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Friday, December 31, 2010

Vacation Dreaming



This time of year always finds my family dreaming about our fall vacation. Don has to turn in his date requests by Dec. 31st in hopes of getting his preferred dates. So, my head is spinning with excitement as we plan our trip to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. Every vacation that I have planned has a very seemingly impossible budget to stick to, but they are always AWESOME!!(and I mean this in the humblest way possible;) We are blessed to be able to use www.getravelop.com which provides resort villas, townhouses, and condos for $379 per week. This is actually cheaper than staying at a low budget hotel and with having full kitchens(saves money on eating out), washer/dryers(we take very few clothes) and 3 bedrooms(space to spread out), I find it difficult to go elsewhere. Only certain people can use this, like government employees and teachers. One alternative that I have used for the same rates without the stipulations and EXCELLENT customer service is www.wyndham-vacations.com  We always say we are going to our "vacation house" and this makes the little ones feel very comfortable about the whole being away from the familiar.
Why Hilton Head?? It combines the best of our family's dream vacations. First, it's an ISLAND!!! Wahoo!
Second, you can ride a bike EVERYWHERE, yes, even on the beach, the island is covered with wide bike paths! They have several rental companies www.hiltonheadbikerental.com  with extremely reasonable rates including free baby seats, baskets, locks, resort delivery, and pick-up. The idea of riding our bikes to a picnic on the beach, to Mass, Adoration, thrift store shopping, or to go to see lighthouses, children's museums and conservation areas is heavenly. Our resort even includes 2 bikes free with our townhouse. Third, we love wildlife, and Hilton Head has a plethora of it, from dolphins, flying fish, sharks, crabs, alligators, sand dollars,....etc.
There is even a Chick-fil-A! I know it's probably not the healthiest place to eat....but they have the BEST chicken sandwiches! Hilton Head Ice Cream Inc. has also received rave reviews, so we HAVE to try it! It's these little things that make me smile!
When life stresses me out, I have something to fantasize about, plan our budget, save coupons, send away for visitor info, check out books from the library so we can learn about it's history and wildlife.

UPDATE: I actually booked with http://www.wyndham-vacations.com/ because I found a 15% off code (RMN15) on http://www.retailmenot.com/ an excellent source for online/offline discount codes. Not only are we paying less, but there is a 3 day cancellation fee with 100% refund, which is much better than getravelop's policies.
Coral Reef Resort, here we come!!
HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Coolest Toy Ever..Plasma Car!

Santa brought this to our house.
 No batteries, sturdy, kid-powered vehicle.
It goes up to 6 mph, so just enough speed for a thrill but no scary spills.
It can hold up to 220 lbs, so I can ride it with the little ones.
Tomorrow is forcasted to be nice, so we hope to take this baby to the park for a real spin!
I hear that you can get it online for $50 including shipping...our version is called the coaster car.
(Just ignore my mismatched Santa socks and messy dining room!)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.~Edmund Burke

Monday, December 27, 2010

Unplugged: Chrismas Caroling

I know it's a little late in the season to post this, but we had so much fun caroling the week of Christmas!
There was a group of 19 of us that went including 1 seminarian. We went from house to house in our neighborhood and the reaction of our neighbors was heart warming and touching, a few of the lady recipients, actually cried! We were offered treats and 1 man took pictures. One of our favorite gifts was hugs! Most every single person said they had never been caroled before. Okay, well I kind of scared a couple of kids when I asked if they had a request, and they ran and hid behind their Daddy's legs..other than that, is was all positive. We agreed to make this a Christmas tradition.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas

Kisses for Grandma


Christmas Lights on the Party Bus 

 Look, I'm Mr. Donut Eyes!
 We had to laugh at the "after".

My side of the family, of course I forgot my camera at our other celebrations;)

Hannah received twins that she named Sophie and Sophia.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

2010 Photo Album



Click here to see:  Picaboo Photo Book

It seemed like all we did this year was move, but I managed to scrounge together a few highlights from this year.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Book Review: God Gave Us So Much

