Friday, July 24, 2009

Happy Birthday!

It's my husband's birthday today. I was going through our photos on the computer, realizing that while he looks older today than he did when we got married almost nine years ago, his personality has not changed much. He loves God, and he loves his family. To me, he is never more handsome and lovable than when he is playing with the kids or doting on his daughters. There is something about being a great dad that also makes him a wonderful husband and friend.

Happy birthday honey, I love you so much!






Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Taking a break

My apologies for being such a slacker blogger lately. I have been busy remodeling the house, as well as reorganizing, decluttering, and deep-cleaning every single room, nook, and cranny, as well as the shed. I even scrubbed the van inside and out, it looks like new now. In fact, it is so nice that I just might start tieing the kids down to the roof of the van rather than letting them get inside.

There's fun stuff like canning an abundance of fruit and tomatoes over the summer, when fresh produce is in season. Right now, there are about 20 lbs of tomatoes waiting in my fridge to be canned later today.

Then there's homeschooling. I went to the big annual homeschool convention in downtown Phoenix last Friday and Saturday, and got plenty of inspiration and ideas. We are on summer break right now, but I still have to decide on next year's curriculum and find good deals to buy what I need. Right now, I am thinking along the lines of taking a more relaxed approach next year, and to do unit studies with the three boys and have them all learning the same things except for math and language arts. I also need to list a ton of books I don't need any more for sale on ebay.

I'm finally feeling like I am wrapping things up in all these areas, but by the time I am all done, I will need a break. We are going camping soon - yay! It also means a lot of getting ready, packing, and then laundry and cleaning when we get back home.

Just wanted to let everyone know that I will probably not be posting for at least a couple of weeks, maybe longer. If I do have time to write, I will just save the post and publish it later so that once I am "back" in the blogosphere, at least there will be something new to read every day or so. If you emailed me lately and are still waiting for a response, I apologize. I answer a few emails every night, but there are still a lot backed up that I need to get to. But I do appreciate whenever I get mail! Well, friendly mail...

Hope you all enjoy this special time with friends and family!

Update on legal case

Just a quick update: A hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 5 regarding our attorney's petition to dismiss the charges against my husband. His arguments were very good, logical, and in line with the law. After the judge that had been assigned to the case back in April received the written petition, she recused herself from the case, and it has since been passed to the presiding judge of the court in Wellton, AZ. If the charges are not dismissed after the hearing, the day for the trial has been set for Aug. 25th. Your prayers in this matter are much appreciated.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ah, summer....

The kids and I (and my husband when he is home) have been going on many fun outings during the last few weeks, enjoying these wonderful summer days. The libraries in our area offer lots of free programs this time of year. So far, we have seen a puppet theater production, a really cool yo-yo show, a juggler, a reptile show, and a singing cowboy.

The heat in Arizona is really overrated. 108 degrees in the day can feel pretty hot if you are out in the sun, but what might feel like a "cool breeze" in the evening could very well still be in the triple-digits. It really is not bad at all, and feels much cooler.

We have also gone on field trips to various museums and attractions around the state. I apologize for the quality of the photos below. Some were taken with a camcorder, and some with my phone. My camera seems to not be working right any more at all. I'll have to get a new one just as soon as possible.

Wupatki National Monument

Pima Air and Space Museum

Titan Missile Museum

I was really kicking myself that I forgot to bring my camera and phone down into the missile launching complex. It was pretty amazing, and Solomon and Isaac got to sit in the two seats of the commanding officers, turn the keys at the same time, and pretend to launch the missile. Solomon asked at least a half dozen times if this REALLY was just pretend, and that he was not actually nuking the other side of the world. Our military leaders could use a dose of his apprehension.

More photos to follow. A girl's gotta sleep sometime.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Free teaching resources

Lakeshore Learning offers various free teaching resources for parents and children to enjoy together on their website every month. I think I will use the sight-word flash cards to make my own version of their sight-word soup games for John.

If you like shopping at this store, now is a great time. With all the new merchandise coming in for the next school year, a lot of stuff is on clearance. Most of the other stuff in the store is 20% discounted. I have already found some great deals there this month. The website also has a coupon you can print and use for a free plan book and a buy one, get one 50% off offer.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Feel the love

Every day, I get many comments on this blog that I reject for various reasons. Contrary what I regularly get accused of, this does not constitute censorship. I am not stopping anyone from saying anything on their own platform. But as the publisher of this blog, I am under no obligation whatsoever to make their voice heard on my blog. Not any more so than a book publisher is obligated to publish every book that is submitted to them. They reject stuff they don't like, and I do the same.

