Friday, May 30, 2008

Birth control pills, IVF, and abortion

For years I have been telling women that all forms of hormonal birth control lead to early, "silent" abortions of their babies by not allowing the newly conceived child to attach to the walls of the womb. Instead, these babies are "washed out" when the woman's monthly cycle starts.

This includes the pill, mini pill, hormone injections, implanted rods, patches, and hormone-releasing IUDs. (Non-hormonal IUDs have the same effect by poisoning the womb through the metal that is used.)

The reaction is almost always the same: disbelief, and then rejection or apathy. They hide behind "If it really did that, how could so many women be using these birth control methods? How could so-called Christian doctors prescribe these? Why have I never heard of this before?" etc.

I found the following article on Yahoo News surprisingly honest. I quote:

DENVER - A proposed state constitutional amendment defining a fertilized human egg as a person was certified Thursday for the November ballot, moving Colorado a step closer to an election battle over abortion rights.

[...]

Opponents say the proposed amendment could affect birth control because the most widely used form of contraception works by preventing fertilized eggs from attaching to the uterus. [emphasis added]


They also say the measure could deter in-vitro fertilization and stem cell research and bar doctors from treating women with some forms of cancer. [who are being treated with embryonic stem cells]

Of course, this is what the opposition had to say:

"Defining an egg as a person in our constitution and statutes isn't science-based and makes bad public policy," said Crystal Clinkenbeard, a spokeswoman for an organization called Protect Families Protect Choices, which opposes the measure.

Nobody said anything about "defining an egg as a person". An egg in and of itself does not begin dividing into more and more cells and become a growing a human being. This measure is aimed at fertilized eggs, which is really not an egg but a newly conceived human being.

My goal is not to make anyone feel bad who has used hormonal birth control in the past. Sadly, many women are ignorant of the medical facts behind it. I myself was guilty of this and took the pill for two months when we first got married, which is probably what caused the loss of my first pregnancy. I guess I should have been researching what I was popping in my mouth every day a little better. Although I discontinued taking the pill before I knew of its true effects (we actually WANTED kids right away, as soon as I was covered by my husband's health insurance), I was still shocked when I did find out how it really worked a few months later.

What gets to me is people who find out about how hormonal birth control works, and then choose to ignore the facts out of convenience. Could all those women please put the emotion aside, take their head out of the sand, and read up on the medical facts behind the pill? Is having babies really that bad that you have to knowingly KILL them? Do you really just need to save all your money for the mall, a new car, a bigger house and fun vacations? Do you care about anyone beside yourself?

The truth won't go away no matter how long you choose to ignore it.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A day in the life of me

My schedule on school days is pretty much the same, unless there are very important outside obligations that cannot be moved to a time that best fits my schedule.

Although it may seem like a pretty "strict" schedule, I find it helps me move through the day smoothly because I never have to wonder what needs to be done next, nor am I tempted to waste time here and there on checking my e-mail, returning a phone call, etc. We usually end up finishing early and being able to take it easy in the afternoons.

Also, I never make schedules for our babies. They get fed, held, and cared for on demand until they are about 1 year old and know how to entertain themselves better and understand what I mean when I tell them to go play. Feeding on demand is an essential part of natural child spacing. When the babies are very little they are happy to be strapped to me in a sling/wrap while they snooze the day away. Once they become more active and alert, they learn to play by my feet and just tag along with whatever I am doing at an early age.

So here is what I do on a "normal" day (i.e. no unforeseen catastrophes):

6:30 kids and I get up and get ready

7:00 breakfast, clean up, morning chores such as getting the washer started, emptying the dishwasher, etc.

8:00 start school

8:00 - 8:45 read the Bible to the kids, work about 5 min. with each child on their memory verses

8:45 - 9:15 John and Isaac go play while I teach Solomon English and then get him started on his worksheets for English, spelling, and penmanship. Solomon is allowed to go play until 10:45 once he finishes all his sheets

9:15 - 10:45 Teaching Isaac one-on-one in the following order: phonics, writing, science or art, reading, phonics review, math. Isaac is then done for the day.

10:45 - 11:00 Read with Solomon

11:00 - 11:15 Teach Solomon math, give him his math worksheets. He is dismissed until after lunch once he finishes his sheets

11:15 - 12:00 I cook lunch while the kids play, clean, and do chores such as switching the laundry etc.

12:00 - 12:30 Lunch

12:30 -12:45 John and Isaac get ready for their nap while I load the dishwasher. This is important, since Miriam from birth has loved the sound of the dishwasher to fall asleep.

12:45 Miriam, John, and Isaac go down for their naps. They sleep anywhere from 1 1/2 - 3 hours

1:00 - 3:00 PM Teach Solomon history and science, do some quiet chores (laundry, cleaning, etc.) and take a half hour nap myself while Solomon plays quietly

afternoon: Run errands, then teach all three boys the "other" subject at the same time. We rotate between P.E., Health Safety & Manners, Music Theory, German, and Art on the five days of school each week. Cook dinner.

around 6: dinner

Between dinner and bedtime, the kids have to clean their room, take their showers and get ready for bed, and then have time to play. I again load the dishwasher so it's ready when I put Miriam to bed.

around 8:30 : put all kids down for the night. I spend the next hour or two cleaning the house and finishing up on laundry, correcting the kids school work and lay out the worksheets for the next day, get materials ready, take a shower, etc. Then I have time to myself to blog, e-mail, read or whatever.

around 11:00 PM: Go to bed myself.

