Sunday, August 31, 2008

New computer

I can't wait! Sometime next week, my new

will arrive, complete with a FREE

Yes, I got red. What can I say? I'm a sucker for freebies, and am now hooked on the whole iPod thing, thanks to my YMCA workout time.

No, I am NOT publishing a book

... as I have neither the time nor the brainpower to process such a project at this point. But thanks to everyone who seems to think I have it in me. You gave a tired Momma a chuckle!

Here's one more hint:

Friday, August 29, 2008

A New Look ... and a Treasure Hunt

O.k., I changed the look of my blog. Blogs are kind of like furniture to me, apparently--every once in a while, they need a little rearranging to keep things fresh.

In addition to checking out my lovely new background, I invite you to scroll through the blog links listed on the right hand side. You may, with a little poking around, notice a new theme emerging. If you discover one, feel free to comment. I'll let you know in a day or two what's up in MG land ...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

One of those bands ...

Dh, Jo and I went to a concert Sunday night. It was one of those moments that you just know as it's happening that you will remember years from now. Jo, in her 4-H sweatshirt, soaked to the bone and dancing, Pentecostal-style, with her arms over her head and her eyes shut tight. Dh giving me those long glances across the bleachers that say, "You know I love you?" The music loud enough to feel in my chest. Man, it was good.

The opening band on Sunday was Leeland, and I can't tell you how much I enjoy their music. Leeland is one of those bands that seems to write songs just for me. But maybe they're writing songs for you, too. Here's a sampling to turn you on:

Jo's favorite:

The current single:

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

In Honor of Back to School Season ...

My cousin over at Kindred Blessings sent me this. Love it!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bio Mom's Psych Eval, explained

After reading some of the comments regarding my post on Bio Mom getting her visitation back, I realized I'm going to have to reveal a bit more of Oliver's story in order for my comment ("Is it o.k. to pray she failed?") to make sense. So here it is:

Bio Mom has documented issues that result in her being unable to understand how to care for a child of any age. I will not elaborate on this as it is a matter of privacy for both Bio Mom and Oliver. What I will say is that it was an oversight on behalf of an overworked intern that allowed her to leave the hospital with Oliver in the first place 20 mos. ago; the nurses in charge of his care went on the record voicing their disapproval by placing statements outlining their concerns in his file.

The best case scenario of outcome for Bio Mom at this point, in terms of her psychiatric evaluation, is that she is "potentially trainable." That diagnosis would mean that she would be prescribed intense parenting and life skills classes, and then re-evaluated at the end of a year.

Oliver would, meanwhile, "time out" of the system. Federal law caps the number of months a child can consistently be in state care at 18 mos. Oliver is at 14 months; Bio Mom's classes would last far longer than 12 weeks.

I am not trying to be harsh. I am simply restating the facts as they were given to me.

So my question was really more this: is it o.k. to pray that she fails, freeing Oliver from visitation that much sooner ... because to come back "borderline" simply delays the inevitable for us all.

I am very well aware of my role as a foster parent. At this point, no matter how I feel about Oliver or how he feels about me, I am little more than a full-time babysitter in the eyes of the powers that be. I understand this relationship, and I am more than willing to allow God's plan to be worked out in front of me and through me. It's all in His hands, anyhow.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The definition of frumpy

I don't look good in workout clothes. Let's be totally honest here, folks: 99% of the population does not look good in workout clothes. Yoga pants, bicycle shorts, sports bras doubling as tops ... issues of personal modesty aside, these are just not things designed to make the average American body look like anything but a sausage wrapped in a shiny bun. YUMMY!

If you look good in workout clothes, you probably don't need to actually workout. This is the paradox of physical fitness.

I am not one of those people. My doctor says that, in order to do battle with the genetics that are causing my blood sugar to skyrocket, I need to drop 20 lbs. So exercise I must. Since wearing a skirt and v-neck isn't exactly appropriate gear for sweatin' it out on the stairmaster, I had to invest in something a little more comfy. Enter my new workout gear:

A pair of grey knit capris and one of my dh's old soccer coach t-shirts. On a woman who is admittedly 25 lbs. above the weight she was on the day she said, "I do."

Be still my heart.