I recently reviewed this book with my kiddos. It is beautifully illustrated and all the kids loved the pictures. The book contains 3 books in one, God Gave Us the World, God Gave Us Love, and God Gave Us Heaven. The stories are all about a little Polar Bear having conversations with his Mother, his Grandfather and His Papa. The recommended ages for this book are 4-8. I think it's closer to 6-8 at least with our experience. Benny, who is 4, loved the pictures but didn't quite understand the story's lessons, it's a little more depth than what he was capable of understanding. Elijah (7) and Hannah (9) enjoyed reading the story and were able to grasp the concepts just fine. As an adult, I enjoyed the messages and one of my favorite passages from God Gave Us Heaven is ..."Sometimes we think we need stuff, but it's just more weight for us to carry. Our best stuff doesn't weigh anything at all- stuff like love, family, friends, and faith. That's where are real blessings are." It is well written and I felt like most of the messages applied to our family. I think this is a very nice book to have in a family collection and maybe even to use as a special Christmas Book to get out during the season, even though it isn't a Christmas book, the fact that it's about Polar Bears in the snow would be a nice variation to the theme. It is a very well made hardback book and even comes with a ribbon book marker in it. I am always glad to see faith-themed religious books with a Christian moral. I definitely give it a thumbs up!
Here is a link to purchase it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/God-Gave-Much-Limited-Three-Book/dp/0307446298
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Unplugged



Did you know that God created a beautiful, exciting, vibrant, thriving world right in the other room, in the backyard, and out the front door?? Here's a pretty radical suggestion:


There is something that is probably inside your home that is literally extruding the life right out of you. Your television and sometimes, yes, even your computer. These things are fine in moderation, but most of us have gone far beyond that to the point of neglecting those around us. Consider for a moment unplugging your tv, turn off your cable, and greatly reduce your computer time also.

What have you got to lose?

For starters, your very life. Did you know that the World Health Organization estimated that one of the top 10 leading causes of death was a sedentary lifestyle? Link: "http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/release23/en/index.html

What have you got to gain?( annual totals):

  • Money..$900 ..The average cable bill is $75 per month.
  • Time ..15,355 Hours..An American Time survey finds the average American spends 5 hours per day watching tv.
  • Better Grades
  • Peace.. witnessing violence in media contributes to violent behavior.
  • Weight loss..Television is one of the many contributing factors to obesity.
  • Sleep.. Often because of inactivity insomnia occurs.
  • Cure of ADHD and related conditions.
  • Many more....sexual promiscuity, drug use, alcohol use, and smoking/tobacco use has all been linked to tv. Article:http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/tv.htm
What can we do now?


  • Discover the great outdoors, most cities have awesome nature centers, neighborhood parks, bike paths, lakes, etc.
  • Find your artistic side, take a ceramic, sculpture,sewing, guitar, piano, drum, class/lessons.
  • Volunteer at your local family shelter,church, school, hospital, nursing home, and library.
  • Pray, you can't pray too much!!!
  • Laugh, tell a joke, listen to one,the world is a constant source of humor.
  • Visit the library, this place is full of adventure!
  • Museums, there are so many different kinds from art to history to children's to science and more!
  • Travel, there are places to discover close by or far away.
  • Exercise, you don't have to join a gym, go for a walk, bike ride, swim, hike, climb, or turn on the music at home and just groove on.
  • Cook, there are about a bajillion cookbooks out there.
  •  Adopt a human, visit a local nursing home and choose a new Grandma or Grandpa, become a Big Brother or Big Sister.
  • Write a letter, when is the last time you used a pencil/pen and wrote to someone?
  • Sing, it's ok even if your tone deaf, flat or off key,it even lowers your blood pressure.
  • Smile...You use less muscles in your face than if you frown. Not to mention, you can totally make someone's day!!
  • Adopt a pet from the humane society.
  • The list goes on.
So, here is the challenge, Unplug your tv and then post this article on your blog. Whenever you write about an unplugged activity title it "Unplugged: Sewing" or whatever activity you participate instead.


Are you up to the challenge?
If so, let me know, comment with a link to your blog.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Thoughts