On Saturdays, I try to tackle bigger projects that I don't have time for during the week, such as cleaning out a closet, balancing the check book, dealing with the week's mail, clipping and organizing coupons, etc.

On Sundays, we go to church in the morning and evening. In the hours between the services (12-6 PM) we have lunch, and then my husband goes soul-winning until 4 PM while I put the kids down for their naps, clean the house for a couple of hours, cook dinner and (on good days) take a short nap. After my husband gets back I go soul-winning with the other ladies until the evening service starts at 6:30 PM. We get home again around 9 PM, at which point we try to get the kids down as fast as possible and take it easy for the rest of the nigh.

There is a ton of stuff that just never gets done, because there is only so much time in a day, and I can only work so many hours. For example, I never ever iron any piece of clothing. You read that right. I just hang the stuff fresh out of the dryer. Not perfect, but something I can live with. True, I could have ironed several shirts in the time it took me to write this blog post, but I want to enjoy my life. Taking time to do what I like keeps me going and in the end gives me more energy. After all, I am not a machine.

I am not trying to sound like I have it all together, because I don't. But planning on neglecting certain areas of your life, while planning on doing others, takes away a lot of stress and guilt (i.e. "I should have done ... instead of napping").

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Another gem from Solomon's blog

This was hilarious:

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How wild I am

Become like me, by being wild.You can become wild like me by...
...Jumping out of top bunk on a bunk bed.(If you have a bunk bed)
...Slapping,boxing,growling while you fight over something.(ONLYif you are a kid or teenager)


How much am I best frends with Dad

I am very best frends with Daddy.I like going swimming with him.I like playing parcheesi with him.
And when he's at work I really miss him.


My Dad works on the computer a lot.


My Dad at space age cafe.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My citizenship appointment

All went well at my appointment, and I passed both the civics as well as the English test. The oral civics tests involved a few easy questions such as "What to we celebrate on July 4?". For the English test, I had to read one sentence ("This is a very happy family.") and write "She cooks dinner for her friends." Unbelievable as it may seem, about 30% of people fail the test on their first try, and 20% of those fail their second test as well (at which time their application is rejected). I can see why, though. There were many people there who did not even speak any English AT ALL. They were feverishly trying to memorize the list of 100+ possible civics test questions, as well as the answers to them.

This immigration office was actually a different one than the one I have been going to, and all the staff was very friendly. Out of about 30 agents, my case was handled by the exact person that would have been my first choice if I got to pick.

I should be scheduled for the official citizenship ceremony in about 5 or 6 weeks. The agent thought I had a good chance of it being on July 4th, when they always have a big special event with lots of new citizens being sworn in.

Now it is almost 10 PM and I still have several hours of housework and cleaning to do because I spent my morning downtown and had to use the afternoon to teach the kids and run errands. We also went to an A Beka books display to order some books we needed for the next year (they take 4-6 weeks to ship and the next display wasn't for another month, which would have been too late because we are starting August 4). I am SOOO tired but I just hate to wake up to a sink full of dirty dishes, cluttered counters, dirty floors and mounds of laundry. Then I also bought 6 lbs of strawberries that were just delicious and perfect for making jelly. I should really do that tonight while the strawberries are at the peak of ripeness before they start to bruise or go bad.

Thank you if you prayed for my appointment!

How wild I am

Become like me, by being wild.You can become wild like me by...
...Jumping out of top bunk on a bunk bed.(If you have a bunk bed)
...Slapping,boxing,growling while you fight over something.(ONLYif you are a kid or teenager)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Our Memorial Day weekend

On Friday, the weather was still nice and cool so I decided to take the kids to the zoo in the morning instead of doing schoolwork with them. It was raining on the way there, but there was no rain at the zoo at all. The two oldest boys got to bring their bikes which they loved. We were just on our way out a couple of hours later when the rain started pouring down again - we were just in time and didn't get soaked.



Friday evening we drove to Lake Havasu City with my husband, who had a couple of jobs to do in that area. He did them early on Saturday and we spent several hours playing by the lake.


The kids loved eating at Big Boy, somewhere we hadn't been in years.





We drove back home in the afternoon in time for me to make it to my appointment with the massage therapist. I am still having nerve issues in my left arm, and while it improved with chiropractic care it has not gone away completely. The massage did help tremendously, since it is overly tense muscles in my shoulder and upper back that are pinching off one of the nerves to my arm. The therapist thought I would be completely back to normal after a couple more times, which would be great. Although I have to say that getting a 90-minute massage is really not that bad!!

Sunday was spent as usual, with going to church in the morning and evening and my husband and I taking turns going soul-winning in the afternoon.

Today, Memorial Day, I got up early to take advantage of the half off sale at my favorite thrift store. To make it a special one-on-one outing, I took John with me and we had a breakfast of hot chocolate and lemon loaf at Starbucks first. At the thrift store I found a ton of cute dresses for the baby, a really nice new suit for my husband, cookware for the camping trip, and some other neat things. I love finding good deals!