Just for fun, though, I thought I would share a small sampling of the lovely comments I have received this week. For easier reading, I have color-coded the comments and my responses.

Have you ever stepped into a college or university? Have you ever made more than $10.00 an hour in your life? Have you ever worked for a Fortune 500 company? Have you ever traveled beyond the U.S. border? Have you ever spent the night at $2,000 hotel room? Then shut don't know what you are talking about when it comes to anything outside of your house. How can you talk about women who work outside of their home if you NEVER have?

The words in your blog aren't your own? They are your husband's sentiments with your name on it. You, my friend, are being controlled by your husband. You know and I know it.

The world will know it when we read about the murder/suicide of your family, at the hands of your husband, one day in the news. It has happened countless times all over this country. Your husband will be convinced it's for your family's own good...and that God told him to do it. He is the poster child for paranoid, controlling and psychotic. I WISH THIS WEREN'T TRUE....God knows! You are on my prayer list because I fear for you and your family. I pray that God protects you from this monster!

Yes, before I was a Christian I went to college and majored in cultural anthropology, and also studied political science and journalism (in Germany, where I went to college, you pick one major and two minor courses of study). I have worked as a professional translator of medical journals for years, and depending on how long it took me to translate a text, would make $25-50/hour from home. I have not accepted any assignments in almost one year now because it was getting too much to work at night after taking care of the kids all day, and my husband makes very good money with his own company. Why be a worker bee at a Fortune500 company when you can run your own business? I have been to just about every European country and their capitals. I have never spent $2000 on a hotel room, but we have several times sent that much extra to the mortgage company in one month in order to pay our house off faster, which is a much wiser financial decision. Why anyone who does not meet all of your strange and irrelevant criteria should "shut up" is not quite clear to me - do you think that we should be ruled by a small handful of rich, out of touch with reality elite? Do you not believe in freedom of speech? Must personal blogs only contain information approved by snobs like yourself?

A wife being controlled by her husband is only biblical, and if anything, I do not attain to that standard like I should. Most men are controlled by their wives, which is truly sickening.

I think you missed the point of my post, because women in the workforce are the ones who are controlled by others all day long, while I do what I want with my time.

That's awfully judge-y, for a so-called Christian. You give Christians a bad name.

It is a common misconception that Christians are not supposed to judge anything or anyone. Please read this post.

This comes from my heart as an older Christian woman to a younger Christian wife and mother. Your husband has been charged with two "misdemeanors" and the outcome of his trail is yet to be determined. IF he should lose his court battle and IF he should have to serve time, do you really want to be pregnant and/or have a new baby? Would it be wise to wait? Do you have any apprehension about the outcome? Could the videos be damaging to his trial?

From what you post, your husband is rarely, if ever, there to help you now and Solomon is taking on the role of "man of the house" while your husband pours his time and energy into other areas.

Oh my, this comment made me laugh and scratch my head. People never fail to amaze me. I think this lady was actually well intentioned. No, it is extremely unlikely that my husband will have to "serve time" for two traffic-related misdemeanors. The legal case is proceeding very well, although it would be too time-consuming to go into that here. I do not make my childbearing decisions based on insane "what ifs?" If I did, I would never ever become pregnant because what if my husband were to die in an accident? I think I will just continue to leave it in God's hands, since He has blessed me with a family that many wish they had.

As far as my husband not being "there to help now", I am not sure what you think changed recently that he would be here less than before? In fact, he has been home more because he travels less than he used to. You would be amazed how much time men have for their families when they do not watch any TV, don't follow professional sports, and don't have other silly pastimes. You would be surprised how much time parents have with their children when they don't ship them off all day to school to babysit them. The wonderful thing about running your own company is that you can take your kids to work with you. You can come home if your wife just got back from shopping and needs help unloading the van. You can be home during the day and work at the office when the kids are in bed. On and on. My husband spends more time with the kids than any other Dad I know, and I am not talking about "family movie night". We go on outings and special trips more than any other family I know.

