat on my lap and we hugged and were sad and silent together.


June 28, 2006  |  Comments (22)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Sin and Poison

"The Lord is pleased to let the in-being of sin continue, to humble his people, and make them prize Christ more. Because you find corruptions stirring, do not therefore presently unsaint yourselves, and deny the kingdom of grace to be come into your souls.

That you feel sin is an evidence of spiritual life; that you mourn for it is a fruit of love to God; that you have a combat with sin, argues antipathy against it. Those sins which you once wore as a crown on your head, are now as fetters on the leg.

Is not all this from the Spirit of grace in you? Sin is in you, as poison in the body, which you are sick of, and use all Scripture antidotes to expel. Should we condemn all those who have indwelling sin, nay, who have had sin sometimes prevailing, we should blot some of the best saints out of the Bible." --

(Via Pastor Baggins)


June 28, 2006  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Tried to Philosophize Your Pain


This is the healing
Give me tears from all your bitter years
This is the healing
Salt the wounds, the healing will come soon

Visual and lyrical images by Micheal Knott


June 27, 2006  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Babywise 2001: Conflicting Messages

A new review of the most recent edition of Babywise by Gary Ezzo has recently been published online at www.ezzo.info.

Conflicting Messages--A Review of Babywise (2001 edition) highlights the double messages that exist within Babywise 2001. While the authors claim that BW 2001 is "updated" in such a way to minimize the problems of slow weight gain, breastmilk supply problems, and other issues historically associated with Babywise, this review highlights how the core ideas linked with these problems are still being taught.

Part of the review really stood out to me, in how it illustrated that Babywise gives parents a false set of ideas on which to make decisions about infant feeding.

According to Babywise, the baby's hunger will begin to line up with mealtimes. However true to experience this patterning may be for some adults, for growing breastfed babies, hunger and feeding are dynamic processes. The infant's stomach size and gastric emptying rate, and the mother's breastmilk storage capacity and rate of milk synthesis affect how often an individual baby needs to feed --and hunger also rises and falls dynamically to accommodate growth spurts, milk supply fluctuations, hot weather, illness, teething, activity levels, and more.

Babywise, however, connects the issue of feeding frequency to age:

"How often you should feed your baby depends on your baby's age. As a general rule, during the first two months you will feed your baby approximately every 2 1/2 to 3 hours from the beginning of one feeding to the beginning of the next....With these recommendations you can average between eight to ten feedings a day in the early weeks. These times fall well within recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics." ( p. 74, emphasis added.)

This instruction allows for about 8 to 9.6 feedings per day. Targetting a subset at the low end of the normal range is setting some parents and babies up for failure or frustration--and is not intended by the AAP's discussion on the normal range of 8 to 12 feedings for breastfed babies.

Often parents will come away from reading Babywise, envisioning a fairly linear path of increased infant sleep at night and decreased number of feedings during the day. Any deviation from the linear progression is assumed to be very short-lived, a few days of "growth spurt" or teething. This often leads Babywise parents to misinterpret hunger cues, not view deviations from the schedule as legitimate, or overlook the early signs of slowed growth.

Parents who have had several babies are more aware that infant growth and development is on a less linear path than Ezzo presents it. A "growth spurt" may last more than just a few days. A developmental spurt may necessitate increased nighttime feedings, even while daytime feedings may remain the same or decrease. Illness or teething can impact the infant's ability to adapt to an eat/wake/sleep routine, and may need more than a day or two on a more ad-lib routine.

I encourage all parents to read this review. If you currently are using Babywise (or have had in the past), what do you think? To what extent have you been aware of the conflicting messages? When you talk to other parents about Babywise, how to you help them see this and implement this while avoiding the difficulties commonly associated with Babywise? What conflicting messages have you seen in other materials by Gary Ezzo?

Feel free to discuss BW 2001 and Ezzo parenting here. Or, if you like, join the conversation over at AwareParent.Net.


June 23, 2006  |  Comments (18)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Fine Art Friday


The Blue Madonna (attributed to Carlo Dolci) can be seen locally at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.

(Fine Art Friday Curator: Carol)


June 23, 2006  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



A Question About Blogger. . .

Hypothetically speaking. . .

If someone using blogger wanted to block a certain user from their site, is it possible to do so easily? Can any viewing of the site be blocked? If not, can a specific user's comments be blocked?