We had steaks and grilled veggies for lunch, and barbecued hot dogs for dinner. My husband had to go to the office for a few hours to get caught up on paperwork, during which time I did the regular school work with the boys. I also worked on writing out next year's lesson plans for a couple of hours during the kids' nap time. When my husband got back he took all four kids swimming in our pool.




Here are a couple of funny pictures of Miriam from earlier last week. I had caught her with her hand in the powdered sugar. Which means that (a) she spotted and recognized the bag on the counter (b) pushed the step stool over there (c) climbed up both steps and (d) quietly munched on the sugar for about 10 minutes before she got busted. At first she looked a little guilty (see first picture), but then just tried to play if off by laughing at me, which worked very well! Never mind the clutter on the counter - this was early in the morning when my kitchen is a war zone of breakfast mess and lunch prep.



Tomorrow, Tuesday, I am going to take my citizenship/civics test. I looked over the test questions once this afternoon and almost all of them are very simple. I also have to take a written and oral English test, which I'm not worried about. What I dread is the rude people I will have to deal with. The security guard at the entrance wears an all-brown uniform and has a mustache that looks 100% like Hitler's. It doesn't help that he also combs his hair to the side in the typical Nazi fashion and that he actually has a lot of facial resemblance to Hitler. Obviously, he is trying to make a point. The guy is SO RUDE!!! The last time I had to go down there he snapped at three federal agents waiting in line. They were there for an inspection, which the security guard didn't know - he thought they were regular immigrants. He yelled at one of them for signing in without having been asked to do so first, and at another for standing one foot off to the wrong side. They pulled out their badges and said "We are here to do an inspection" and Hitler just turned bright red, started apologizing profusely, and was oozing all over them. I was in line right in front of the agents, so I turned around and said (loud enough for the security guard to hear) "Now you know what WE have to deal with!" and all three agents apologized to me. I had to come back again to the office later that afternoon and when Hitler saw me coming he ran to open the door for me and was much more friendly than usual. I doubt though that he will still be that meek tomorrow.

Anyway, I got off on a tangent. We had a wonderful weekend and I hope you did, too!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I play piano

I can play eight songs! I can play a c major!I can play a a minor too!


Friday, May 23, 2008

Why I don't trust doctors

Time and again, casual readers of this blog have accused me of opposing modern medicine as a whole.

I don't. I just don't trust doctors because the Bible makes it clear that "the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge", so someone who thinks their grandpa was a monkey knows less than my 3-year old son.

The only time we go to the doctor is if one of us is seriously ill and not improving with home treatment. Even then, the doctor usually declares everything fine, and whoever was sick is well again a few days later. Obviously, I would also go the hospital for traumatic injuries or other similar situations.

I never take any of the kids for checkups - EVER. No, they don't get vaccinated. You can pick yourself off the floor now. "They that be whole need not a physician" is a pretty safe Biblical principle. It's like taking your car to the mechanic just to make sure there's nothing wrong with it. Since they want the money, you can be certain that they will find something wrong.

But besides all that, I think that there are people who become a doctor for no other reason than to have access to easy victims. Think of all the male ob/gyns. I have also heard from people who were victimized by their pediatricians.

This guy though takes the cake for being a sick, perverted freak. I'm sure that's what the Founding Fathers of Boston had in mind when this country was started. What a disgrace to a city with so rich a history.

So go ahead and call me weird for being leery of doctors. But at least my kids are safe.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

This week's update

Our week has been blissfully uneventful. We are in the final days of school, and the kids and I are really enjoying our nice, new school room. I will post pictures of it on here once I finish cleaning off my huge desk. The nice thing is that the room is directly adjacent to the kitchen with an open doorway, so I can get things done around the house here and there while teaching.

This past Saturday was the first day over 100 degrees (104 to be exact) and it was also the day we canvassed Gila Bend, AZ from 9:30 AM - 8:30 PM - although I headed home with the kids shortly after 6 that night. Gila Bend is 1 1/2 hours from Tempe and has no gospel-preaching church whatsoever. It was a great day, with so many of our church people coming out for soulwinning and a total of 27 people getting saved. Everyone in town was really friendly to us.

The heat wave lasted until Tuesday. Wednesday was still pretty hot, and then today was just absolutely perfect weather - overcast and in the high-70s. Since I knew there was a thunderstorm moving in I gave the kids the morning off from school so they could play outside and ride their bikes, and we also ran errands in the nice cool weather. We did our school work in the afternoon and then enjoyed the wonderful fresh cool air that came with the rain. I love thunderstorms, and so do the kids. They think running around outside in the rain is just the funnest thing there is. Since it happens only every few months, I let them do it.

For dinner, I made pork ribs on the BBQ for the first time ever, and they came out really really good. Solomon loves ribs, and said they were better than the ones at Claim Jumper. If you have never been to Claim Jumper, you have never really lived!!

My midwife came by this evening to check on the baby because I was worried that I hadn't felt it move in what seemed forever. The baby's heartbeat was really loud and strong, and my belly was measuring exactly as it should have, so my concerns were unfounded. I think I just get so busy I forget to notice the baby moving. I am also completely over my morning sickness, which is great!

