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Katherine Harris for Senate

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Katherine Harris Boys 2.jpg

Elect Harris!

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July 31, 2006  |  Comments (10)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Ezzo Week Follow-Up

I want to express my gratitude to all of those who participated in Ezzo Week 2006, through blog postings, online awareness-raising, and real-life conversations.

I couldn't keep up with all of the blog and forum postings during Ezzo Week. However, here are some more links from those who joined in:

Mary promotes Ezzo Week at BlogHer--thanks for highlighting concerns about Ezzo parenting and helping to spread the word!

I Want My Candy Back groups Ezzo with Newt Gingrich and Bill O'Reilly--and not in a favorable way!

Curious Goldie ponders trying Babywise on her puppy. . .

Indelible Grace clarifies some thoughts on Gary Ezzo. Her first two posts are here and here.

The Baby Blawg joins in Ezzo Week, too.

Seven Realms gives Ezzo Week a nod as well.

Ezzo makes the DollyMama's "Three Things" list.

Jenn highlights some interesting things in her Ezzo Week post.

Jade boggles at what she sees in Babywise families, even as she prepares for her little one arriving soon. (Congrats!)


Some people have asked me why I still draw attention to the concerns about Ezzo parenting--after all, no one still actually follows Babywise, right? Sadly, that's not the case, and several new parents are implementing Ezzo ideas wtih their little ones:

Ethan's mommy
talks about Babywise in the first week. As does Eliana's parents in their post Sleepless Nights 101. And Bree is reading Babywise with her newborn. Eli's parents give a four week report and praise to Gary Ezzo. And the Tidwell's little one still isn't born, but they're wondering if Babywise becomes second nature.

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July 31, 2006  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Saturday Errands

We woke Hubby up this morning with Bisbee Coffee and biscotti. Happy Birthday, honey!

The boys and I drove him downtown to work with his dad, and then we walked around the Downtown Farmer's Market. We bought some spices and looked at some art done by orphans around the world.

Then we went to the library. Not only did the boys get their books, but I scored at the library used book sale--a vintage Babywise book--the same bluish cover edition (1993) that we had when J10 was a baby.

After that, to Fruitville Market. Six pounds of cherries for Amaretto Cherries. Spinach. Broccoli. Cheap bananas. Peppers. Key Limes. Local Mangos. And a peach milkshake.

Now we're packing bags for the boys to have a sleepover with the grandparents tonight.

Hubby and I have reservations at a nice restaurant downtown, will be going to Lido Key, and are celebrating our eleventh anniversary.

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July 29, 2006  |  Comments (8)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Fine Art Friday - Listening to the Bird

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See more from Kelly.

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July 28, 2006  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Obesity Interactive Map

Weird post name, I know, but you've got to see this map.

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July 27, 2006  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

When Mommy Yells

Last night I yelled at the boys.

C5 was quiet for a few minutes, and then in tears told me "Mommy, it hurt my head and my heart when you yelled at me."


Lord, help me. . . Give me soft answers, gentleness, kindness and self-control. . .

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July 26, 2006  |  Comments (10)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Family Update. . .

We have a new pet. A ringneck snake Hubby caught in the pool. He's feeding it my worms. So far it doesn't have a name. I wonder whether it says something about our family that all of our pets are cold-blooded--a snake, a fish, and worms.

I can't believe it's already near the end of July. In early July I was able to go to Arizona to see my family and my sister wed her music man.

Dad gave me a tour of his house-under-construction. It is amazing. I wish he had a blog with details about it and a virtual tour. But in short, it's on the side of a mountain and fits there so perfectly. It's designed for the climate and environment there and quite self-sustaining. The ideas are from Dad, and designed with help from an architect friend. Every window has an amazing view.

We're gearing up for homeschooling. Hubby and I had our plans, and then *stress* and we're not quite sure what materials we'll be using. But summer has been peaceful and wonderful and we're really happy about homeschooling this fall. We're also building in extra breaks for when Hubby is at the end-of-semester crunch with grad school.

On Friday we went out for ribs with Hubby's family, and had a sleepover there. Now that they are traveling together with their business, we're trying to take advantage of each weekend they are home. We watched Sledge Hammer, a hilarious cop show Hubby used to watch with his dad when he was a kid.

