Monday, October 28, 2013

Double Digits

As alluded to in my post yesterday, we are, indeed, expecting baby number 8. I am just over 12 weeks pregnant, so just a few days shy of the second trimester. Baby is due in early to mid May. This will push our family into the double digits - "family of ten"... WOW! It really seems like just yesterday that we were waiting for little Solomon to arrive.

I went for my first checkup last week and heard the heartbeat, which is always so reassuring. The pregnancy is going well. My main pregnancy symptom is more fatigue than usual, which is fairly common. At this point, it is always very important for me to slow down and make sure I get a nap every day, and don't go to bed too late at night.

Some of my regular readers may know that I typically suffer from extreme, all-day morning sickness, also known as hyperemesis. Well, I am happy to say that after suffering through many pregnancies with terrible sickness before this current one, I have finally put together the puzzle pieces of all my research on the topic of morning sickness/NVP/hyperemesis, and have discovered the cause and cure for morning sickness, mild to severe. I realize that is a pretty bold claim. Consequently, my nausea has been minimal compared to what it usually would be. When I do get sick, it's about 10% of what I would have experienced in the past, and even then, it's always because of straying from the cure, and always reversible. Rather than being bedridden and miserable, I have been able to carry on with most of my regular obligations and carry on a normal level of activities.

I started writing on a blog post months ago explaining all the science behind it, and will publish it as soon as I wrap it up, now that we have announced the pregnancy.

So hold out, dear fellow sufferers! Help is on the way. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Little Fall Riddle




First one to correctly caption this picture gets... bragging rights :)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Mummy Dogs

As part of our "All Through the Ages" history-based unit study, the kids and I have been studying Ancient Egypt.

We try to have a special meal and/or activity each week relating to each era, so when I saw the idea of "Mummy Dogs" on Pinterest, I was immediately sold on them. Basically, they are like "pigs in a blanket", except that we used pretzel dough instead of biscuits, which we then wrapped mummy-style.



The kids had a blast. For me, this definitely beat the idea of "mummifying" each other in rolls and rolls of toilet paper... :)






Thursday, October 24, 2013

More cake decorating

I went to the third of my four cake decorating classes today. This is just the most basic, level I class offered by Wilton. Going to the class definitely teaches a lot more skills than just trying to work through the book on my own, plus it is so much fun! Our instructor is a really funny Mexican lady, who teaches the class bilingually, in English and Spanish, so I am improving my Spanish, too. :)


Next class, we are decorating a character cake.

I love how she taught us how to make the colored ribbons.

Of course, cake is never going to be a health food. I do make my own buttercream frosting, and only use the natural, plant-based food colors, but oh, there is so much sugar still! The kids were scandalized that I scraped the frosting off the decorated cupcakes from the last class before letting them eat them. 

I am going to take a break until next year before taking the level II class, because I have been baking so many more treats than usual while doing these classes. Combining that with the holidays just seems like total overkill. 

But yes, it's super fun! I highly recommend it! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What does a Pastor do all day?

After I blogged about my husband going full-time as pastor and dissolving his fire alarm business, I received the following comment:

I have watched many of your husband's sermons and especially liked the one on hard work and how men were made work every day. I've always admired pastors who have work outside of their ministry. I am surprised that Pastor Anderson has given up his business! What does he do to keep busy now? I guess I've never really understood what pastors do outside of writing and delivering sermons.

I venture to guess that this reader is not the only person who has ever wondered what pastors do with all that free time they must have when they are not preaching, so I thought I would write a post to answer that question.

First, let's look at the "writing and delivering sermons" part. It doesn't sound like much, does it? But who here really has experience what it's like getting up three times a week, for 1 hour or more, delivering a speech? (The one hour is just the preaching part. The services are longer than that.) The pastor is not just up there doing a filibuster, reading off a pre-made script just to kill time. In order for him to monologue, with content, truth, authority, and knowledge, much study and preparations must go just into the "writing sermons" part. In fact, just to give you an idea, our church has many "preaching classes" for young men desiring to go into the ministry. If they wish to preach a sermon in the class, it must be about 10 minutes long. It takes these young men literally HOURS to put together a coherent, well-thought out, biblically sound sermon of 10 minutes length. If you don't believe me on this part, try doing it yourself some time, and then preach it to others and time yourself. How much more doing it for 3 hours, every week, always teaching and not sounding like a broken record? Politicians employ people whose whole job is to do nothing but write speeches, and what they come up with is not even nearly as intelligent as my husband's worst sermon.