So nothing new and exciting. It's so nice just to have a normal, everyday routine! I am enjoying it while it lasts because I know busier and more stressful times are just around the corner.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

How to play parcheesi

1.If you kick someone out you get a 20 bonus.
2.If you just got a man in you get a ten bonus.
3.On parcheesi you want to come out of your circle,go around the whole board,and end at the building that say's''HOME.''
4.To win you gotta get all four of your men home.

Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today and forever.

Why evolution is wrong

Evolution is wrong because...
...It belives in the big bang.
...It does not belive how the world was created the way the Bible see's it.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Don't vote for this communist devil!




Unlike this clip, though, I am not at all in favor of John McCain.

What will I do to my favriote brothers

When I turn 18 I will take my favriote brothers to Knotts berry farm.And they will be able to ride what ever ride they want.

A funny riddle

What does the cow preacher preach against?The mooooooo vies.What did the chickens do at the health club?Eggs ersize.

How much I love Mommy

I love my Mommy as much as 1millon universes!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Solomon's new blog

Yes, Solomon has his own blog now. The child who likes to talk and talk and talk all day, yet sits and stares at his blank paper forever when he has to write a 4-sentence composition, has found out that he loves to sit and write up crazy stories on his blog.

It is absolutely hilarious! He does everything from start to finish, without any assistance from me. I have been shocked and surprised by what he comes up with, but it's always made me laugh. As an example, here is today's post (he had just discovered the "caps lock" key and of course made good use of it):

My favriote animals

(FIRST FAVRIOTE ANIMALS)ONE OF MY FAVRIOTE ANIMALS IS A SNAKE.I ALREADY HAVE A TOY SNAKE.ON THE BOTTOM OF IT IT IS YELLOW.ON THE TOP OF IT IT IS GREEN WITH BLACK SPOTS.(SECOND FAVRIOTE ANIMAL)MY SECOND FAVRIOTE ANIMAL IS A SKUNK.(YUCK)ON MAY 15TH I WAS THROWING IT AROUND IN THE FRONT YARD AND FELL ON THE ROOF AND DID NOT COME DOWN!I'VE WAITED FOR A LONG TIME AND I HAD TO WAIT AND WAIT.


As a side note, I felt so bad after reading his post that I got the skunk off the roof myself. 5 months pregnant - just don't ask how I did it.

Given the fact that there are so many weird people who (for reasons beyond my understanding) read my blog, I have made his blog open to invited readers only.

If you would like to read Solomon's blog, and if you are a relative of the family or someone I know and have previously had contact with, you can e-mail me and I will gladly invite you as a reader.

Recipe for Starbucks Lemon Loaf

There are many recipes online for Starbucks Lemon Loaf, and I have tried a few of them. Here's my favorite - it came out tasting the same but not quite as moist. That may have been because I left the cake in a few minutes too long.

Starbuck’s Lemon Loaf

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Lemon Icing
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

3. Use an electric mixer to blend together eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, lemon extract, and lemon juice in a medium bowl.

4. Pour wet ingredient into dry ingredients and blend until smooth. Add oil and mix well.

5. Pour ingredients into a well-greased 9x5-inch loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick stuck into the center of the cake comes out clean.

6. Make the lemon icing by combining ingredients in a small bowl with electric mixer on low speed. When the lemon loaf is cool, remove it from the pan and frost the top with the lemon icing. When the icing has set up, slice the loaf into eight 1-inch-thick slices.

Makes 8 slices.


My favriote animals

(FIRST FAVRIOTE ANIMALS) ONE OF MY FAVRIOTE ANIMALS IS A SNAKE.I ALREADY HAVE A TOY SNAKE. ON THE BOTTOM OF IT IT IS YELLOW. ON THE TOP OF IT IT IS GREEN WITH BLACK SPOTS.n(SECOND FAVRIOTE ANIMAL) MY SECOND FAVRIOTE ANIMAL IS A SKUNK. (YUCK) ON MAY 15TH I WAS THROWING IT AROUND IN THE FRONT YARD AND FELL ON THE ROOF AND DID NOT COME DOWN! I'VE WAITED FOR A LONG TIME AND I HAD TO WAIT AND WAIT. (THIRD FAVRIOTE ANIMAL) MY THIRD FAVRIOTE ANIMAL IS A TARANTULA. (SCARY) I ALREADY HAVE A TOY TARANTULA THAT IS GREEN AND RED.

How messy my room gets

(Intruduction)I have a lot of toys so my room gets very messy.(starting the text)When my room gets messy it is so messy you can hardly even walk through it.






Thursday, May 15, 2008

Another plug for the "Grocery Game"

Regular readers of my blog probably know that I love doing the Grocery Game. While I won't go into how it works here, you can either read my previous posts on this subject (click on the "grocery game" label in the right column), or read about it on their website.

Today, I wanted to mention that they have recently added "Whole Foods" to the list of grocery stores in my area that they publish sales for. The savings at Whole Foods are not nearly as significant as at conventional grocery stores, nor do they accept multiple coupons. But it is still nice to know what their sales are since you wouldn't even have a coupon for most of the sales - it's more just items that are on sale. This is due to the fact that organic food manufacturers don't give out coupons very much. The average savings is 20-30% off shelf price on the advertised items. I use this only to buy/stock up on things that I only ever buy at the health food store because there is not an all-natural version available at the conventional store. For example, this week I stocked up on BBQ sauce and ginger sodas, and a couple of other things I can't remember now.