Because I am not one who checks out every mirror I pass, I really don't care how I look while actually doing a round of "fat blaster plus!" on the strange cross-country skiing machine our Y sports. I'm sure it's not a pretty sight. Shabby clothes. Sweaty brow. Blissed-out, red face mouthing the words to a David Crowder song. Curls gone flat. And, would you look at those two year-old Adidas tennis shoes? What a woman!

Today I realized, though, that en route to my workout, I'll be pulling up at the Fairgrounds and helping Jo drop off her rabbits. And people will see me. Lots of people. They will see me, and they will not know that this is not my usual get-up. I will cement for them the stereotype of the frumpy homeschooling mom! Egads!

So now I'm trying to figure out a way to pack my workout gear so that I can change in the locker room. But I don't have a locker! What will I do? Bring the bag with me into the cardio
room?Inconvenient but ... perhaps worth the effort?

Maybe I'm more vain than I thought I was!

And so it goes

Just heard from Oliver's sw that Bio Mom's visitation is most likely being reinstated as of next week--just in time for our deeper foray into school, of course.

The good news is that if Bio Mom failed the Psych Eval she took a few weeks back, sw says she'll be moving for termination ASAP. If she comes back as "borderline" then the court will recommend classes and other services, and we stay in limbo until she is deemed unfit in another way.

Is it o.k. to pray that she failed?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

When will I finally learn this fact--it's *not* about me

A reprint of what I posted on my favorite forum:

Psalm 30:11-12

You turned my wailing into dancing;

you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.

O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.

The Lord has given me a beautiful glimpse into His plan, and I am so thankful.

After 3 hours of sobbing, I packed the kids in the car for the long drive to the DSHS where I was to hand Siddalee over to her aunt. Jo, Atticus and I were trying to lift our spirits on the way there by listening to some of our favorite worship music, and it was definitely helping. We talked about how God's plan is not always easy to be obedient to, but how we MUST be obedient ... even when it hurts. Atticus reminded us that Abraham took Isaac to the mountain not knowing how it would turn out. And I'll be honest--in my mind, I thought: "What a nice little Sunday School story. I hope it brings him some comfort." (Where is the faith of a child when you need it most?!?)

My phone rang when we were about 30 minutes from the drop-off point. Siddalee's social worker said she would be late, because there was some court confusion that she had to clear up. O.k., fine. I stopped and got gas, killing some time. But I had to get there eventually. Nothing was going to stop that.

When we arrived, the sw was already there. With her were two women and a young man. Not having any idea who was who and still grumbling in my heart about the whole thing, I slowly got Siddalee out of her carseat and bundled up the few things I had gathered: her hospital bracelet, the half-full can of powdered formula, the little knit cap from the hospital's auxiliary, her immunization record. The few pieces of this little girl I had been able to collect in just a few short days.

The sw came to the truck, and in a conspiratorial tone whispered, "This is Siddalee's father. Her real dad. The one listed on the birth certificate was wrong. He got a court order at 3 p.m. today and drove down here to get her."


As it turns out, Siddalee's birth mom had listed her current boyfriend--a convicted drug dealer--as the father. He had contested this all along, but the birth mom declined to name anyone else. So, at the hospital, they had taken samples from Siddalee in preparation for the inevitable paternity testing. Meanwhile, news had traveled through the grapevine that X had had a baby and Y said he wasn't the father. A man birth mom had dated briefly did a little backward calculation and figured he might be looking at fatherhood. So he called his lawyer to get the ball rolling.

How they worked through the DNA this fast, I'll never know. DSHS is notorious for taking months on these things. But today, at about ten a.m.--as one judge was granting custody to an aunt with a (ahem) checkered past--Siddalee's father got the news that he was, indeed, a new daddy.

So, instead of handing the beautiful Miss Siddalee over to her mother's sister, I got to place her in the arms of a trembling, awe-struck man who admitted that he'd never held a baby before. Who cried and actually thanked me for keeping her while he had time to hear about her and get things straight. Who laughed and commented on her chunky cheeks and asked a zillion questions about her. And those two women with him? His mother and her sister--both of whom listened intently and cooed over the baby and thanked me for loving their little one. The crowning moment, when I knew for certain that Siddalee was in the best possible hands, was when I explained that Siddalee seemed to have some pretty serious reflux issues.