As for "delivering sermons," again, the reality is a little bit more laborious than that might sound. The Pastor does not just blow into church moments before the service starts, and leaves as soon as it is over. My husband gets there early to straighten and clean the building (which it always needs right before a service, no matter how often it has been done during the week), greet members and visitors, etc. In addition, my husband teaches a Spanish class on Sunday mornings, for which he writes the curriculum himself (again, more work). 

After the service, our family stays for at least an hour every single time, answering questions, fellowshipping, and just generally caring for the "flock." There often are visitors who came from far away, just to meet the pastor in person, so we spend some time with them, or may even take them out for lunch. Sundays are the hardest day of the week for the Pastor and his family, hands down. It is a 12-hour work day no matter how you slice it. 

This does not stop once Monday rolls around. With over 100 members in our church, at least one of them is calling us every single day with an issue or problem they are facing, which we then address/assist as needed. Just because we do not publicly relate all the personal details of people's lives, does not mean these things aren't happening. In many ways, it's like being a parent - somebody is always needing your attention. Someone with no children would never understand how much of your time that could possibly take up.

Then of course there is soul-winning. My husband spends many hours each week going door-to-door. In addition, much time is spent printing, cutting, and folding invitations, as well as planning which areas to knock doors in next, keep records, follow up, etc.

Many, many more hours are spent on study and learning. This could be reading and memorizing the Bible, which is crucial for those who want to write sermons that use more than one little snippet of a verse plus a lot of fluff. This could also be practicing the piano or another musical instrument, another critical skill to have when called upon to fill in as the pianist in a pinch. If playing the piano were so easy, everyone would be doing it. It takes much patience and practice to become good enough at it to play in church for a congregation.

Then, there is the administrative aspect of running a church. We deal with everything from doing the banking, to dealing with the stacks of mail every day, to record-keeping required by law, to phone and email inquiries, making the bulletin each week, etc. My husband receives literally hundreds of emails every single day, far more than he could ever hope to respond to. We purchase all the supplies necessary for church, which is basically everything you see from hymnals to toilet paper. Just keeping everything in stock can take a couple of hours per week of shopping. I know, because I used to be the one doing it.

The constant cleaning of the building alone takes hours each week. This is not taking into account that we have some special activity going on at our church on a weekly basis. This could be a wedding, baby shower, chili cook-off, church picnic, homeschool field trip... you name it, we have something going on every week. Events such as that pretty much take up our entire family's whole day that day, but sometimes as much as three full days (such as setting up and preparing for a wedding, and then cleaning up the aftermath). 

Of course, our church also has a major internet presence, which is likely how the person who originally posted the question came to find out about us. Well, building such an internet presence takes a lot of time. Not only do the various websites need constant attention, but many hours each week are spent converting files and uploading the sermons, outtakes, etc. Again, there are people whose whole job consists of nothing but doing that. 

As if all this is not enough, my husband is at this time also working about 8 hours per day on another documentary exposing false Bible versions. Last year, he spent months working on "After the Tribulation," which has been viewed by millions and really shaken the once-popular, but false pre-trib position. When he was finished with that, he worked on the 22-hour Revelation series.

I could go on and on, but I am getting tired just writing all this. My husband works about 60 hours per week on average, down from 80 to 90 while he also ran his business. He used to do much of his sermon preparation, study, and other similar aspects of pastoring from the road while driving for business, but I am very thankful that he has reduced his stress level to something more sustainable. At the moment, he is not being paid by church as he continues to collect payments from his fire alarm clients, but will start taking a full-time salary from church once he formally dissolves his business.