As far as Solomon taking on the role of "man of the house" I am not quite sure how you think you know our family so well from a blog? Last I checked, Solomon wasn't bringing home a paycheck, taking out any of the trash, doing any of the yard work, fixing things around the house, and any other "manly" activities you may have had in mind, while my husband does all of the above. Solomon plays with his baby sister, which I think is normal for a brother to do. In fact, he often asks me to hold the baby when I am taking care of her because he loves her and thinks she is the cutest thing.

I installed the flooring myself because I wanted to. My husband would have gladly paid to hire a professional to do it (which would have been cheaper than for him to take time from his business to do it himself). But I thought it would be a fun project to do with the kids, and it was. If I told you I scrapbooked every day for the last two weeks, you wouldn't think there was anything wrong with that. The Bible says "in all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury."

"God intended for the mother to stay at home an raise the children and did not really leave it up to her personal preferences"

You make a lot of these really strong pronouncements about God's will and his intentions. But isn't it remarkably hubristic to think you *know* these things about God, when, I assure you, many people (Christians and otherwise) believe much different things about God.

What makes your view better than opposing views? Is it a feeling you have? A direct pipeline to God? The Bible? An empirical view of human nature? The first and second I find highly suspect, since at least some of the people who hold opposing views probably claim the same. The third and fourth might give you better grounds, but I suspect you still are not a very good authority, in comparison to all the theologians and people who've spent their whole lives carefully studying such issues--most of whom would disagree with you assured pronouncements.

Why do you think you're qualified to tell the rest of us what God intends and desires?

It is called "The Holy Bible", and you will find definite answers to all of life's questions and issues in it.

2 cents from Europe:

You obviously have no medical education, or any education at all for that matter.
Reading your blog is really a jaw dropping experience, especially for European readers. I really don't understand your nerve to judge and "preach" to people your twisted ideas about family planning, homosexuality and life in general. Get of your high horse sister!
You are a perfect example of what we (Europeans) consider a typical ignorant, uneducated, cruwel, religious nutjob American.
By the way, English is not my first language.

This comment actually came in a month or so ago, but I had to add it here because it seriously cracked me up. I guess European readers find reading blogs by European authors "jawdropping." Again, I am striving to base all views expressed on my blog on the Bible, which is just so not en vogue in Europe these days. That may explain why they are the whining, socialist, psychotic, drunk mess that they are.

I guess you are what Americans consider a prejudiced European who hates the American way of life, even if it is lived by a fellow European. Hey, I actually had TWO European citizenships.

And yes, I can tell that English is not your first language when I look at how you spelled "cruel." In case you were wondering, English isn't my first language either, it is my third. May I remind you though that the only reason why you learned English was because it is impossible to succeed in today's world without a working knowledge of it? Whereas your mother tongue has no international significance whatsoever, because your country is not important in spite of the "short man syndrome" that all European countries suffer from?

You do know that wikipedia is not a reliable source of information. The information on the site should not be considered cast in stone.

You seem to have a very distorted view of IVF and need to do some more research.

As far as I am concerned you are a naive, hypocrytical, woman with very little understanding of the real world.

There is no sign of God's light in you.

Wow, but your comment is a real beacon of God's light! Wait, are you displaying the hypocrisy you were accusing me of?

Do you know what? You're an idiot. You're a typical American that is blinded by your religious and cultural beliefs. Have you ever stepped out of your little town?! You will never ever understand the African way of living. You can not compare your lovely 3rd world life to the suffering that people go through in Africa. This is more than just a baby things. You are too ignorant to understand. Perhaps it was your blinded upbringing or your jaded brain, but open your eyes, lady. People die here every day from diseases you didn't think existed anymore.

Every other person there is overly Christian. A Christianity that believes things, which is fine, but you don't need to push your beliefs onto other people.

You don't let other people post here because they don't believe what you do?You're as right wing as Hitler. Get out of your bubble.

Are you angry yet? Maybe now you'll start feeling something other than your "g-d".

Here we go again. I get called a stupid American probably once every week. I think people just hate old-fashioned values, which in the past was somewhat synonymous with America (and I wish it still were). True, I become an American citizen about a year ago, but that was hardly what determined my belief system. I was born in East Germany, raised in Hungary until I was eight, and lived in West Germany until I was 21 years old. In between, I also lived in the UK for about 10 months.

I didn't know 3rd world life was lovely, and I didn't know I lived in it. Not sure what "a baby things" is. And I am the one being called ignorant?

Why the fact that "[p]eople die here every day from diseases you didn't think existed anymore" has anything to do with the question of whether or not IVF is right or wrong I am not quite sure, unless they mean that a few dead bodies more or less don't count in the big picture any more.