We had a really lovely Christmas gathering at my Mom's house last night followed by a tour of Christmas lights on a party bus. But all I can think about was while at my Mom's, we had the tv on so the guys could watch football. I was DISGUSTED at the commercials and how pornographic and suggestive they were! The media is victimizing men! Something has to be done to stop this, I'm seriously angry and mad and I feel like sailing away to a faraway island and secluding my family from such filth. I know that isn't what God is calling us to do, we must fight the good fight, but it isn't easy. One of the reasons I left facebook was because they allow porn to be advertised on their site, that ISN'T OK, it ISN'T! I know you can filter it out....BUT WE SHOULDN'T HAVE TO!!! Even when I log on to check my email, there are sometimes ads for Victoria Secret and Dior perfume that are horribly suggestive. This type of "advertising" isn't only victimizing men, it's denigrating to women, it totally makes women feel inadequate to try to live up to an airbrushed unrealistic image of worldly "perfection". God created us in His image and likeness, we are better than this garbage, WE ARE!
   One of the coolest groups I have ever seen is "That Man is You" and Don was telling me he wants to start up a group at our parish. He used to belong to the group at our old parish and it really changed him and opened his eyes to the way that the devil is trying to desensitize us through the media. This program is fruitful and is what this world needs.
  This is a rambling of thoughts, and as I contemplate the birth of our Lord and his second coming I feel compelled to try and change what I can...with my limitations and worthlessness, but I am trying.
  Sometimes I forget that we aren't here to "have a good time" we are here to know, love, and serve God, not be a slave to the media, our possessions(struggling with one!), and instant gratification(this one too!!).
St. Francis of Assisi said "Sanctify yourself and you will sanctify the world" and this is the hardest thing to do, I struggle with myself so much! Just when I think I am getting somewhere, I fall harder. I think it's all part of the journey and  I remember a quote from a puppet show at the Midwest Catholic Family conference "a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying."

Friday, December 17, 2010

Interesting Blog

http://vaccinesexposed.blogspot.com/

This is a very fascinating blog by a family who has been very affected by vaccines and the mother, Dawn, has done an amazing amount of research and discovered quite a few scary realities. I would suggest starting from the beginning of her blog dates to understand everything in it's totality. This might be useful for our efforts.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pretty Pleased...with Progress



Don spent the last weekend installing laminate floors in the kitchen and dining rooms. I think this guy could do almost any DIY project...he's super awesomely wonderful. Little by little(as we can afford it) we are re-facing our 42 year old cabinets with frames and bead board centers, we loved the bead board so much we even decided to use it on the back splash! Bead board was the most inexpensive thing I could come up with for the back splash, it cost less than $20 for the whole kitchen...the whole kitchen isn't finished yet. The hardware we found at Jabara's Damaged Freight for $1 apiece!! The exact same ones at another Home Improvement establishment was $6.99 each!! We also have European hinges/concealed hinges for the cabinets that I found online for .73 cents each, we haven't figured out how to install them...looks a little tricky, but I have my heart set on not looking at rusty ancient cabinet hinges. I had to keep reminding myself during the planning phases of the kitchen why we moved here in the first place....to live within our means! That meant not getting new cabinets or granite counter tops or expensive flooring. This remodel is within our current means, but there is a plan buried deep in the recesses of my thinker that includes the above mentioned luxuries....but it's years(decades) away from fruition. Overall we are happy with the progress, but will be very happy when it's finished......someday soon.....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday Whines


  • 1 hour 20 minutes spent on 7 story problems.
  • One of my children "quit" school, but after learning they would be required to live in their bedroom consuming only water, bread, and peanut butter until they did everything their parents require, their mind somehow changed. Miracles DO INDEED HAPPEN.
  • Charlie has a fun new habit of eating something and then deciding(after a few minutes) that he doesn't like it and then he deposits it in various areas around the house. It's like a treasure hunt!
  • My lips are chapped and they won't heal.
  • I finally found the advent wreath, but I have been too lazy to get it out of the box.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Groupon

Check out the awesome deals in Wichita!
http://www.groupon.com/r/uu13989415

Wisconsin Chapel Approved As First Us Marian Apparition Site

http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=109982

I am so excited about this!! We have family near there, so I think we may try and make a pilgrimage there this spring or summer.
FaithButton


1. Finally cleaned out the fridge...it's a little embarrassing how many empty sour cream and margarine containers were in there.
2. I was able to stick to a pretty tight budget this week...I admit I haven't done that enough lately;)
3. Cleaned out my scary purse...seriously, I can't figure out how crumbs get in there! I swear I don't eat over my purse!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday Whinefest