From the question, it almost sounds as if pastoring alone is not a full-time job, and certainly not one worthy of a salary. Even when my husband had his business, he always resented people having an attitude toward their own pastor that he was "just" a pastor, and did not also have a "real" job. The Bible is very clear on the fact that being a pastor IS a job in and of itself. The only apostles/evangelists the Bible records as not receiving a salary from their sending church (though it makes it clear that they had every right to, if they chose to) were single men. Not married fathers of many pastoring a great church in their spare time when they were not tied up providing for their families.
Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. (1Co 9:14)

Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward. (1Ti 5:17-18)

The word "honour" in the above verse is referring to financial compensation, or as it used to be called, an honorarium. It then likens preaching to an ox treading out the corn, which no doubt is a very physically taxing job. Preaching, or any public speaking for that matter, is incredibly exhausting, both mentally and physically. On Sunday nights, my husband gets home from church and pretty much collapses into bed without delay.

Pastoring is like parenting - much harder and more time consuming than anyone who has never done it could ever imagine. It involves the whole family, on a level that I will not even go into here, because I am thankful for my husband's ministry and the opportunity to serve God. As with parenting, the rewards are also much greater than we can imagine. 

Saying, "what does it really entail besides writing and delivering sermons" is like asking a mom what parenting involves besides feeding and clothing the kids. 

If you have a good church and a godly pastor that you love, thank God for them, and look for ways to build up, help, and support your pastor and his family. No, they are not perfect, but they love you, and they love serving the Lord. They do a job that is much harder than it may look, which may explain why good churches and sound preaching are getting harder and harder to come by. 

I hope this answers the question as it was asked, as well as questions of those who haven't asked, but wondered.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Some exciting changes

A couple of months ago, my husband made the decision to go full-time as pastor, and dissolve his very successful fire alarm business. As a result, he stopped traveling for business, something he had been doing every week for years. 

Initially, I was a bit apprehensive of such a major change, for a number of reasons. One of these was that I am very much a creature of habit, and had developed a fine-tuned routine to get all my work done each day. With my husband being home more, I figured there would need to be some major changes necessary to my schedule.

Home to eat with the family three times a day now

As it turns out, my husband being home every single night (as opposed to only four nights or sometimes even less per week), as well as being flexible with his working hours during the day, has only been an improvement to my quality of life. In fact, I have become so spoiled, I don't think I could ever go back to him being gone for days on end again. 


Homemade, naturally fermented root beer - one of the culinary experiments I have had time to learn how to make during my quiet daytime hours

For one, he takes the kids to many of their extracurricular activities each week. One of my favorite times is when he takes all 7 to the park on Tuesdays for P.E. The oldest five participate in a homeschool group that works out with a "real" coach, while the youngest two play at the playground. Even when his schedule is swamped, my husband can keep an eye on them while making phone calls and working on his laptop. This gives me a good 2 hours at home, all alone. Even though I typically spend the whole time getting caught up or ahead on chores, it is still a wonderfully refreshing time of not being interrupted, or having little kids undo my work behind my back while I am working in another part of the house. 

Also, since a large part of my husband's work is done on his computer, he can work on those things at the hours most convenient for me, which typically is during nap time. That way, I can leave the little kids home napping, while the older ones do school work, and I can go out shopping or on errands by myself, or with just one child along for some special one-on-one attention. Other times, he will go to his office at church with all the big kids. They do their school work there independently, and I have a quiet house because the only kids left at home are the ones that are napping.

Not to mention the countless little benefits, like having someone lug 5-gallon water bottles onto the cooler, open stubborn jar lids, squash bugs, and help diaper blow-outs while I am in the shower (our kids have impeccable timing like that). 

 My first quilting project - a small pillow for Becky

But one of the most exciting improvements of all has been that I have been able to attend several craft classes at Jo-Ann's recently. With my husband's erratic schedule, this has never been an option before. So far, I have taken a class on quilting, and am currently attending one on cake decorating. (It was a bit of a challenge at first coming up with alternative ingredients to the toxic Wilton ones required for the class.)