"You hear that?" the aunt said, poking her nephew's shoulder. "You get that baby to the doctor first thing in the morning! That's not good for her to be uncomfortable like that!"

JEHOVAH-JIREH--the Lord provides

He sent a ram for us. He turned our wailing into dancing. Siddalee was only ours for a season, while the plan was being worked into perfection. GOD IS GOOD. ALL THE TIME.

Monday, August 18, 2008

118 hours

I am a foster parent. I know how the system works. I know what it is supposed to do. I know what happens when what is is supposed to do can not be accomplished. Which is why I am a foster-adopt parent.

Oliver was in the system nearly a year before he came into our home. That's something of a "lower legal risk" in the world of foster-adoption; the relatives have all been screened, the bio parents are already way behind on their case plan, the CASA has already said that this is just not working out for the child. The clock has been ticking long enough for everyone to feel the story winding to its inevitable conclusion.

Taking a newborn is a very high legal risk. I know this. Dh knows this.

We did it anyway.

And today, at 3:30 p.m., I'll be taking Siddalee to a DSHS office to be dropped off with her maternal aunt. The selfsame maternal aunt who was passed over by the social workers due to her past drug history and a very long record of criminal charges. Aunt only managed to get custody of Siddalee thanks to her lawyer, who put in a petition with family court.

And won, of course. Because blood is thicker than water as far as the family court system is concerned.

I know how the system works. But that doesn't mean I like it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


It's almost impossible to gauge the newest little one's temperament at this point, so I'm flying by the seat of my pants to pick something. After agonizing over an appropriate literature-based pseudonym, I finally exhausted my already-exhausted brain and waltzed over to my bookcase--the one where I keep my absolute favorite books of all times. There, on the shelf, my eyes settled on one of a handful of books I can honestly say I could read ad naseum: devour it, from page one to the final words, then turn back to the front and start all over again.

The book is Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. I read it for the first time when I was pregnant with Jo; it was a gift from a fellow Bibliophile and Southern fiction fan who to this day likes to drop me a list of her top ten annual reads in her Christmas cards. Bloated with a child and more free time than I would ever have on my hands again, I cracked the cover expecting a breezy summer read. What I found was anything but. If you've ever read the book, you know what I'm talking about. And no,
having seen the movie does not count.

A conservative estimate puts the number of my total readings somewhere around ten. I'm on my fourth copy of the book. Unwilling--no,
unable--to follow my own rule of never loaning out something I'd hate to lose, I continually pass on my own copy, urging people to read it. Usually, it does not come back. I'd like to think that's because it becomes too dear to the borrower.

Therefore, in honor of nothing more than a book I love and a narrator who has both warmed and broken my heart countless times, I'm choosing the alias Siddalee for our new baby girl.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Cloth diapering a newborn...

..that weighs about six and a half pounds...

...and has the legs of a very small chicken... just not doable.

Unless I'm missing something, it's going to be 'sposies for the Baby Girl for a while. The BG's can't possibly work on her. Not only do they make her legs poke in directions they absolutely should not, but they also have massive gaps in places that are, shall we say, vital for the diaper to perform as a diaper should.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The newest bairn

I love typing one-handed for the simple fact that it means the other hand is full.

Right now, my left arm is comfortably occupied in cradling the sleeping warmth of my five day-old foster daughter.

She's a long-term placement with adoption potential. Bio Mom has two other kids in the system. Baby Girl went into care at birth; I picked her up from the hospital Wednesday.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back to School: Planning

I am always on the look out for something to make my life easier. Thus far, I have acquired a dishwasher and a clothes washer. Both of those little doo-dads save me more time than you can imagine--unless, like me, you spent years washing everything from dishes to baby onesies by hand. Yes, I actually did this. And no, I did not live in the wilds of Appalachia at the time.

In addition to time-saving machines, I have found that the next best tool in the battle against lost minutes and hours is organization. As I've posted previously, this is not something which comes naturally to me. I am, by default, a person who functions on a rather loose set of time frames. It takes great effort for me to steer the ship of our family into organized waters. But when I take the time to do so ... the results are a much smoother and more pleasant ride for everyone.