You can check the Grocery Game website to see which stores they offer sales fliers for in your area. Even if they don't offer Whole Foods (or a similar store) where you live, you can find organic alternatives for popular grocery items at most conventional grocery stores these days. They do go on sale periodically, and you can then stock up on them. You may even be able to combine the sale price with a coupon.

When I buy items off the Grocery Game list for the particular store I shop at (Fry's Market) I limit myself to only the all natural items. For example, even if I can get Betty Crocker boxed potatoes for $.25/box (as opposed to $1.99) I won't buy them because of how unhealthy they are. The only exception to that rule is if I end up getting an item for free, in which case I get it and give it to someone who likes/needs that food. This week for example I had 7 coupons for Lawry's marinade, all of which were free after combining the coupons with the current sale price. I won't be using any of them, but some people I know might want them.

My favorite item this week was all natural, nitrite-free bacon, which usually costs $6.99/lb. After sales and double coupons, I ended up getting 7 packs at less than $2 each. I'm not saying that you should be eating bacon every day or even every week, but if you are going to eat it, you might as well eat the healthiest kind. I also got 4 boxes of organic cereal (Panda Puffs) at $2.50 each, which usually sell for almost twice that much. It's a nice occasional change of pace form the cheerios/oatmeal/granola we usually eat for breakfast. So there are plenty of healthy items to be found even if you are into all-natural foods. I realize that ideally we would all be eating organic 100% of the time, but I have never met anyone who was able to afford that. Hopefully, as consumer demand grows, the prices will continue to go down.

Even with me being somewhat super-picky about what I am willing to put in my cart, I still end up saving tons because of the number of coupons I have - other ladies at church give me their unneeded coupons from the Sunday paper. I have read that you can also get coupons from the library, schools, offices, waiting rooms etc. (which get the paper). Even buying several copies yourself would be worth the investment. This week, by shopping sales and using the coupons, I paid $83 for $255 worth of food. $50 of that saving was from the coupons, compared to the $2/week that I pay for my subscription to the Sunday paper and the Grocery Game.

Finally, I want to say that of course there is a downside to all this - it is very time consuming. On average, it takes me about 3 hours per week to clip the coupons, organize them alphabetically, and then pull out the specific ones I will be using that week. The shopping takes another hour, less if I can leave the kids home with my husband. Still, the savings per hour of work is more than what most women in the workforce earn. Best of all, I don't have to go work a "real job" and have my kids watched by others all day because I have the time to save money instead.

On that note, I'm off to the thrift store for half-off savings today!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Women 101

Yesterday, I heard Miriam start wailing in the hall, which usually means she slipped and fell. Seconds later Solomon carried her into to the office where I was hanging laundry for me to console her. I asked: "What happened?" to which he replied: "I don't know, I think she fell. It must have been emotional breakdown!"

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

One more reason to go to Starbucks

While I realize that the company as a whole probably has the wrong ideas as far as society is concerned, I have to say I love the high-quality food and great service there (that is, as long as it's not a queer fixing my drink).

I don't drink coffee, and unfortunately can't tolerate their Frappucinos when I'm pregnant, so I have been getting their hot chocolate a lot with a slice of lemon loaf on the side. Of course, I like my hot chocolate with whipped cream on top. Fresh whipped cream is one of those items that almost always has preservatives added unless you buy a certain organic kind, which is what I do - consequently, it's a rare treat at our house.

On my way to the grocery store today I stopped at Starbucks for a second breakfast, and asked to see the carton that their whipping cream comes in. To my surprise and delight, they use the kind that contains only heavy cream and carrageen, a natural stabilizer. The server further explained to me how all the ingredients in the hot chocolate are all natural and the milk is from cows that are not treated with growth hormones.

You can't beat guilt-free indulgence for $2.55!

Monday, May 12, 2008

America the Beatiful

On the 27th of this month, I have my citizenship appointment. If I pass all the tests I will be scheduled to take the oath and become a citizen shortly thereafter. As you can imagine, I am very excited. I will lose both my German and Hungarian citizenships at that time, as I did not want to deal with the hassle of filing papers to keep those because I can see no benefit to that. I would NEVER want to live in Europe for many reasons.

Someone recently commented that I should reconsider becoming a citizen if I am upset about taxes, big government, doctors, and a few other things I don't remember now. First off, I don't know how doctors fit into that list since I thought they exist in every country and I am not particularly fond of them anywhere. Secondly, if this person knew anything about American history, they would know that this country fought for independence from Britain because of taxes and abusive government. I guess I'm a lot like the Founding Fathers.