These are from the very first class of the most basic course they offer, so I am by no means a master cake decorator yet by a long shot

These classes have been so much fun! I typically go in the evenings, so by the time I get home, the house is picked up, the kids have had dinner, are bathed and ready for bed, with teeth brushed, the dinner dishes are done, and story time is in full swing. If that sounds like a dream come true - well, it is! :)

I don't expect my husband to do any of these things, as they are my responsibilities and not his, but I am very grateful that he has chosen to make this possible for me. Ladies, if you want your husband to help you more, be appreciative and genuinely thankful for what he does, little though it may be. In time, he may feel inspired to do more. Nagging and guilting on the other hand, will have the opposite effect. Just a little tip :)

Well, I could go on. Please excuse me as I sew a couple more squares for a quilt I am working on before heading to bed.

What is YOUR favorite thing to do in your spare time?


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Solomon's 12th Birthday

Seeing as it is Becky's birthday tomorrow, I think it is high time to put up the pictures from Solomon's birthday last month. He turned 12 at the end of September.
 
As is usual on birthdays around here, the excited kids were all up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed shortly after 5 a.m. FIVE A.M.!!! In the future, I am seriously considering opening birthday gifts the night before their big day, just as we do for Christmas. It might afford us all more sleep.
 
 
Isaac picked up this gift for Solomon on a recent field trip to a new attraction in our area, "Butterfly Wonderland"
 
 
 
 
 It is a wind-up butterfly that really flies. Very cool!
 
 
 
 
 
 
Becky with her gift for big brother
 
 
 
 She gave him her favorite bear!
 
I once read somewhere, "When a child gives you something, always take and be thankful. It was the best they could give, and they chose to give it to you." This is so true. Often, when the little kids surprise one of us parents or their older siblings with a "gift," it would be easy to dismiss it as childish, worthless junk. But in truth, little children don't have the money or resources to buy or make expensive and elaborate gifts. The little love note and picture, their favorite toy gift-wrapped in an old blanket, or a pretty rock they found truly are the treasures that money can never buy.
 
We didn't do a big party this year, but rather just had cake after the evening service in honor of his birthday, plus Dad and the three oldest boys went on a day of "man hiking" 2 hours up north. It had actually snowed a lot there the night before, and temps were in the 20s, so their plans for what trail to take changed when they realized they were not equipped for snow and cold. It was still about 100 degrees every day down here at that time. The weather in Arizona is so crazy and diverse! The guys had a blast and all came home alive and in one piece, which is pretty much all I hope for when the boys go off playing like that.
 
My nickname for Solomon is "Big Boy," though sometimes I call him "Baby" and he still answers to that, too. He will often come up and put his arm around me or squeeze me "as much as he loves me." I still have an inch or two on him height-wise, and can beat him at arm wrestling, but I can tell it won't last much longer.
 
Solomon is truly growing into a wonderful young man. He is responsible, smart, resourceful, affectionate, considerate, and mature for his age. He loves church and preaching, reads his Bible every morning, and just generally far exceeds both my husband or myself when we were his age. God takes our feeble efforts, and by His grace uses them to send our children out as mighty arrows one day, far beyond our human capabilities. It is very bittersweet seeing my little baby grow up into an adult little by little. I still so vividly remember holding him for the first time, I can almost feel it. I remember when he was a little newborn, and I would just stare a him in amazement as he would be asleep on my bed, atop a little quilt I made for him while I was pregnant. He still has the quilt, but has long outgrown it!
 
Having children has been one of God's greatest blessings, second only to eternal life, and a godly husband.
 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Just another day...

My day yesterday started out with waking up to baby Stephen's forehead pressed against mine, nose-to-nose, feeling his little baby breath on me as he snoozed peacefully, his chubby little arms tucked in by my neck. I won't lie to you - it simply is the best way in the world to wake up. I seriously dread the day I will no longer have a baby to wake up to next to me.

Alas, I had to peel myself away to get ready for the day and feed the starving masses breakfast. Our goal was to be out of the house by 8:30 am on errands, to beat the typical Saturday rush. Plus, there was just so much to get done, and only limited time. 