This fall, in particular, I know I'll be in need of a ship that stays on course. For the first time in our family's history, we have added a full schedule of activities that is guaranteed to keep us on the go. Jo, Atticus and Logan are all playing soccer--and dh is coaching two of those teams. Jo and Atticus (and therefore, my dh) will be practicing twice a week. Atticus also has a once weekly archery team practice. Both he and Logan have AWANA on Thursday nights. Jo has Youth Group every Tuesday. Oliver has visitation. And did I mention that I'm trying to sweat off twenty pounds through a personal commitment to exercise at the Y three times a week?

Yeah ... it's busy.

On top of that, there's a household to be run. Laundry to be processed. Appointments for four kids--dental, medical, orthodontics, optical. Adoption paperwork to fill out and follow through on. Church ministry to see to. A nonprofit to run.

School. Yes, there's definitely that.

appointment for Oliver because it never made it from my Taking the lessons I've learned over the years, I'm decompartmentalizing my life. Putting all of my eggs (and plans) in one basket and meshing them together, lest I end up dropping one of them and watching it splatter as I realize that I missed a WICiCal onto the dry-erase on the fridge. (Not that I've done that ... recently.) I have reached maximum capacity and can no longer maintain one set of schedules here, another there and two more wherever I happen to write them down. I confess: I have too much to do.

Unforuntely, I'm not much of a techno girl. Friends keep telling me that I can accomplish my goal of one-stop-planning by investing in a Blackberry. My reply? I don't want a Blackberry. I'm a paper and pen kind of girl. What I want is a Planner.

I want one of those old fashioned "write-it-all-here" kind of binders that becomes my second brain. A place to record stuff, to plan things and to jot down ideas. One that combines all of the elements of my life: homeschooling AND the many, many elements of running a house. With big blocks for writing in. And preferably loose-leaf, so I can organize it the way I like.

It's a lot to ask. Too much, apparently, because not many products fit the bill.

I've been looking for quite some time, and I think I've finally found the perfect one: The Schoolhouse Planner. It's an e-book download ... which means that I can have my way with the pages. If I don't like where the Year-At-A-Glance pages are located, I can move them. If I want my addresses in the front for easy access, they're there. If I need more copies of a particular page, I just print it out.

Other cool features in this one that sold me:
• Calendars in various forms – yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily
• Lists of holidays and places to record special days in your family
• Planners for your homeschool – in various styles to meet your individual needs
• Pages for both long-term and short-term homeschooling goals
• Curriculum planning forms
• Evaluation forms and test score recording sheets
• A through-the-Bible in a (school) year schedule
• Forms for recording Bible memory and other memory work
• Logs for recording books read, movies and documentaries viewed, etc.
• A field trip planning form and recording log
• A sample science lab sheet and nature study sheets
• A place to record extracurricular activities
• Outside classes, co-op, and support group information and recording sheets
• Household planning forms
• Daily, weekly, and monthly household schedule charts
• Grocery, menu-planning, and food logs
• Various budget and financial planning forms
• Garden planning sheets
• An appliance and electronics inventory sheet
• Vacation planning ideas
• Address and telephone records

It's like someone read my mind. Or grabbed my brain. :-) Either way, I'm thinking this is the way to go for the year I see looming in front of me ... one sheet at a time.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Back to School: Forum Friends

What's the next best thing to an IRL homeschooling buddy? Why, a whole board of imaginary forum friends! I have found tremendous support and tapped into a vast fount of homeschooling knowledge through my own experience on the SL Forum, and I highly recommend at least browsing a favorite forum or two from time to time as a reminder that you are not alone, your children are not weird and yes, everyone gets a little stir-crazy from time to time.

Here are a list of a few forums recommended by some of my imaginary friends. :-) (Curriculum-specific forums noted with ***)

Sonlight Forums
***--limited access to the general public, full access with subscription or purchase
WinterPromise Forums***--full public access
Homeschool Spot--small Christian forum
The Homeschool Library--large, free access board
Homeschool World--various topics forum with a used curricula board
VegSource Talk & Swap--mega board!