That being said, I think that despite all the problems of America, and despite its rapid decline (i.e. assimilation to Europe), this is still the greatest country in the world. We enjoy more freedoms than any other country. I will gladly pay $1,200 in property taxes per year (money that goes to the public school system entirely) and then go out and spend more of our hard-earned money to buy school books for our own children (that I would never dream about putting into the government schools) if it means I am allowed to homeschool my children. By contrast, kids in Germany since the days of Hitler have had to go to public schools. Homeschooling families are severely persecuted with loss of custody, jail, and fines, while their kids are taken to school by police force. In a recent case, a girl was removed from her home by a SWAT team, and she as well as her 5 siblings were placed in foster care. All this in an effort to "stamp out parallel societies" - which reminds me an awful lot of who started all this, Hitler.

I have lived in Britain, where the government-sponsored health care system is completely bankrupt and patients die by the droves because they cannot receive the most basic health care they need. Add to that an astronomical crime rate because the police are not allowed to carry guns (except, as far as I know, at London Heathrow Airport). People have to live on two incomes and even then can hardly afford a small house with one small car and maybe a couple of kids that are raised in "nursery schools".

On our recent trip to Germany, the one thing that stood out to us the most is how much other people want to run your life. Of course, I was expecting the dirty looks from everyone for having four little children. Not because they were wild or bratty (they weren't), but because in these people's minds we are overpopulating the planet, which is probably the biggest camel that the schools there have gotten everyone to swallow. I had people looking at me dirty for the way I dressed, which was both fashionable and classy - just not promiscuous. If we let the car idle for a split second after pulling into a parking spot, people would glare at us and/or come up to the van, knock on the window, and tell us to shut the engine off. After all, we were polluting their god, the environment. I guess when the earth is your mother you are going to be protective of it. Never mind that it was below zero outside and maybe we wanted to run the engine to stay warm inside the van while one of us grabbed a snack from the gas station. I am not advocation purposefully trashing God's creation by littering or vandalism. But have these people ever stopped to think that God didn't design this planet to last forever? It will all just burn up one day at the end of the world.

Maybe if more people learned about the history of how this country was started and the Biblical principals it was established upon, they too would have a greater appreciation for how good we have it here, and how much is at stake. Anyone who thinks Europe has one up on us socially should go live there for a few months.

So yes, I am very excited about becoming an American citizen!


Solomon built this during his quite time this week, and I thought it was ingenious.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

We had a wonderful Mother's Day. The boys had each bought me cards out of their own money, and Solomon helped his two younger brothers write the message on the inside.


My husband, whose cooking skills are limited, outdid himself with a special breakfast of eggs, sausages, and toast. I also really enjoyed his Mother's Day sermon.


After the service, our church hosted a special Mother-Daughter Tea at a beautiful tea house in the area. Everyone had a wonderful time, especially Miriam who acted just like a perfect little lady. I want to add that I really don't like posting pictures of myself pregnant because I just get so HUGE (all over, not just my belly - my guess is it's another girl) but I know if I don't I will get comments asking for pictures of me. So don't say I didn't warn you!





I spent most of Friday and Saturday rearranging the entire house. One thing just kind of led to another. I started out mopping, and while I was working thought "That would look better over there..." so I moved that piece of furniture. But now I didn't like the way that looked with the sofa, so I had to rearrange that next. And on and on. By the end of Saturday, I had rearranged 2 bedrooms and the living room/dinging area, added a bunk bed for the boys and a new dresser and hutch for ourself, and got much work done as far as turning the former office into the new school room. My husband was working out of town so I did all this by myself, much to his surprise. There is still a lot of work left to do and I am hoping to do it here and there throughout this week.

There are only three weeks of school left for this year. I am excited about finishing because I am eager to start the new year in early August. I just love that new start, and I enjoy back-to-school shopping. Right now I still need several more books, but have been busy trying to find good deals on used materials on eBay and Amazon.

Hope your Mother's Day was just as wonderful!

Friday, May 9, 2008

One monkey too many

''One" said the bikeman ''This bike is for one .One monkey can ride it and have fun.''But as soon as the bikeman went back to his shop one monkey to many jumped onto the bike. One monkey too many wheeled off down the pike.''Horay!''The two shouted''We're having such fun.This bike is far better for two than for one!''Then bingo!The bike hit a bump in the road.It started to wobble.It started to pitch.One monkey too many crashed into the ditch!''Two''said the golfer.''This cart is for two. If you're looking for fun this is perfect for you.''But asoon as those rascals climbed into their seats One monkey too many hopped up in between.One monkey too many rolled off 'cross the green.
''Yipee!''They all wiggled and giggled with glee.''This cart made for two is fun tastic for three!''
They zoomed up a hill and then started back down.Then''Oh no!''they exclaimed as they jammed
on the brake!One monkey to many splashed into the lake.''Three''said the boatman.''This canoe
is for three.There's a seat on each end plus one more you don't see.''But just as the boatman was
pushing them off one monkey too many swung into the boat.One monkey too many aboard and afloat.They padddled quite nicely away from shore. ''See'' they said smugly''it's just fine with four.''But soon up ahead came the roar of falls.''Yikes!'' they all screeched and they tried hard to
stop.But one monkey to many had quite a long drop.
''Four''said the waiter.''This table's for four.You'll be far too crowded if you try to fit more.''But
of course while the waiter was getting their drinks one monkey too many squeezed into a seat.
One monkey to many demanded to eat.''See here''they declared at waiters return''five fit just fine.Please do not be concered.''Then out came the dinners and forks started flying drinks spilled and plates tumbled and monkeys got rude.One monkey to many got covered in food.''Five''said the bellman.''This bed is for five.I cannot allow any more to arrive.''But the minute the bellman unloaded their bags one monkey to many poked out his small head.One monkey to many crept into the bed''See''they agreed with a stretch and a yawn''we all fit quite nicely.The bellman was wrong.''But as soon as they started to toss and to turn to kick and to sputter and turn one monkey to many ended up in a war.''Six'' said the author.''This book is for six.The pages are full so no more of your tricks.''But that noon when the author went out for some lunch one monkey too many came sneaking and Look!One monkey to many got into the book.