I have pics downloaded and keep meaning to put up, but then get distracted.

I'm very distractable these days.

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

 

 

Ezzo Week 2006 -- Ending With a Bang!

Guess what? I've been named over on the EzzoTruth site!

I guess that means I've made the big time. (Thanks, Hank, for letting me know!)

While I haven't quite earned the distinction of being spotlighted like Dr. James Dobson, Pastor John MacArthur, Hank Hanegraaff and Kathleen Terner, Frank York, Rebecca Prewett. .. still. . . singled out by name by Tom Reed and Gary Ezzo? I feel honored. *grin*


What earned me this distinction? I stumbled across a messageboard for alumni of a certain school, and saw someone on staff from Grace Community Church affirm that GCC's original concerns regarding Gary Ezzo are ongoing and unresolved, and posted about them here at TulipGirl.

I considered it signficant that GCC's concerns are current. Some have said that the problems with Gary Ezzo and his teachings have been addressed through revisions in his books and Ezzo "starting over" at a new church. Others have said that these character issues are of no current importance, as Grace Community Church's original statement was in 1997 and the latest public statement was in 2002. (The church discipline and excommunication statements from Living Hope Evangelical Fellowship, Ezzo's church following GCC, were published in 2000.) Ezzo's character concerns are ancient history, some have implied.

When I saw someone from Grace Community Church affirm the church still considered the matter with Gary Ezzo unresolved and a significant concern, I believed that was noteworthy.

I did not contact the author of the post before making it public. After all, what is posted publicly online is considered to be in the public realm. To clarify the context, the author of the post was writing on an alumni discussion board, informally with people he knew, and did not realize his words would be distributed in the way they were. Hence, he used the imprecise phrase "disciplined out of our church."

To state it precisely, Gary Ezzo was not "discipline out of" Grace Community Church.

However, the elders did meet Gary Ezzo and called him to accountability especially in regard to the content of his teaching. Gary Ezzo assured the GCC elders that he "was making himself accountable to a group of men he trusted--the pastor and elders of Living Hope Evangelical Fellowship (LHEF)." LHEF elders--those whom Gary Ezzo stated he trusted and was being accountable to--eventually proceeded to excommunicate him.

Grace Community Church did not excommunicate Gary Ezzo. However, the elders of GCC have stated "his departure from Grace Church left a disturbing number of conflicts unresolved and concerns unaddressed."

Those are the actions taken. Consider them for what they are. Actions taken by a church and board of elders, in concern for a member and leader in the church. Church discipline?

Then reflect on the vigorous protests from Tom Reed of EzzoTruth about the wording "discipline out of" --claiming it to be "false, possibly to the point of absurd. . . erroneous and slanderous. . . the sin of lying about the Ezzos, spreading gossip, cheating them out a chance to defend themselves, and stealing their reputation. . ."

That is a pattern that has been commented on repeatedly by others--Gary Ezzo's (and now Tom Reed's) propensity to focus on a matter such as wording and to ignore the substance of an issue, like church discipline.

I did hesitate to remove the original statement from my blog—and honestly, it would have been wise to write what I’m writing now when I did remove it. I hesitated in removing it because of the very scenario which we are seeing played out right now: a vicious attack on the original poster in avoidance of the real issues.

Tom Reed states, “It was also posted to the anti-ezzo forum, TulipGirl on June 1st, 2005. She has since removed the post from her site after ezzotruth communicated with her about the documented evidence that [the original poster] lied, knew he lied, but did nothing to remedy the situation.”

In the interest of factual accuracy, Tom,

1. TulipGirl.com is my personal website and blog. This is not an “anti-ezzo forum,” though issues related to Gary Ezzo, GFI, and Babywise are discussed here and “Ezzo Week” has become an annual event.

2. Tom Reed's “documented evidence” and veiled threats of legal action did not prompt the amendment on my blog.

3. I edited the post out of consideration for the orignal commentor. His words were intended for a small circle of friends, and reflected that Grace Community Church remains concerned about unresolved issues with Gary Ezzo--albeit through a regretable phrasing of words.