I like how I am being called Hitler for not allowing others to post on my blog. I wonder if this person would allow me to guest post on their blog for a change. I am all for having and exercising free speech, while they want me to stop talking about the subjects that I take an interest in.

And no, stupid comments never anger me, they only make me laugh, and glad that I am not blinded like most people are.

it's women like you who make women who have c-sections feel as if they have somehow failed in their role as a woman.

having a c-section is nothing to be ashamed of. shame on you.

Ouch, somebody is a little touchy. Maybe her C-sections weren't as fabulous as the rest of the lenghty comment said they were. So let's use logic: because I warn against ****unnecessary**** c-sections, I am making women feel like they failed in their role? Is it part of a woman's role to have a C-section??

Unlike this commenter, I never shamed any women. I told them to get educated about childbirth, which seems only normal enough for any woman to take an interest in . If I told you to watch your kids and keep them safe, would I be shaming everyone whose child has had a tragic accident?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Breech pregnancy/birth

If you have had a breech birth, or are currently experiencing a breech pregnancy, please consider participating in this survey.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Still busy

Last Friday, I finished installing the new flooring in our bedroom. The room is about 250 sq feet, so it was a lot of work. The baseboards were not fun at all, but it's done and looks great. Saturday afternoon I hung curtains and rearranged all the closets, since we are switching up who sleeps in which room. I'll put up before and after pictures here soon (hopefully).

Yesterday, I took a break from the backbreaking work of fixing up the house. Today, I completely emptied one of the boys' bedrooms, tore up the carpet and nail boards, put down padding, and got about half-way done installing the new hard floors. This room is about 150 sq feet. I am getting a lot faster. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to finish installing the flooring (dreading doing the closet floor) and the baseboards. Then Isaac and John will move back in, and I will move on to Solomon's bedroom at last. That one is only about 100 sq feet, but also has a closet. It's really tricky and time-consuming to work around the doors.

Solomon has been a huge help with these projects, as he takes care of Becky and plays with her. Isaac is great at bringing me tools, water, and the flooring planks. They are all excited about their "new" bedrooms and happy to help.

I am very tired and sore, but really loving the new look of the floors and the sense of accomplishment. It's like having a baby - a lot of work, sometimes overwhelming, but worth it. Seeing the piles of dust under the carpets was proof enough that replacing carpets with hard floors was the right choice. Wall-to-wall carpeting has never seemed as unappealing to me as it did today.

Tonight, I am taking a break from working on the room more because there is laundry to be put away, the school/dining room needs cleaning, and there is some produce I need to wash, chop, and freeze. I wish I could go to bed but I don't sleep well unless I straighten the house up first. I really want to finish doing the rooms as quickly as possible because we will soon have to focus more on school work again, and then eventually I will probably get pregnant again in the not too distant future, Lord willing. Right now, I can't even get pregnant yet, so don't start hyperventilating. Just trying to plan ahead.

And so ends this incoherent and meaningless post. Just wanted to say I'm still around, just busy and very tired.


On Fourth of July, we watched fireworkas


By now, we were a teeny bit close to the base, but I was still scared(at this point we were still far from the base)because I did not wish to to get burned by fireworks.But Mom did'nt stop.She kept going.(at this point, we were kinda close to the base)Just then...

...I SCREAMED!!!!!

There were two fireworks that looked like they were going to burn me up.John screamed,too.

2.When I toughened up

(at this point,we could see the fireworks being lit)Finally,I stopped screaming.I toughened up a little.(by now Dad is by us)Then,I toughened up rapidly.Later,those same fireworks came,and I did'nt scream!

At the end,they let the fire works run WILD!They let 'em flash,pop,boom,whatever they wanted!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Pastor Anderson Speaks at the Gilbert Arizona Tea Party

Legal update on border patrol situation:

Poem about the New Mexico border patrol checkpoint:

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Question and answer, part II

As promised, I wanted to answer some of the canning-related questions that came from this post.

Do you use a pressure canner or just a big stock pot for processing? I saw a pressure canner at Wal-Mart yesterday for about $70, but don't know if that's a good price or not.