Thursday, May 8, 2008

Another trip

We went on another work trip with my husband, this time to Yuma, AZ (about 3 hours West of here). We left Tuesday evening and got back just in time to get ready for church yesterday, Wednesday.

I thought I forgot to bring my camera because it was not in the pocket of my purse I usually keep it in. When I found it we were just getting ready to leave the hotel and head back, so there are only a few pictures.

The kids and I did some school work we had brought on the drive, as well as at the hotel. Solomon's favorite subjects are history and science, and he reads tons of books on both. Isaac was practicing his reading with me, and I am really happy about his progress since for a while he didn't "catch on" to reading. A few months ago he learned to read all beginning and ending blends (e.g. sled) as well as the 2-vowel rule (e.g. dime), and has since learned about half of the special sounds that do not follow phonetic rules (e.g. ar in star, ur/er/ir in nurse, verse, bird, etc.). If he keeps going like this he will definitely be able to read all his first grade work by the end of our summer break, which would make things a lot easier for me because he could work much more independently. I also taught John the 5 vowels and their short sounds in a matter of 20 minutes - he picks everything up really fast. I think I will have him start in K4 in the fall, and go through at double speed so that he finishes K5 at the end of our school year. I thought that would be a better idea than to start him in K5, which he is practically ready for. Miriam was just happy to play in the hotel room in the meantime.

The kids love staying in hotels because it is the only time they get to eat Fruit Loops, and pretty much whatever other junk food they pick from the breakfast buffet.

Here is Miriam after her bath:



While my husband was finishing up on the job he was doing, I took the kids to PetSmart. Isaac always wears his shoes the wrong way like that, and John picked his own outfit again. You have to let them have their own personality, right?!




On this trip, we went to eat at Round Table Pizza (the only branch in AZ) twice! Probably not the best pregnancy fare, but very good as far as pizza goes!




Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The threat to parental rights





1Timothy 6:10 "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

Monday, May 5, 2008

Pregnancy Nourishment Tea

There are many different recipes for herbal teas that can be enjoyed throughout pregnancy. You can even find some ready-made teas at the health food store. Making your own tea is less expensive because you will be buying the herbs in bulk, and it also gives you a chance to adjust the ingredients for your own taste buds.

The general recommendation during pregnancy is to have 1-4 cups of herbal tea daily after 12 weeks of pregnancy, and only 1-2 per day during the first trimester. Below is my favorite recipe, taken from Aviva Romm's "The Natural Pregnancy Book". She also lists this recipe in her other book that I use all the time, "Naturally Healthy Babies and Children". Both are must-haves if you like to treat your family with natural remedies at home instead of taking them to the doctor when they get the sniffles.

This tea is also great for new moms as it will help establish and maintain a good milk supply and aid in the mom's recovery. There are other recipes specifically for the postpartum period that I will post another time.

Please note: Parts are measured by weight, not volume



Pregnancy Nourishment Tea

1 part red raspberry leaves
1 part dried nettle
1 part dried oatstraw
1/2 part dried alfalfa
1/2 part red clover blossoms
1/4 - 1/2 part dried spearmint leaves

Mix all of the herbs and store away from heat and sunlight in a glass jar.


To prepare: You can use a reusable metal tea ball, single use fill-your-own tea bags, or special tea cups that have a built-in strainer insert. If you don't have any of these, you can simply put the tea directly in the cup and strain it before drinking.


You should always pour boiling water onto the tea, rather than dumping the tea into the hot water. Cover and steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain and add cold water if you want to drink the tea immediately. Sweeten with honey if you like, or add some lemon for extra taste.


If you want a simpler recipe, try this one:


2 parts dried nettle leaf
2 parts dried red raspberry leaves

1 part alfalfa

1 part red clover blossoms


You can add a bit of lemon balm, some kind of mint, or lavender for taste variations.


If bulk herbs are not available where you live, you can order them online. If you use herbs a lot and enjoy gardening, you may want to consider growing a medicinal herb garden.

Psalm 14:1/Psalm53:1

The fool hath said in his heart There is no God.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Huggly takes a bath

It was dark and quiet in the house time to explore.But Huggly didn't want to wake the people child
on the bed! Huggly wondered about the one room with the light on.''Maybe there are snacks in here '' he thought.He squished some green goop out of a tube.''Not bad''he said.He found some
pink stuff in a dish.''Yuck'' Huggly found tiny brushes a big bowl with a lid and a huge tub. Huggly
climbed onto the side of the tub.He slid in.''Whee This is fun''he said.His foot kicked something.
Water!He kicked the other something.More water!But the water went down a hole.Huggly plugged
the hole.The tub was filled with water. ''This is okay;''he said''but not as nice as my slime pit back
home.'' ''Whats this?''He opened a bottle.Slimy stuff. He dumped it into the water ''Wow!Bubbles!''
He laghed''This must be magic slime.''