  • Okay, I don't know how to "link up" to all the other whinos out there, but here is my version today.
  • First of all, the faucet that we got the "great deal" on craigslist, leaks!! So we had to buy a new one.
  • Then, the garage door opener only likes to work sometimes, it doesn't like cold or windy days.
  • We called our favorite garage door service establishment and made an appointment for today.The guy came bright and early and finished in record time, only to tell me that he's not the one to fix the door, just the spring replacer guy. UHGGGA! So now we have to wait until next week to schedule another guy to come out and actually fix it.
  • We put our Christmas tree up and let the kids decorate it, but Charlie keeps pulling all the ornaments off and ripping down the pearl strands, it looks like someone set up the tree, then opened the lid to the ornament box and threw them point blank at the tree with hurricane force. Fa..La..La..La..La..La..La..La..flop!
  • Our 2 oldest boys served Mass for the Holy Day, but apparently need a refresher serving course..or 2 or 3. We are blessed to have such a patient pastor.
  • Thankfully everyone is over the stomach flu!! YAY! But now everyone is coming down with a cough and a cold. A little early Christmas gift I guess;)
  • After 38 years in existence, I still don't like Math, and dislike teaching it even more!
  • Dear Lord, your gift arrived, but unfortunately, I think there has been some sort of mix up, I asked for well-behaved children, but instead you sent a lesson on patience. What is your return policy?


Monday, December 6, 2010

Beauty is the Eye of the Believer


The kids decorated the tree all by themselves!!
Over the years, I have let go of perfection and each little
drooping ornament, crowded branch, backwards/upside down decoration is a symbol of the kids' anticipation,  Christmas joy and expectation and my "not having to fix it" is my tiny little sacrifice of love for their efforts. Through the eyes of the kids, it is the" most beautifullest Christmas tree ever!"

Bubble Machine

                                      .
Benny and Charlie received a bubble machine for the bathtub. Here is a conversation from the other day:
Mommy: "What is that awful smell? Charlie, did you do poop-poops in the tub"?
Charlie: Shakes head no.
Benny: (pointing at the bubble machine)" Hey Mom, that's not the only bubble machine in the tub, you see, my butt is also a bubble machine."
Mommy: "Nice."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Photo Fun


Well...not really fun per se...but it was quick, a little chilly, and HEY everyone had their eyes open!! SUCCESS!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Catching Up!!

I was really overwhelmed and so everything that was unnecessary came to a slamming stop, including this blog. I missed it, but it was nice to simplify things awhile and just concentrate on the family and daily life...which for me is plenty! So here's some of what's been happening:
Cherry on a Sunday
Our family dog, Cherry passed away after 15 loyal years. I still remember as newlyweds, Don and I choosing her from a litter of active puppies. She was the calmest and was also the reject of the litter. She sat alone in a corner like a little chocolate ice cream sundae, the only thing missing was a cherry. When I approached her, she cowered as if in fear. I didn't want to frighten her so I retreated to the company of the other puppies who eagerly lapped up the attention. I was shocked when I looked down and saw Cherry come to me and look up at me with her sad eyes and rest her paw in my lap. I scooped her up and smothered her with affection and she became ours. She has had a rough time lately and we knew she was in constant pain. One night she couldn't stop yelping and some other not so pleasant things, and we knew she was dying. The kids had a difficult time as they have all known Cherry as long as their parents. We buried her in the backyard and had a little memorial service for her. Hannah remarked..."Hey Mom, it's a Sunday!! Cherry died on a Sunday!!" With tears sliding down our faces we remembered all that we could about our darling pet.
Scuba Noah
As a thank you for being my #1 helper, Noah was excited to be rewarded with a scuba lesson.

Refreshment Texas Style
Our house finally sold...we had to celebrate and get away from the constant renovations and projects , problems, and issues at our new house, so Texas was a close getaway. It was a very restful time, we lounged around, playing a little unofficial tennis, walks, basketball, swimming and doing something we rarely do at home....WATCHING TV!! Don and I are caught up on all the design trends after watching HGTV, and the kids indulged in the animal kingdom on Animal Planet.



Kitchen Cabinet Sneak Peek...stay tuned

Before and After Bath

Before:

After:

Our main floor bathroom is finally finished...except for a few little details that I am bargain hunting for, a stainless/chrome/nickel finish(basically any shiny silver metal looking finish) trash can and soap dispenser. Overall the main things we changed were: new vanity and countertop we kept the faucet, new porcelain tile floor, new light fixture, new trim, and fresh paint.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Prayers Please

I humbly request prayers for Hannah. On Saturday she was attending a program at WSU and she was playing basketball with some of the athletes. Her pinkie finger was jammed and little did we know she had a bad break that requires surgery and a pin. Unfortunately we have a family history of complications to surgery. I am requesting prayers for a complete recovery and safe surgery. Her surgery will be Friday morning, September 22nd. St. Gianna, pray for us!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Holey Roof