My husband came along to help, which is always an interesting experience, because in true Dad fashion, he makes the kids hyper. We hit up several stores, mostly buying stuff for church and things I needed for a baby shower in the afternoon, and then went to the library so I could pick out the books for the kids to read as we study "Ancient Egypt" during the next three weeks. While we were there, they had a special "princess" themed program, so my husband ended up taking all three girls, plus the baby to that so I could pick our books out in peace. Even though I always go fully prepared with a list of topics to cover, plus the call numbers of books on each topic, it still takes about an hour to actually collect all the books, and check them out.
An hour later, we made it out of there with about 70 books, no lost kids, but baby Stephen melting down. He settled down in the car seat and fell asleep, but was fitful and felt hot to the touch.

Back at home, my gang was yet again starving, this time for lunch. Just keeping everyone fed takes up hours of my time each day. After lunch, I tucked Anna in for her nap, but held Baby Stephen in my arms on the sofa until he drifted off to sleep. By this time, he was 102 degrees, which to me is never a cause for alarm. He is currently teething his molars, and since the fever was coming and going erratically all day long, I blame that for him feeling under the weather.

Laid him down, and took off to the baby shower with Miriam and Becky. We had such a great time with the ladies at our church! Seriously, I was laughing tears. One of the games we played was the one where everyone starts out with a safety pin, but if they are caught saying the word "baby" they lose their pin to the person who catches them. Whoever has the most pins by the end of the shower wins a prize. Well, Miriam was very determined to win this game! She kept walking around the tables, just listening in on everyone, hoping to catch them in a slip-up. Sure enough, she won the game. It was funny watching her. 

This was the 21st baby born at our church, a little over half of which were born at home, and all but one of which were born naturally. The mom with the one c-sec was having her 3rd repeat Cesarean, not really something that could be medically avoided in her case because of her underlying condition. It is amazing to see what a difference the right support system and educating moms on the pitfalls of modern obstetrics makes. While this is just a small "study group," I still think it is impressive nonetheless.

Just as we were getting ready to start opening gifts, my husband called, saying Baby Stephen had woken up for good, and wasn't going back to sleep, nor would he be consoled by anyone or anything. I left immediately, and resumed my post on the sofa at home, snuggling the baby, something that not only stopped his crying, but made him downright giddy. The older kids were helping care for  the younger ones, so it wasn't a biggie that I was out of commission.

My husband decided to go for a bike ride. He was going to be gone for several hours, so when my phone rang just a little while after he left, I immediately got a bad feeling. As it turned out, I was right: as he was riding down a sidewalk/bike trail in Tempe (we have tons of them), he was hit by a truck. Miraculously, he walked away almost unharmed. 


What had happened was this: as my husband was driving along, he heard a noise behind him, which in and of itself is miraculous because he often wears headphones and listens to audio books or preaching as he goes - but not today. The express purpose of him going on a bike ride had been to listen to some stuff in preparation for the KJV documentary he has been working on, so the fact that he wasn't doing that was truly providential. 

Anyhow, he turned around to see a truck lunging toward the very spot where he was riding, jumping the curb at what later was estimated to be about 55 mph. To avoid being hit, my husband dove to the side - toward traffic. The truck hit his bike and clipped him, but miraculously, he only sustained some minor cuts and bruises. If you look in the above picture, he basically landed between the left fender, and the curb. Really, not only is it a miracle that the truck didn't crush him against the mountain, but it's equally miraculous that he didn't land in the busy street and get run over by another car. 

Long story short, two of the passengers fled the scene on foot, but were later arrested with drugs in their possession. The driver turned out to be drunk, plus possibly under the influence of drugs, so he, too, was taken away in handcuffs. A fourth person in the vehicle was allowed to go home.

Later last night, after being done with the police reports and such, my husband went to Urgent Care to get his hand checked out, which was cut up pretty badly on the palm, and also hurting, just to make sure there were no broken bones. Urgent Care would not see him and told him he had to go to the hospital (liability?), so that took up pretty much the rest of my husband's night.

I wonder if the jerk who almost killed my husband still thinks it's worth accidentally killing a pastor, husband, and father of seven just for the "fun" of getting drunk and high with a bunch of loser "friends." And yeah, nice friends he has, who leave two injured people in a wrecked car as they flee the scene of an accident.