Clearly, this is not an exhaustive list of the forums out there. But it should get you started. Whet your appetite ... and make some new friends!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Back to School: Researching Curricula

We all love word of mouth referrals on homeschool curricula. But what if you don't have a network of friends to run your choices by before hitting the "submit" button on a major purchase? What if the only other homeschoolers you know use living books, and you're a textbook kind of family? What if you are a newbie who is just overwhelmed with the options and not sure how one product compares to another? Check out these links to read reviews written by real homeschoolers just like you!

HomeSchoolReviews--a ton of reviews conveniently divided for easy perusal.
Cathy Duffy Reviews--not as many complete reviews listed here since Cathy published a book of some of her most helpful reviews, but there's still plenty here.
A to Z's Home's Cool--the venerable institution, still one of the best.
TOS Reviews--Short and simple reviews divided by category.
Eclectic Homeschool Online--Over 2,000 reviews.
The Homeschool Library--Forum format where you can read previous reviews and post questions as well.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Back to School: May I humbly suggest ...

Remember back when you first became a parent, and it was all you could do to pick just one magazine subscription to help you along in your new found career and calling? There were so many to choose from. American Baby. Mothering. Parenting. Parents. Today's Parent. So many options ... so little time (and money!).

Finally, after finding that one periodical that fit your personal style, you subscribed. Every month, when it showed up in your mailbox, you took the time to read it from cover to cover. You devoured that magazine, trying your best to glean any shred of wisdom from its pages that might somehow, someday, apply to you. "Smart Moms Guide to Vaccinations"? Check. "Taming Toddler Temper Tantrums"? Gotcha. "Eight Healthy Vegetable Snacks for Your Picky Preschooler"? Committed to memory.

Because you were going to be the best parent ever, right?

It's like MG knows me, you're thinking. This is so far in my parenting past, and yet ... she speaks the truth.

No, I probably don't actually know you (at least, google analytics says I don't know most of you). But yes, I'm speaking the truth. I'm being so truthful, in fact, that I'll take this one step further:

You had a second baby, probably just close enough to the first to dodge the "two in diapers" sticker shock. And one day, as you were nursing that second baby in a sling while putting on yet another Disney classic for your first, your husband decided to sort the recycling.

"You didn't read this," he said, pulling out a still-pristine copy of InsertYourFlavorOfParentingHere.

"Well, I didn't see anything new. I flipped through it. Nothing grabbed me," you said--with absolutely no recognition of what a massive step you had taken.

"You want to keep it? Look at it later?"

You considered it for a minute, but then realized that you would not ever, in fact, need to look back and see what cute things someone else's child has said to a stranger in line at the grocery store. So you declined the offer.

"It says it's your last one. Should we renew?"

"Nah." And you went on with your day.

And, just like that, you were over the parenting magazine thing, right? Yeah ... we've all been there. It's o.k. to be honest. The parenting magazines lost their luster because the baby stages don't last forever.

But what about those seasons and interests that are continually evolving? What about those that challenge you and excite you and lead you to places where you need a continual stream of resources?

That, my friends, is homeschooling.

Yes, you can homeschool with just your public library card. No, you don't need anything fancy. But trust me--you will want more. You will want to learn and to grow and to continue to feed your children as much in the way of knowledge as you possibly can. You will need advice. You will desire support. And, if you're like most of the homeschoolers I know, the stage will last far longer than the infancy stage of your firstborn. Oh, call it K-12 years. Give or take.

So, are there magazines for that? Why yes, there are. A caboodle of them. Sadly, most are of very low quality, or are quite narrow in scope. The writing in many of them is simply atrocious, and I live in fear of one in particular falling into the hands of a public school pundit who wanted to use it as a basis for outlawing homeschooling altogether. But I digress ...

If you're looking for a homeschooling magazine that is not centered on any one approach, that addresses the issues and concerns of newbies and veterans AND is well-written, I'm going to steer you to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.

I've been reading for four years now, and I have yet to let an issue slip into the recycle bin without cracking the cover. :-)

The key for me, as an eclectic homeschooler, is the blend of styles. Some advice from Charlotte Mason. A unit study. Reviews of math programs. Everything you can imagine under the homeschooling sun ... in one place.

There are shockingly few magazines that I have held on to in my life; the vast majority of those that I have kept have my name either listed as staff or in the contributor's box. The one exception is the small stash of backcopies of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine I have on a shelf in my bedroom. Just last week, Logan and I went leafing through those issues in search of a unit study on trains that I remembered being somewhere in those pages. We found it in the Summer 2006 edition. Can you imagine using a magazine two years after its publication date?