4. The fact that there have been disciplinary actions in regards to Gary Ezzo is indisputable.


Simply speaking, regardless of how it is worded or who states it, the truth remains that Gary Ezzo has a pattern of eschewing accountability and church discipline, and has unresolved issues related to both Grace Community Church and Living Hope Evangelical Fellowship.





This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2006 series, raising awareness about the concerns with "philosophy" of parenting promoted by Gary Ezzo.





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July 19, 2006  |  Comments (17)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

More Ezzo Blogging Links. . .

Hooray for all who are joining in the spirit of Ezzo Week 2006!

A scientist posts her thoughts--and feelings--in Ezzo, Ezzo Everywhere.

Issues of faulty theology and church discipline are raised at Indelible Grace.

And Pastor Bixby delivers! More, On the Cultic Mindest, Ezzoism, and Sleeping through the Night. (Related to this, if you haven't yet read it you really must--More Than a Parenting Ministry: The Cultic Characteristics of Growing Families International.)

Sardinosongs
muses about parents' views of children and Ezzo.

And then there is a bit of Ezzo discussion, back-and-forth, on myspace. It seems Dara began it with a post which only mentions Ezzo in passing. (Btw, Focus on the Family does NOT endorse or produce the Ezzo materials.) The conversation grew, and seems to have spurred this post by Krystann.

Both Melanie and mommy to Maddy and Livy share the beginnings of their Babywise'ing. For little Livy that meant, "Due to our own faults, the rockings and holdings and walking around were getting ridiculous again and we decided to put our foot down and have Livy sleep trained once for all. The child screamed one hour and forty minutes straight yesterday. Ok, with only five minutes in between while she whimpered and gave daddy false hope that she’s “done” only to re-start her never-winding-down cries. I conceded after one hour and left the house to go grocery shopping. Fourty minutes later, daddy conceded and picked her up ..."

And Hank promises us more updates on Gary Ezzo's Growing Families International National Leadership & Alumni Conference* (which concluded this weekend.)


* Like I said, Hank, that's quite a mouthful, huh?




This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2006 series, raising awareness about the concerns with "philosophy" of parenting promoted by Gary Ezzo.





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July 17, 2006  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

A Good Question

I wonder if there are any testimonies from kids who are now grown, that have been raised this way? Good, bad, indifferent?? I'd like to read those if you have a link handy?

Carla brought this up in the comments of an earlier thread.

It is a good question and I invite anyone who has grown up with their parents using the Ezzo parenting ideas to feel free to share their experiences. While parents have shared their experiences with the Ezzo teachings, I am not aware of any individual sharing from a child's point-of-view.

I would expect a good portion of what is shared by adult children to be positive, after all we've already established that the great majority of parents who are drawn to Ezzo's teachings are so because of a love for their children and a commitment to active parenting. Yet, I would also speculate that adult children would reflect back on simliar struggles that Ezzo parents have shared--struggles with rule keeping being emphasized, relying on the Ezzo way to do things instead of the Holy Spirit, and finding security in our own behaviour.

It's not clear to what extent Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo implemented the ideas they now teach in their own home as their two daughters were growing up. However, as grown women with their own families, "one of the Ezzos' daughters and her husband cut off contact with her parents after much prayer, consideration and counsel, based on their personal observation of the same types of issues raised by the LHEF elders. Their hope is that the relationships will be restored following the Ezzos' repentence," and "Ezzo's children have chosen to limit their interaction with him." (See the Timeline of the Ezzo Controversy.)


So again, I invite anyone who has experienced Ezzo parenting--either as a parent or as a child--to share your story with us here.






This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2006 series, raising awareness about the concerns with "philosophy" of parenting promoted by Gary Ezzo.





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July 16, 2006  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Today's Ezzo Blogging

If you are new to the idea of Ezzo parenting or have only heard about Babywise but don't understand the controversy, katiekind has posted a great background piece that summarizes the teachings and concerns.

Pastor Bixby writes more about Ezzo parenting in his post Clarifications--and he alludes to more posts on the topic to come.