I was home with the kids, doing the usual dinner and bedtime routine. Baby Stephen was still feeling hot, and just observing the madness while reclined in his high chair. Once the kids were in bed, I had a chance to pamper him a bit more, and he once again just dozed off in my arms.

My plan was to get some quilting done, my newly discovered hobby since I took a class on it at Jo-Ann's last week. I am currently working on one for Isaac, and already have the materials to make another one for the guest bed. However, the responsible side of me decided my time would be better spent on chores, since I had no idea how much of my time would be taken up caring for a teething baby.

Last week, my Hoover FloorMate broke after not even a year of use. It started having problems soon after I bought it, but had now become completely useless. I briefly toyed with the idea of replacing it with a robotic wet mop, something that my husband was fully supportive of, but decided against it because I don't think a machine like that is designed for the type of commercial use it would get in our house. It seemed even more rickety than the FloorMate. Instead, I decided to go with the typical industrial option of a large Rubbermaid mop wringer bucket from Sam's Club. Out the door, it was about $50 for the mop and bucket, something I was willing to pay to give it a try.


So last night, instead of quilting, I mopped the floors. I must say, thanks to my new setup, the job went very quickly, definitely quicker than using the FloorMate. This may partly be due to the fact that I used the hottest water from the tap, since my hands never touched the water. Also, because the mop head is so fuzzy, it could be pushed all the way into corners, and wiped all the nooks and crannies along the baseboards clean much better than any other mop I have ever had. If you have been thinking about buying a bucket like this, I highly recommend it.

Stephen kept waking up off and on throughout the night. My husband woke up sore this morning, and commented: "I feel like I've been hit by a truck." Then we both laughed and said - Oh yeah, that really happened!

I decided to stay home from the service with Stephen this morning because he is still a little warm. Two of his molars have crowned, while two more are still right about to break through. Becky and Anna, who are too little to sit through church without me, are also home. We will be listening in on the morning service live, something that is not available to anyone but me, so don't even ask! :)

Anyway, this is a 24-hour glimpse into my life. When it's not one thing, it's another - is is NEVER boring around here! Not even at 2 AM...

Friday, October 11, 2013

Family Additions

Back in July, the kids cared for a stray cat for a couple of days. I think she must have gotten scared during one of the monsoon storms, and couldn't find her way back home. She was very sweet and playful, so it was a nice glimpse into having a cat.

 Solomon holding the stray

So naturally, after she left again, the kids were sad, and really hoping to get a kitten of their own. We found a really nice one through Craigslist (free - can't beat that!). She was only six weeks old when we got her, and already litter trained. The kids named her "Ninja" because she is blackish-grey, an astounding climber, and good at hiding.





All the kids love Ninja, but Becky is downright crazy about her. For the first several days that we had her, she was in a state whenever she was not able to hold her. Her little mind could focus on nothing but the kitty. She is still all over the poor animal, treating it like it's her human baby, but at least she can function and live her life, rather than just obsessing over a cat every waking moment. 

She is going to be a crazy old cat lady some day.



 At night, Ninja likes to sleep in Isaac's bed the best, though she also often sleeps in the girls' room. 



All set for nap time with her dolly and the kitten

Getting a cat has been a very fun and easy addition to our family.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Also several months ago, there was a bird that fell out of its nest in our backyard palm tree. I think it was just on the verge of learning to fly, but not quite there yet. Solomon took it in and kept it in the boys' room for several days before telling me about it, by which time he had already "taught" the bird how to fly in our school room (which is a fairly long room). He had named it Carmel and wanted to keep it, but I told him a wild bird would never be happy in captivity, and that he should set it free. 

Somewhat reluctantly and sad, he agreed, and let Carmel go in the same part of the yard where he had found her, which happens to be right by our chicken run. Lo and behold, while the bird was happy to be able to fly around, and often goes on long excursions, it has continued to live in the trees in our yard. Whenever we feed the chickens, it flies down and shares in their meal. So even though Carmel is "free as a bird," Solomon still gets to see her. Carmel is a bit shy, but will even let him hold her for a bit. 