Even better than the paper copies are the online version. Storing back issues in a folder on the hard drive (in a searchable pdf) is a much better solution that dusting two year-old magazines twice a month.

Perhaps the best selling point of TOS magazine is its freebies. Unlike a homeschooling convention, where you walk away glassy-eyed with a bag full of one-page samples, TOS subscribers get a load of real products. And they're not just introductions to topics for new homeschoolers, either: one recent freebie was a 117 page e-book version of The Five Finger Paragraph. This is the full text of the popular multi-age writing program. As a freebie! Another was a massive 10-part activity pack and lapbook on artists by Homeschool in the Woods. Free! Either one of those items would have paid for my one-year subscription. But I got them both ... plus about 22 more.

This is the time of year when many of us are putting together plans and gathering resources. Check out TOS and consider it an investment in ongoing education ... yours and your children's.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Finally, I have gotten it together enough to address this comment. I had to go line-by-line as there was just too much to say. Feel free to throw bricks. :-)

Anonymous said...

I become disgusted with anyone who drives an SUV or other gas-guzzling car, who does not reduce their consumption, etc.

Do I drive a gas-guzzling car? Oh, yes, I do. There’s no way to call a 1999 Suburban anything but a gas-guzzler, as my husband will mournfully tell you as he watches the balance in our fuel budget dip lower and lower each month.

In our case, our family actually could squeeze into a larger-styled minivan. For several years, we drove just such a contrivance. We moved up to the Suburban when we began our adoption process; not knowing when we would be adding children or how many children we’d be adding led us to assume that sooner and bigger were our best options. We purchased the vehicle used and have filled it to capacity quite frequently. I think it was money well spent as we have actually been able to cart two entire families around from time to time or take children from other families to events, therefore reducing overall emissions.

Unless you used cloth diapers, recycle just about everything, and grow, preserve, and cook most of your own food, YOU are NOT being a good steward of creation.

I do, in fact, use cloth diapers. I am also forced by my city to recycle even the tiniest shred of recyclable material due to our strict limitations on how much each household can put out for weekly trash. Our city is so anti-family that, in fact, trash pick-up criteria was established based upon the “output” of two adults and one child. My family manages to stay within those limits 80% of the time. I know this because I’ve actually been keeping track, just so I could report back to you on how large our carbon footprint is.

Speaking of carbon footprints ... my family’s actually is not large enough to be able to grow our own food. By choice, we live not on sprawling acreage, but in a modest, 1,500 square foot townhome. By converting the garage into usable space, we’ve managed to add 300 square feet to our house without increasing the amount of impermeable surface our family requires in order to live. I was able to locate some demographics for my area, and was shocked to see that a family of 6 (our current size) is most likely to occupy a home of 2,300 square feet. That’s a lot of heating, cooling and the dreaded impermeable surface.

The Lord has led us to specific ways to care for His creation, and we follow His lead there. As I’ve stated, we do not own a large home. We also spend the money that the Lord has put into our hands in a careful manner by not supporting certain practices and by educating interested parties about the whys and hows of those choices. We believe that this is a far more effective tool of stewardship than simply slapping a “Save the Salmon!” sticker on every public water fountain we see.

Stewardship means caring for creation and NOT being wasteful and selfish. Having a huge family and being wasteful and consumptive is just pure selfishness.

Ironically, most people I know with large families consume LESS and waste LESS than those I know with two or fewer children. A part of this, clearly, is necessity. Dividing the pie of your income, time, etc., into four pieces versus six has different results. More pie for everyone!!!

On a deeper level, though, I see a basic understanding in larger families that more can be done with less. Appliances age and are kept up rather than sent to the dump in favor of the newest, snazziest model. An investment of money up front for a supply of cloth diapers can be used for five children, instead of hundreds of boxes of disposables over the course of the diapering years. Clothes are handed down. Furniture is inherited. Food is purchased in containers less likely to be single-serving packaged. All of this adds up, but is often overlooked. Larger families do not always, I think, actually consume more raw goods--at least not on the same per capita that they are consumed by the majority of smaller American families.