Bec at BawlingBabies seems to specialize in writing about infant crying, and mentions Gary Ezzo in her summary of authors who promote controlled crying.

Brian asks What's an Ezzo? Of course he knows. . . as he has added his insight to Ezzo discussions in the past.

Zatera Ul joins us in promoting Ezzo Week 2006. Thanks!

Am keeps promising a Babywise review. I hope it gets posted during Ezzo Week! (And if you haven't yet read a review of Babywise, I recommend this one.)

Reon praises the fathers who know enough and care enough to get involved in parenting.

Also this week, a couple of people have posted "it's worked for me" tidbits about Babywise--here and here.

Update: Found the first blog post written about the GFI conference from an attendee! Thanks, Allen!

Did I overlook your Ezzo Week 2006 blog post or web page? Feel free to link to it here--and thanks for joining in!




This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2006 series, raising awareness about the concerns with "philosophy" of parenting promoted by Gary Ezzo.





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July 15, 2006  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Blame the Parents

Ezzo Week 2006 is not about blaming parents.

I want to make clear that I know that parents who follow Ezzo parenting ideas truly love their children and only want the best for them. Over time I have become more convinced that it is that love and dedication to raising their children that makes Ezzo parenting seem to "work" in some families. Yet, these materials are foundationally flawed and even unfailing love cannot prevent all the harm that can come to families via Ezzo parenting.

I disagree with some who say that people who have turned to Ezzo’s ideas for parenting do so out of either perfectionism, coming from a weak family background, or Christians who have not been grounded in Scripture. Each of these factors may be involved in why a parent is initially drawn to Ezzo parenting, and I say that because that is what some parents themselves have said. However, I do not believe that it is necessary for someone to have one of those factors for him to be vulnerable to Ezzo parenting. I do not blame parents.

Let’s leave the blame game to Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo. One of the things that saddends me most about the Ezzo materials is how proponents of the program are quick to blame the mother when the promised results of the program are not seen—especially when it comes to Babywise/Along the Infant Way. If it "works"--then it is to the praise of the Ezzo books! If it doesn't, either the parents were not being consistent with the principles or they were being "too flexible."

For those who are reading who have used ideas from Gary Ezzo’s teachings, I want to reiterate that I am not criticizing you. I have criticized the materials as they are written and taught by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo. However, I know that when someone criticizes ideas we like—especially in the realm of family and parenting—it can very easily feels like someone is criticizing *us* personally.

It's very hard to leave behind Ezzo parenting. Many of the Voices of Experience stories are from parents who were teachers and leaders with GFI for many, many years. And it is hard to admit to oneself that, "Oh, I love my kids--but maybe I made some wrong choices for them--while trying to do the best for them."


Obviously, I'm outspokenly critical of Gary Ezzo and his parenting ideas. I want it to be plain that's what I am--critical of a set of ideas or "philosophy" as Ezzo calls it—not critical of parents who love their children and are seeking to raise them with truth and love.





This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2006 series, raising awareness about the concerns with "philosophy" of parenting promoted by Gary Ezzo.





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July 14, 2006  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Ezzo 'Round the Blogosphere

Kim at Upward Call has a thoughtful, balanced post on Ezzo parenting. She speaks first-hand, having used the Ezzo ideas with her children, and then distancing from them when she saw the negative impact it had on their family. "It creates a situation where "performance" is so focused on that one cannot really be sure that the child is obeying because they want to or because they're just good at providing the correct response." The comments are worth reading as well.

Phil Johnson gives a nod to Ezzo Week in the sidebar of the PyroGuys blog. I'm blushing. He goes further into the ongoing patterns of avoiding accountability in the comments at Kim's.

Camille, aka Dr. Lewis, highlights Ezzo Week for her readers and students.

SchoolOfMom questions what qualities one would look for in a parenting teacher. Personally, I find that I listen to my own mother more and more as the years go by.

Gid gets the the heart of grace in parenting when he writes, "Am I parenting my children the way that God parents me? Though, the problem with my last question is that a lot of Christians are so busy punishing, chastising, disciplining, and belittling themselves that they don't have a clue how God parents them. . ."