Last night, our old neighborhood was pounded with softball and larger sized hail. Our friend and neighbor called and told us that we had better come and check out our roof. Even though we have already moved, they didn't forget us. We arrived to find all of our neighbors gathered and comparing the damage to their homes. Many hands do indeed make for light work. All the men shared materials and one by one they climbed the ladders to each home and worked together to cover the holes with tarps to prevent further damage and leaking. It was a beautiful sight, I think we have the best former neighbors in Wichita and they will always be our friends!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Diocesan Anniversary Mass


Today was the Anniversary Mass that has been held for over 30 years at the Cathedral. Don and I celebrated our 15th Anniversary and my sweet friend, Lisa snapped a pic of us. It was such a nice day, the Mass wasn't until 3:30PM, so we had a leisurely morning and afternoon of just organizing and cleaning. We haven't had much time to breathe let alone get organized after moving and fixing up both houses, so as boring as it sounds, it was wonderful!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Super Easy Pancake/Maple Syrup


One of my favorite recipes and also one of the easiest is for Homemade Maple Syrup. This actually tastes very good and better than my $16 bottle from Vermont;)

1 cup water

2 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring

Boil water and sugar for 5 minutes and then add the maple flavoring. Let cool and then you can pour it into a pancake syrup bottle or maple syrup jug. Store either in the pantry or in the fridge.

Friday, September 3, 2010

My Heart Yearns...


Some friends of ours, an entire family actually, are becoming missionaries. I have been in awe of their dedication, they sold their house and all their belongings and are joining this missionary group http://www.fmcmissions.com/. If it were just me, I would be ready to go, but I think about my family......would it be safe enough?.... is it responsible? What about our families here...Don's Mother's failing health?? Am I strong enough to make the sacrifice, how about the rest of my family??? I ponder the virtues my children would learn, really living and really loving and really sacrificing. Talk about living the simple life!! We really would be completely dependant on God....for everything! You don't get to choose where you go, it's a surprise! I don't want to be the young man in the New Testament who walked away from our Lord's call because" he had many belongings" I have felt so empty with material things as of late, they don't satisfy.......I'm sure that we can find many people to serve here even in Wichita, but we in the USA have absolutely NO idea of what real poverty is. So many thoughts, as much as I am drawn to this, I know in my heart that God wants me here..... ....but still my heart yearns....maybe someday???

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hannah's $10 Birthday Party

Can you have a decent Birthday Party for $10?? I say YES! While we are still in extreme budget mode with our 2 house payments, Hannah just had to have a Princess themed birthday party. Here is the breakdown:
Invitations: Free(I just printed these off the computer and we handed them out as we saw our guests at different functions)

Cupcakes: $ 4.29 ( I made 56 total, 1 white mix and 1 Devil's food and only 1 can of frosting, princess cupcake liners were on sale at Dillons for .79 cents. The girls decorated their own cupcakes with sprinkles and decorations I had leftover from other baking projects.



Shaved Ice: $3.67 ( We had the shaved ice machine purchased a few years ago at Goodwill for $1.99) and the bag of ice was $1.47 and 2 packages of koolaid was .20 cents, this makes the syrup, just mix with sugar and a small amount of water and drizzle over the shaved ice. Spoons and foam cups $2.00 from Dollartree.




Princess Craft: $1.99 Kit purchased from Michael's on clearance. Each girl made their own princess themed picture frame, I took each of the girl's pic and printed it out to put into the frame and they took home the completed frame as a party favor.

Princess Game: Free We printed out a pic from "Princess and the Frog" that we enlarged to 17X22 and used green card stock from Grandma's stash to cut out tiara's to match the pic. We played stick the tiara's on the Princess. The prize was a few freebies I had collected over the last few months with coupons.





Gifts: In lieu of gifts, Hannah requested a few items to take to The Lord's Pantry at St. Pat's.

Total: $9.95
In all honesty, I really missed not being able to send home a goodie bag with each child, this is where I usually spend the bulk of a birthday party budget, but that was just not possible this year. As a parent, I am not a huge fan of goodie bags anyway, as the items usually end up as feet implants or landfill foder.


The highlight of the party was when we gathered to pray for the recipients of the "gifts", each girl began requesting prayers for their own intentions...it was such a sweet and unplanned moment.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Breasts are NOT made for SEXUAL PLEASURE!