Just wondering. . .

(Not that I think that *I'm* being blocked by anyone, but I think a certain blogging buddy is being harrassed and I don't know anything about Blogger, so I'm asking. . .)


June 22, 2006  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



It's Pouring. . .

And the boys are swimming in the pool, the sky is yellow and the rain is pouring down.

Ack. Just started thundering. Calling five wet boys into the house.


June 21, 2006  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Book Club

T8 and I have started a mommy-son book club. He chose the first book we're both going to read and then discuss: Little Pilgrim's Progress.

I highly recommend it. It is great as a read aloud. I've read it a couple of times to the boys (and then read it on tape so they can listen to it again.) While Helen Taylor takes liberties, I find she stays true to the heart of the John Bunyan classic.


June 20, 2006  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Finally. A Pancake Recipe I Can Make.

I used to not be able to make pancakes. No matter how I tried, they flopped. I finally found success in Ukraine, when I used a recipe for crepes from a little paperback Betty Crocker cookbook that was given to me by one of the single guys on our team.

We ate crepes instead of pancakes for a couple of years, and then I found this recipe for Thin Pancakes. It's easy, makes large batches without problems, and the family loves them. When our church plant met on Saturday nights, part of our Sunday morning tradition was having these pancakes.

With recipes, the ingredients and amounts are not copyright protected, but the instructions and tips are. So, please visit this link for the well-written hints on how to make fabulous thin pancakes. However, for my own easy reference, I'm posting the ingredients here, in the proportions we usually use:

Serves 6, plus leftovers

Flour, 6 cups
Sugar, 6 tablespoons
Baking powder, 6 teaspoons
Salt to taste
Butter, 6 ounces, melted
Eggs, 6
Milk, 6 cups


June 19, 2006  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Our Home, Happy Father's Day

But O, my babies on the floor;
My wife's blithe welcome at the door;
My bread well earned with sweat of brows;
My garden flowerful, green of boughs;
Friends, books;
I would not change ye for ten thousand pounds.

--Cosmo Monkhouse, 'Rondel'


June 18, 2006  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



My Sister is Glowing



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



GCM Update

Those of y'all who are GCM mamas who visit my blog and haven't yet heard what is going on with the Gentle Christian Mothers. . .

GCM has been growing and has outgrown it's server. A new server-home is being set up, and more info is available from HippieMommy.

Those of y'all who aren't familiar with GCM, I invite you to read through the article and find some mommy-encouragement. When the messageboards are back up, check out the community--you may find it a place for you to find inspiration in the daily life of loving the Lord and ministering to your family.

Sunday Update: It appears the board is up and running, but still in the midst of updates and prettification. So, come on over, sign in and see how it's working for you. . .


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



Fine Art Fridays

Degas Little Dancer 3Views.jpg

Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer, Edgar Degas, Musée d'Orsay

(Via Classical Kristen and Carol)


June 16, 2006  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Alberto, Our First Named Storm

I think everyone is a bit more alert and anxious, after last year's Hurricane Katrina. In the past, I remember never being worried about hurricanes (though we lived in LA, MS, FL, Cuba. . .)

We live along the border between the hurricane warning area and the tropical storm warning area is, according to the NOAA's most recent advisory on Alberto. The wind is picking up. We lost electricity for about two hours on Sunday.

Last year, we had more damage and more power outages during the early season tropical storms than we did during the later season actual hurricanes. . . Our personal damage was limited to screens needing to be put back in on the lanai. (Rejoicing at that!)

Knowing that we have family members still rebuilding, regrouping, recouping after Katrina, though, makes me less. . . certain? arrogant? . . . than I used to be about our city being in a storm-free bubble.

I can hear the wind.


June 12, 2006  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Summertime Supper

Tonight we had:

Collard Greens from the Organic Co-Op
Watermelon from Fruitville Road Detwiler Farms
Tomato Sandwiches from our Neighbors (homeschool, OPC)
Corn from a can


June 12, 2006  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 7

Q. 7. What are the decrees of God?

A. The decrees of God are, his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass

whatsoever comes to pass
Psalm 33:11, Isaiah 14:24, Acts 2:23, Ephesians 1:11-12

(via OPC/CRTA)


June 11, 2006  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Suburban Sunday

I feel sufficiently suburban today.