How wild my Dad is

Every night my Dad is very wild. He plays pillow fighter with us. He tells us very funny jokes. And
even does this game where he summersalts catches us and then does a backward summersalt.

Finishing how good my Mom is

One time Mommy said '' If you build this puzzle you can have one Spry gum.''But what did she do
but come back with two Spry gums for me. Thats how nice my Mom is. In fact she always gives me
two Spry gums every time she gives me some.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Disturbing news

I was going to write a post on how to assemble an herbal at-home medicine chest and first aid kit. But as I was checking the news headlines for our city, I got so perturbed I lost all desire to write about the little bubble of normalcy I live in.

In just a few minutes, I read about a public school camp counselor arrested for violating three little girls ages 7-9, an 11-year old being raped, impregnated, and most likely infected with an STD by an illegal immigrant, and a police officer of 26 years who was charged with possession and distribution of child pornography (who, by the way, was not arrested because of being a police officer, but remains free while awaiting his trial). Remember, this all happened in the greater Phoenix area within one day, and there were probably more such cases that I didn't read about.

The same day, I received a letter from our wonderful city informing me that there were excessive weeds in a tiny side strip of our yard, and that the tree overhanging the street had to be trimmed. Both violations carried a fine of $150, which will be waived if we do the work within the next couple of weeks. Now I agree that there should be no weeds in my yard. But my husband is so busy working 80-hour weeks to try to support our family while giving 60% of his income to the government that some work just doesn't get done in time. After all, Uncle Sam needs that money to bring to trial and incarcerate the above perverts, feeding, clothing, and entertaining them in their resort-style prisons for a few years. And of course, we also need more police patrols - the starting wages in the Phoenix area cities are $55,000/year and up for someone fresh out of the academy.

It's just infuriating and sickening. Those criminals all need a bullet through their head from the hands of the girls' fathers. That's a lot cheaper and more of a deterrent that those scared little police officers, or worse yet, those women in uniforms who can't even figure out what gender they are.

Deuteronomy 13:9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.


How good my Mom is

One time Mommy said"If you do all these chores you can have at least two Spry gums'' But instead I got two HubbaBubba gums. It was Wendsday so We had to go to Church. When We where about
to drive away Mommy gave Me one Spry gum. So I had one Spry gum and two HubbaBubba gums.

Isaac and John are best friends

Isaac and John are best friends. Isaac will hardly ever play with me. Isaac will talk to John all day. And will play with John all day. And he will hardly ever do this to me. Isaac onetime said that him and John would pretend the same thing. (Exsample) Lets say Isaac is a cowboy John would be
a cowboy to.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Update

Last Saturday, we went to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, which was fantastic. We learned many fascinating things on the guided tour. It never ceases to amaze me how intricate and ingenious everything in the natural world around us is. How anyone can think that it all just "banged" into existence is beyond comprehension.

Here is a picture of my crew (left to right): Isaac, Solomon, Miriam, my wonderful and handsome husband, and Johnny.


Here's another picture of the little princess:



Yesterday, I had another prenatal, and everything is going fine with our new addition. John got to hold the Doppler and listen to the heart beat. My iron levels were fine, but I still feel very tired every day. I guess having four kids and being pregnant takes its toll. I remember reading one time that growing a baby, even when you are lying in bed sleeping, takes as much effort and energy as climbing a mountain. That would make anyone tired.

I was originally planning on finishing the school year in a couple of weeks, but decided to push that back to June 6 in favor of a more relaxed pace and slow ending to the year. Why would I want to rush, when my oldest will never be in 2nd grade again and our second oldest will never be in Kindergarten again? Time sure flies by fast. It seems that they will be married and off with their own families in the blink of an eye.

My husband's kidney infection is almost completely cleared up, in spite of him working 14 and 16 hour days this whole week. But please continue to pray for his complete recovery.

This morning, I took the kids to the park to ride their bikes for some P.E. After dinner tonight, we went out for some ice cream and got out books at the library. Solomon is currently interested in everything relating to bats and loves reading all he can about them. Isaac is reading really well now and is learning all the special phonics sounds. John has been carrying his little guitar everywhere with him, singing as he goes. Miriam is her usual self, opinionated and looking to get into trouble or make a mess somewhere. She now kisses and hugs when asked to, and is generally far too sweet to ever get reprimanded, especially by Dad.

Here is a picture of Miriam at the park. It must seem that I take a lot more pictures of her than of any of the other kids, but that's because she loves having her photo taken, and it's hard to get the boys to sit still long enough to snap a picture.


Here they are enjoying their ice cream:



Don't forget to slow down and take time to enjoy your kids! Summer will be gone and over before you know it. Oh, that's right, some of you are still waiting for summer to arrive... we have been in the 90s every day this week. I love Arizona, I think it is the best place to live in the world. And I have lived in enough places to be able to say that!