Am I selfish? Oh, absolutely. But you can’t tell me that someone who paid $26 for their really cute imported-by-a-free-trade-agency-and-handmade-by-a-tribe-in-Botswana grocery tote isn’t, on some level, just as selfish. We’re all sinners. We’re all selfish. And that’s just how it is.

Oh, and as far as the quiverfulll reasons for having a large family, PLEASE! Who interpreted that part of the bible?

The Holy Spirit interpreted it for me, personally. And while what He spoke to my heart led us to adoption as a way to fill that quiver, He has spoken to many others in many different ways. To some, He has said, “Your quiver is full! Enjoy the one child I have given you!” To others, it’s, “Baby number 10 is on the way! Rejoice!” Some Christians use birth control and know that the Holy Spirit has given them peace about that. Some have been deeply convicted to never impede God’s process in that area. Who is right? Who is wrong? I say ...How good is our God that He speaks to us personally!

I could interpret it in many different ways if I THOUGHT I was supposed to "interpret" it.

I come from a tradition that discouraged personal interpretation of the Bible. Since having found a faith that encourages such, I have to say that I have been amazed at how trustworthy the Holy Spirit actually is. I encourage you to “test the spirits” (1 John 4:1) and see what God leads you to in His Word.

ALso, you may want to read more of the gospel of Paul, especially where he writes that those who are Chrisitans are best to NOT marry and to NOT have children, as they are distractions from what is the righteous way to live (e.g., a Christ-like life of piety and prayer, whether one was a MAN or a WOMAN, there were NO admonishments that women were lesser than men). ONLY THOSE who were too weak to resist temptation were told that marriage would be an option, but clearly Paul indicated that being unmarried and childless was preferable.

Yes, Paul clearly suggests that IF you can not shake off the lusts and longings of this world, then it is preferable to marry. BUT ... he also fails to recant any of God’s earlier admonishments to be fruitful and multiply or to be blessed by the gifts of children He sends you. Clearly, throughout the history of God’s people, it has been both necessary and good to reproduce. It has also been necessary and good to turn to the Lord and ask Him what His will is for you. I believe that if He leads you to marriage, that is because His will for you is such. If He leads you to a life of abstaining from marriage, then that is also His good and perfect will.

Paul is an amazing man and a powerful example of one type of individual that God used to spread the gospel. There are others, of course--married others. Let’s not forget them.

DO any of you people read those parts of the scripture???? NO, your kind only want to interpret those pieces that uphold your selfish, wasteful ways of life.

I believe that I’ve done a reasonable job supporting my conviction that my lifestyle is neither wasteful nor non-Biblical. But don't take my word for it. Grab your Bible, ask the Lord to open your heart and your eyes, and see where He takes you. You just might be surprised.

What is the purpose of this exercise?

Three weeks after demanding that his visitation rights be reinstated (and succeeding in bulldozing his way in that direction), Oliver's Bio Dad has missed his second opportunity to see the little guy. I don't remember how to convert that to baseball notation, but the numbers aren't impressive no matter how you look at it. Three chances. Two misses.

I don't know why he didn't just walk away when he lost the visits (ironically, for not showing up) in the first place. Why keep putting Oliver through this?

Does he just not understand how hard it is on Oliver to ride this roller coaster? Does he not care? I can't tell. I really can't tell.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Random updates

1. I never posted this, but Atticus had his tonsils and adenoids removed nearly two weeks ago. That would be why I've been so scarce. :-) He is recovering quite well ... especially since his momma was feeling quite permissive and pulled out our archaic Nintendo 64 for him to doodle around with. Atticus has since mastered a Pod Raced game. It was, he reports, well worth the surgery.

2. Oliver is walking like a pro. Well, mostly. He still stumbles about a bit, but by and large, he's more up than down.

3. Logan is happy that school has begun and can't wait for friend C. to return from his camping trip. Also, he's the cutest snarfin' 6 year old on the planet right now. Not that I'm biased or anything.

4. Jo is in Mexico with her daddy. More on that later, no doubt.

5. God has been speaking to me in a painfully convicting way about TIME right now. I'm not liking what I'm hearing, but I'm trying to move in obedience.

6. Core 5 is going very, very well.