Did I overlook your Ezzo Week 2006 blog post or web page? Feel free to link to it here--and thanks for joining in!





This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2006 series, raising awareness about the concerns with "philosophy" of parenting promoted by Gary Ezzo.





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July 13, 2006  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

A Pastor's Commentary on Ezzo Parenting

I just read a very insightful commentary on Ezzo parenting by Pastor Bob Bixby of Morning Star Baptist Church in Rockford, Illinois.

Pastor Bixby's chief concern is the impact of Ezzo parenting and thinking on the parents. I believe this is important and often overlooked.

Very many parents have found that in spite of love, good intentions and "common sense," Ezzo parenting was harmful for their families.


Update: More from Pastor Bixby--Clarifications. (And it looks like he'll be writing more on Ezzo parenting in the coming days.)


Related:
Christian Leaders With Publicly Stated Concerns About Ezzo Parenting






This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2006 series, raising awareness about the concerns with "philosophy" of parenting promoted by Gary Ezzo.





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July 13, 2006  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

What Gary Ezzo Says About. . .

At times, those who raise concerns about Ezzo parenting are told "Well, you just don't understand what Gary Ezzo is saying. . ."

So let's go to the source.

I encourage you to click on the links below to see what Gary Ezzo REALLY says.


What Ezzo Says About Me. . .

What Ezzo Says About My Kids. . .

What Ezzo Says About Babies and Toddlers. . .

What Ezzo Says About Punishment. . .


Thoughts? Comments?





This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2006 series, raising awareness about the concerns with "philosophy" of parenting promoted by Gary Ezzo.





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

 

 

It's Ezzo Week 2006!

*drumroll, please*

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, moms and pops. . . Welcome to the third annual blogosphere Ezzo Week!


Gary Ezzo's Growing Families International National Leadership & Alumni Conference* is being held in Dallas, Texas** from July 13-15, 2006.

In recognition of this annual event, here at TulipGirl we will be featuring posts related to Gary Ezzo and his parenting teachings.

Feel free to jump in to the conversation here! Blog your own experiences and thoughts about Ezzo parenting. Or, pop on over to the AwareParent discussion board.

Why the hoopla? What's the excitement? This explains a little of why we make a big to-do over Ezzo week.

So come one, come all--it's Ezzo Week 2006!


* That's a mouthful, huh, Hank?
** The actual conference location not publicized online, as the media is not welcome. A reporter visited the 2004 Detroit conference. However, I believe it may be located at Legacy Church.




This post is part of the Ezzo Week 2006 series, raising awareness about the concerns with "philosophy" of parenting promoted by Gary Ezzo.





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July 11, 2006  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Fine Art Friday - Peasant Wedding

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Pieter Bruegel, Peasant Wedding

When I was growing up, we had a print of this in our kitchen. I remember my Mom talking to us about both the story as well as the painting techniques used.

I'm flying out to Arizona today. My sister is to be married on Tuesday! I anticipate there will be great joy--though that's probably the only thing her wedding will have in common with this painting.

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July 07, 2006  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Family Dream Vacation

T8 knows everything about whales. In fact, he was reading a library book aloud to me tonight and told me that the length/weight information was "off" in this book. He's read enough about whales to see the inconsistencies.

Check out this cool vacation--swimming with the whales in the South Pacific.

But as it would be nearly 10K for our family, I think we'll have to plan for and be content to swim with the manatees.

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July 05, 2006  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Chocolate Cake Shots

From the Lizard Eater:

Chocolate Cake Shots

Okay, first of all, I swear this isn't a snipe hunt. When my brother gave me the recipe, I just knew he was pulling my leg. He wasn't. I'm not. Try it.

Layer equal parts vodka and Frangelico in a shot glass.

Take a lime and quarter it. Take a quarter and dip it in sugar. Sugar, not salt.

Bite and suck. Hold the juice. Take the shot. Hold it all in your mouth and count to four.

Swallow.

Tastes like you've just taken a bite of rich, dark, chocolate cake.

Warning: quite dangerous. The first time a person has this, they get a peculiar look on their face. Then they say, "Wow, it really does taste like chocolate cake!" Then they say, "Let me try it again to see if that happens the second time... fourth time ... eighth time ..."