That's it for animal additions for now! Thankfully, with the weather cooling down, we should soon be done with my least favorite of all critters for the season - scorpions! This year has been particularly bad for them. Hopefully, having a cat will help deter them in the future.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Google doesn't like me

My apologies for the long blogging absence. Life is just so busy around here, that as much as I would like to have more time to chronicle it all, there's just always so much going on, and so little time to write about it. 

Did you like my short stint of daily blogging in late August? I had temporarily enabled AdSense on my blog, seeing if it was worth it. It would have been a nice source of some extra fun money. I was averaging about $10 per day, which lasted a whole FIVE days before Google decided they didn't like me:
 Hi Zsuzsanna,

Your site contains content that is not compliant with our content policies, so ad serving has been disabled. Please review our content policies for more information.

Here's an example URL where noncompliant content exists. This is only an example, and there may be others elsewhere.

Sincerely,

Chris
Google AdSense
 
Never one to pass up a great teaching moment, I responded the following:

Hi Chris,
 
You did not include an example URL. Should I understand that to mean you were unable to provide one?
 
Frankly, I find this decision ridiculous. My blog gets lots of traffic every day from people of all walks of life. It is, predominantly, a "mommy blog" with recipes, homeschool advice, family updates, and the usual. Obviously, one of my haters must have filed a complaint with you. It is funny that in an effort to promote freedom of speech, you wish to squelch it. Freedom of expression does not mean one may only express popular beliefs. I must not be the only one with the opinions expressed on my blog, or it would not be as popular as it is. In fact, I would like for you to find any sentiment expressed anywhere on my blog that has not been shared by the majority of people, around the world, for thousands of years. It is not me or my site that is offensive, it is your policy and our strange society.
 
Sincerely,
Zsuzsanna Anderson
 
Anyhow, not surprisingly, "Chris" (whose real name may well be Ravinder) didn't see my point. So without my little AdSense mad money, it looks like I will never get those all-weather floor mats for my new van. I will admit, it did put a damper on my blogging enthusiasm. 

Just kidding - it's just been busy around here. I even went so far as to de-activate my personal Facebook account two months ago, as it was proving to be a constant source of distraction as we were getting ready to start school again. My plan was to be back on it once we got into the swing of things, and maybe I will, but for now less internet time seems to be the way to go for me. Someone told me that every reason I gave for leaving Facebook (which pretty much all revolved around having more time for my family) was a selfish one. I was taken aback by that accusation so much, I decided to not go back on, just to spite them. I do still have my public page, where I tend to post a bit more often than here on the blog.

Even so, I shall try to be a more reliable blogger. I am always disappointed when I go to a blog I like, and there is no new content. I have all sorts of new recipes and kitchen adventures to share, plus photos of Solomon's birthday, our new cat, fall break, and many other fun times.

So stay tuned, and thank you for your patience. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Whodathunkit...

One of my husband's Facebook friends (he has thousands) posted the following to his wall today:

Hey brother Steven Anderson I had a CEU class (Continuing Education Unit) class yesterday for my job ( as a police officer). We had yearly training and we were in a class discussing the 4th amendment & search and seizure. The instructor showed various videos of traffic stops, which are considered temporary seizures, and some clips of your videos showed up numerous times. We had about 15 officers/deputies in the class that day.

The instructor just let the officers & deputies watch the montage of videos of various people refusing to show their licenses "papers" and then afterwards asked them their opinions as to whether they were right or wrong. About a third were visibly aggravated that some dared question an officer's authority and except for me I was the only one to answer that what they did was perfectly legal.

The instructor confirmed my answer and some of the guys were shocked. Don't be weary in well doing! That instructor is using clips from your traffic stops teaching law enforcement officers about the 4th amendment. Who would have ever thought that would have resulted from your videos? 

Well look at that! - While various lame preachers and Christians attack my husband for standing up for our constitutional rights, claiming as God's people we need to collectively roll over dead and let an abusive government trample our hard-won freedoms, the police themselves agree that his actions are perfectly within the law.