Here is a fabulous article written by my wonderful and talented friend, Erika about the beauty of breasts and the anti-cultural truth.
Life-giving Breasts

Before I had children, I never could have imagined how many controversies abounded in the world of parenting. I especially never could have imagined how something as pure and natural and personal as breastfeeding could create such severe chasms and bitterness between friends, family, and absolute strangers.
I really don’t want to get into the whole breast vs. bottle thing here. That discussion is endless and I think most of those conversations often stray outside of the point: God made our breasts to lactate and so when it’s possible for a woman to use that God-given gift to provide for her baby, breastmilk is always going to be the preferred and most beneficial option. However, since I understand that every situation is unique and a mom’s decision is formed by so many factors, I can’t say that a mother who feeds her child formula is an awful parent. But, like Kristen Marie Toutges over at Mothering wrote, I readily admit that when a mother *chooses* formula when she *is able* to breastfeed, I am confused & concerned. But I try not to judge, although I do believe judgment is a natural side effect of care & concern.”
As I’ve grown in my motherhood and as a breastfeeding mother, I’ve realized there’s a lot of information and breastfeeding support out there that some may not know about. Unfortunately maybe because of this as Toutges points out, there exists a misplaced “rage directed toward breastfeeding mothers,” Mothers are told that “…breastfeeding is gross & lactating women shouldn’t leave their homes…that breastfeeding women who nurse in public are sexual exhibitionists…breastfeeding is ok– as long as you’re covered up!”
I think every woman has her own level of comfort and if a woman wants to cover up because it makes it more comfortable for her or her baby, that’s great. What razzles me up though is when women and men are offended when a woman chooses not to ‘cover up’ or hide in the bathroom. Now for me I personally wouldn’t take my whole shirt off or show off my whole boob in front of total strangers but I’m usually more concerned about feeding my baby and not showing off my leftover baby flab than I am about someone getting a peak at my nipple.
For some women, not breastfeeding in public stems from a misunderstood sense of modesty or decency. Breasts have always been a visual focal point in fashion and modern fashion tends to exhibit a woman’s breasts instead of complementing them. So if a woman or man doesn’t feel comfortable with public breastfeeding because they see breasts as a very special part of the female body, I think that has some merit. But there’s still a problem there because this perspective puts the image of an exposed breast that is being used to feed a baby in the same category as an exposed breast that is being used to lure people into the sin of lust or envy.
Genevieve S. Kineke’s Racks and Ruin, articulately presents the connection between our contraceptive culture and women’s and men’s aversion to breastfeeding.
“The sexual revolution has led us down a path of utilitarian nonsense into loneliness, disease and death. Instead of liberating “the fairer sex” as it promised, it enslaved them to men’s appetites and degraded motherhood and feminine dignity”
Danielle Bean’s post, Is Breastfeeding Creepy?: How Sterile Sex Leads to Sterile Bottles, also sums it up well:
“…Women have allowed their bodies to be 100% sexualized and objectified. Blundell’s piece speaks clearly for a generation of women who have been fed lies about their own bodies: That sex can be separated from procreation and that the female body’s primary function is for sexual pleasure. Here we have a perverse view of motherhood and femininity—one that is the unfortunate consequence of a contraceptive culture.
Along with contraception, I have another four-letter word theory for why people, especially men, get so weirded out with breastfeeding especially in public: P-O-R-N
More and more men are addicted to porn and soft porn that surrounds them through TV shows, internet ads, Victoria’s Secret magazines and their stores; all that crap out there tells men-“Breasts are for you and your sexual needs.” While these images affect women at a different level it has the same results.
It’s true; breasts are biologically a sexual part of the female body. Men are attracted to these because of how unique they are. But I believe deep down it’s also because they are fascinated with a woman’s super power to be a home and food for human life. But to a porn-addicted man, breasts have only one function. So it’s no wonder when they get a little squeamish when they see a nipple going into a baby’s mouth. Women may not be addicted to porn in the same way as men but because we live in a world saturated by sexual images, I could see how a woman might be led to think she’s being immodest by exposing a part of herself to nurse her baby. But a woman showing off her rack to the world on a magazine cover has different intentions than that of a woman who may show a little skin while nursing her baby.
So if a man ‘sins’ because he sees a woman breastfeeding her baby, as God obviously intended, then he’s got a major problem.
And if a woman is offended or feels uncomfortable seeing a mother nursing her baby, she also has some issues she needs to get worked out.
People have seen women’s bodies and their breasts as self-gratifying objects for so long they’ve forgotten what they’re really for. Breastfeeding anytime, anywhere, brings nourishment, comfort, and love to babies and their mothers and their families. There’s nothing shameful or disgusting about it and there’s no reason to hide it. A person who witnesses such a beautiful self-giving and life-giving act between a mother and her baby should consider themselves very blest.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hearing Mommy's Voice for the First Time