I wanna try these. . .

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July 05, 2006  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Girl Talk. . . GladRags

Caution: Men, I'm giving you fair warning. Skip this post.

If you are a guy and still reading, scroll on past this on. I'm serious, guys. . . It's about menstruation. See, I warned you.


I've been wanting to try out some body-friendly and eco-friendly products for my monthly cycle. Now that I haven't been preggers or breastfeeding for awhile, it's a more immediate need than it used to be.

I've been wanting to order a DivaCup for awhile. Other menstrual cups include the Keeper, Mooncup, and disposable Insteads.

Along with these, I've been insterested in trying out some mama cloths. We did cloth diapers--this seems easier and cleaner.

I found out today that GladRags, one of the best known companies for mama cloths, is having a special promotional--I no longer have to procrastinate or wait for a little extra $$ in paypal!

So, I'm blogging about GladRags today in exchange for a sample GladRags menstrual pad to try.

A dear "Titus Two" woman told me when I was a teen, that our monthly periods are wonderful reminders that God has created our bodies with the gift of fertility. I know some people may think that is hokey. But for me it was encouraging. These cloths look so soft, pretty and feminine, very much in line with viewing our fertility as a gift.


Update: Got my sample--just in time. Wow! After just one day using it, I'm a believer. Now I know why other women have been so encouraging to go this route. (And Bowden--they'd definitely be great for helping your daughters during the transition into adolescence. . .)

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July 05, 2006  |  Comments (16)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Happy Independence Day!

WHEN in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness -- That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security. Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The History of the present King of Great- Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World.

HE has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good.

HE has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing Importance, unless suspended in their Operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

HE has refused to pass other Laws for the Accommodation of large Districts of People, unless those People would relinquish the Right of Representation in the Legislature, a Right inestimable to them, and formidable to Tyrants only.

HE has called together Legislative Bodies at Places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the Depository of their public Records, for the sole Purpose of fatiguing them into Compliance with his Measures.

HE has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly Firmness his Invasions on the Rights of the People.

HE has refused for a long Time, after such Dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of the Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the Dangers of Invasion from without, and the Convulsions within.

HE has endeavoured to prevent the Population of these States; for that Purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their Migrations hither, and raising the Conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

HE has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

HE has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the Tenure of their Offices, and the Amount and Payment of their Salaries.

HE has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harrass our People, and eat out their Substance.

HE has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our Legislatures.

HE has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

HE has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

FOR quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops among us;

FOR protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

FOR cutting off our Trade with all Parts of the World:

FOR imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

FOR depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury:

FOR transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended Offences:

FOR abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an arbitrary Government, and enlarging its Boundaries, so as to render it at once an Example and fit Instrument for introducing the same absolute Rules into these Colonies:

FOR taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

FOR suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with Power to legislate for us in all Cases whatsoever.

HE has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

HE has plundered our Seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our Towns, and destroyed the Lives of our People.

HE is, at this Time, transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the Works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized Nation.

HE has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the Executioners of their Friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

HE has excited domestic Insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions.

IN every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.

NOR have we been wanting in Attentions to our British Brethren. We have warned them from Time to Time of Attempts by their Legislature to extend an unwarrantable Jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the Circumstances of our Emigration and Settlement here. We have appealed to their native Justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the Ties of our common Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our Connections and Correspondence. They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice and of Consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of Mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace, Friends.

WE, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in GENERAL CONGRESS, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great-Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which INDEPENDENT STATES may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.


Did you know that many of the Founding Fathers were Presbyterian? Do you want to sign the Declaration, too? You don't have to be Presbyterian to do so, but it doesn't hurt.

I had a collection of US flags on the table this morning, and when I got up I directed the boys to bring them outside to decorate our front yard. It took them longer than I expected, so I went out to check on them. They were standing at the end of the driveway seranading the neighborhood with "I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free. . ." I'm not sure how many of our neighbors had that patriotic inspiration this morning--the guy across the street working on his lawn mower did, though.

(Thanks to the Hucksteads and Kim/Hiraeth for the links.)

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