After church we took a Sunday afternoon nap, and then headed to Home Depot. We bought a goodly supply of home repair and lawn equipment, and came home to work in the yard.

Some of the google searches we've done today:
how to clean tile grout
cinch bugs and st. augustine grass
energy efficiency florida
celcius farenheit conversion


June 11, 2006  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Pork Chops With Herbed Cream Sauce

I made this for dinner tonight, and it turned out so well that I'm posting it here to share and keep for future reference. I served this with yellow crookneck squash and onions sauteed together in olive oil, and red potatoes and leeks drizzled with olive oil and broiled in the oven. The family loved it, and we had no leftovers. The recipe is a spin-off from a Betty Crocker one that I bought when I was in 6th grade.

Pork Chops With Herbed Cream Sauce

4 pork chops
2 TBSP of butter/margarine
1 carrot, chopped fine
6 mushrooms, chopped fine
3 teaspoons flour
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp beef boullion
1/2 TBSP dried parsley
1 cup milk
1 capful brandy/water

Cup each pork chop in half.*

Melt 1 TBSP of butter in a skillet. Salt and pepper the chops. Cook them over medium heat for about five minutes. Turn chops and add the other TBSP of butter, carrots, and mushrooms. Stir the veggies around the chops occasionally, but let the chops cook and get browned. When chops are no longer pink (5-7 more minutes) remove from pan and set aside. To the drippings and veggies, stir in herbs. If you use fresh herbs, double the amount listed above. Stir in flour and boullion. Add milk all at once. Stir and cook until bubbly and thickened. Stir in brandy. Add pork chops back to skillet, and heat thoroughly. Serve chops with sauce spooned over them.

This is a recipe I would make for guests, too. As long as they weren't vegetarian or kosher.

*There are six people in our family, so this ends up being two pieces for Dad, one piece for Mom and each boy, and an extra piece for whoever needs seconds. With boneless, skinless chicken breasts, I either cut them in thirds or halves--depending on the size. This both encourages eating more veggies and helping the meat go further. When the boys are bigger, I assume I'll need to increase the amount of meat I buy for each meal. However, I plan to contine making the portions smaller and then encouraging those who are still hungry to have seconds, instead of serving the size that is sold at the grocery store.


June 09, 2006  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



The Church's One Foundation

The church's one Foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord;
She is his new creation
By water and the Word:
From heav'n he came and sought her
To be his holy bride;
With his own blood he bought her,
And for her life he died.

Elect from ev'ry nation,
Yet one o'er all the earth,
Her charter of salvation
One Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy Name she blesses,
Partakes one holy food.
And to one hope she presses,
With ev'ry grace endued.

Though with a scornful wonder
Men see her sore oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder,
By heresies distressed,
Yet saints their watch are keeping,
Their cry goes up, "How long?"
And soon the night of weeping
Shall be the morn of song.

The church shall never perish!
Her dear Lord to defend,
To guide, sustain and cherish
Is with her to the end;
Though there be those that hate her,
And false sons in her pale,
Against or foe or traitor
She ever shall prevail.

'Mid toil and tribulation,
And tumult of her war,
She waits the consummation
Of peace for evermore;
Till with the vision glorious
Her longing eyes are blest,
And the great church victorious
Shall be the church at rest.

Yet she on earth hath union
With the God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion
With those whose rest is won:
O happy ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we,
Like them, the meek and lowly,
On high may dwell with thee.


June 04, 2006  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Caught My Eye

These blog posts caught my eye this week. . .

Chewymom posted about choosing a more "natural" lifestyle from two sides of the same coin.

I saw Fred mention NRO's Top 50 conservative rock songs. I read through the list and started humming. The next morning, WMNF, our local liberal leaning community radio station played several of them. The DJ read off the reasons why some of his favorite songs were more conservative than he was.

Sparrow closed comments on her blog several months ago. And while I can understand and respect that, I miss commenting there! Like Sparrow, we've tended to be a bit disparaging towards Disney. But since the grandparents are planning on taking the kids this fall, I'm glad to hear that kids can enjoy it even if they've grown up disdaining Disney.

And the Ezzo parenting conversation has picked up over at Awareparent.net. Registration is quick and easy if you want to join in.


June 02, 2006  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



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