Baby Jonathan was born deaf and just received a cochlear implant and hear's his Mother's voice for the first time.....beautiful!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTzTt1VnHRM

Monday, August 2, 2010

No Spending for 1 Year!

Having 2 house payments is causing a major crunch at my house and as frustrating, depressing, annoying, depriving, humiliating, and just plain ol' grumpy-producing it is, I have never learned so much in my life! What I am about to say will sound crazy... but here goes.....I am thankful for the gift of this experience. It is indeed a blessing. I don't want to relive these days or wish them upon anyone, but it's all part of the journey. I never pray for being humbled...but as embarrassing as it is, I am thankful for it, because hopefully it will make me a better person...someday...I have an almost insurmountable way to go, though! Also I feel so much closer to our Lord...probably because I have been praying(pleading/begging) so much and I am reminded that..."I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"(Philippians 4:13)
My friend told me today about a book called "Not Buying It..My Year without Shopping" by Judith Levine, that and an article called "Drop the Shops: Samantha Weinberg's year without spending.http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/oct/19/credit-card-crunch-budget oh yeah, and a conversation I had with another friend about where our "stuff" comes from and what we are supporting by our over-consumerism, have inspired a major rethinking on my part. I am throwing in the consumer saturated towel and Don and I have decided to stick to a very minimal budget only buying things when absolutely necessary...I'm not going as far as these ladies, though. I will give gifts and buy a few luxuries but only from our much smaller budget. We still plan to take our vacations(either that or spend $$ on a psychiatrist) but overall a much simpler lifestyle, not that we are extravagant by today's standards, but so much of my spending has been so unnecessary. Life is an adventure..all of it, the good, the bad, and the frugal. One thing our family truly values is spending time together. We would like Don to be able to retire before he's too old to enjoy life! "...be on guard against every form of greed; life is not in possessions" (Luke 12:15)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Best Toy in the WORLD!


The other day I ordered Luvs for a completely fabulous price on Amazon.com, and when it was delivered...wonder of wonders!!...it came with the best toy in the WORLD....A FREE BOX! The boys had a blast with it. You know what they say.."The best things in life are cardboard".

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bathroom Vanity Before/After

Before: After:


This was the most affordable project so far in our new abode. I wanted to explain that all the woodwork,cabinets,doors,casing...ect are in horrible shape having been scratched and battered by pets, so we aren't "destroying" beautiful woodwork, we are trying to resusitate it. We used leftover white paint, moulding from Star Lumber(right now you can get $10 gift cards from Recyclebank for just 100 points...I got 6!) Anyway after the GC, my total was $2 for the moulding, iron piece(painted white from Hobby Lobby) $5 and leftover brushed nickel spray paint for the original knobs and hinges with a touch of white paint on the knobs to show the detail, and .77 cent drawer pulls from Lowe's for a grand total of.....>$10....WAHOO!! It is a satisfactory fix until we can afford to replace the vanity.We also used the leftover Foyer paint to color the walls in Brown Teepee...we like the contrast with the white. The next project is to transform the linen closets in the same way. As a side note, we do most of our time consuming aspects of our projects after the kids are in bed. We like to wear them out first with swimming or tennis...works like a charm...they can sleep through a volcanic eruption!


Linked to Thrifty Decor Chic's Before and After Party http://thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com/







Friday, July 23, 2010

Foyer Before/After

Before: After:

The foyer is such a small area, but it is the first impression of a home. We are s..l..o..w..l..y replacing each door, all the trim in the house, all the flooring, painting every single wall and replacing those wicked little yellowish-beige outlets and light switches. I can't wait to replace the porch railing...someday, at least spray painting it in a brushed nickel finish updates it a little.(the best I could do with such a tight budget!!) The foyer is the first completely done room in our house! Yay!! I think this will be a long process...but so rewarding!!