There are two ways to can: pressure canning, and hot water canning. Pressure canning is used for low-acid foods such as vegetables (corn, beans), meats, etc. Some people do use pressure cookers as a pressure canner, but canning experts advise against that. I think what Wal-Mart sells is a pressure cooker that is also supposed to work as a pressure canner, but again, I guess there is a difference and it's technically not as safe to use. Because pressure canners are expensive, and I prefer frozen vegetables and meats to canned ones, I only ever do hot water canning (which is only suitable for high-acid foods such as fruits and tomatoes). Fruit jams, jellies, applesauce, canned tomatoes, fruit syrups, canned fruits etc. can all be made in a hot water bath. A pressure cooker could be used for hot water canning, but it is impractical (smaller batches) and unnecessary, so there really is no need to spend $70.

Oh and do you use white sugar, or can you use raw sugar? (Trying to think of health here haha).

This year, I only used white sugar for canning. In the past, I have used honey, as well as fruit juice concentrate for sweetening. There is a different kind of pectin available at the store that is made to be used with fruit juice concentrate (usually white grape or apple juice) or sugar substitute (like Splenda - don't even get me started on that). The package contains all the necessary explanations. It's really pretty much the same, except that you dump in the frozen concentrate instead of sugar. The jelly will not be nearly as sweet, but it does taste very nice. I like apricot jelly and berry jams very sweet, though, so I used regular sugar. I have never used raw sugar in place of the white, but I'm sure that would be perfectly fine.

P.S. How do I get my future wife to make delicious stuff like this??? :)

As with everything in life, you catch more flies with honey. But what on earth are you doing on my blog? And how did you like the apricot jelly?


Below are some questions on other topics that I have been asked recently. If I missed yours, I am sorry, it was not intentional. If you have any other questions for me, please feel free to leave it in the comments section, and I will answer it soon.

Let's start with this important question:

Is there ANYTHING you don't know?

For starters, I don't know the name of the person who asked this, since they chose to leave an anonymous comment. Secondly, yes, there are obviously many things that I know nothing about, and probably many other things that I THINK I know but actually am wrong on. But no, I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to figure out that a C-section rate of over 30% is extremely out of whack.

hi Zsuzsanna. I was wondering what your thoughts on infertility in general are. I know you are vocal about your opposition to IVF. What are your thoughts about IUI, Clomid, etc.? What about adoption? I am not being facetious, I am genuinely curious. (Rachel)

I think infertility is a terrible problem for women to have to suffer, and I honestly feel very bad for those affected by it. However, I also believe that God is the one who opens and closes the womb and gives women conception, as the Bible says so over and over again. If a couple is childless, it is because that is God's will at that time. I am quite certain that God does not need our artificial means of trying to speed along conception. Interestingly enough, the Bible mentions many women that were barren, but after they prayed and asked God (in the case of Isaac, for two decades), every single one of them went on to have children.

Since I have already explained my position on IVF, I will give you my thoughts on IUI and fertility drugs (such as the one you mentioned, Clomid). I don't think it would be sinful per se to use fertility drugs at a normal dosage, but I also would strongly advise against it. Just because something isn't wrong doesn't mean it is good for us. If women have ovulatory problems, the underlying cause should be rectified rather than supplying the body with artificial hormones that are nothing more than a crutch, and will only lead to the woman's body becoming more out of balance hormonally. There are many herbs and other natural approaches to regulate a woman's cycle and restore her health to where she can then conceive naturally. People have commented on here that they tried drugs and IUI unsuccessfully, then tried herbal remedies, and became pregnant shortly thereafter.

As for IUI, I really do not know much about the process, and don't want to speculate. To me it seems that God intended the creation of a new eternal soul to be between a husband and wife, not a doctor in a clinic. God doesn't need the doctor's help.

Many times, people who use artificial means of conception take the fact that they were successfully able to have a child as proof that God condoned of their actions, and even used modern medicine to carry out His will. But there are many instances where people sin (fornication, adultery), and a child is conceived. It doesn't make the actions of the adults involved any less sinful, but the child of course had no part in it and is just as loved by God as any other. God has created the laws of the universe, and among them is that when two people come together, they are likely to conceive. God doesn't just suspend that law every time somebody decides to mess around outside of marriage, but it doesn't mean that He condones their actions.

Do you use two diaper bags and just split the stuff up, or do you use a diaper bag for each kid? Or, did you never have this problem? Lol. Trying to figure out what would work the best.

I don't really use a diaper bag. There are always a couple of diapers and a pack of wipes in my purse, as well as in the stroller, and also in the van. Chances are, wherever I am at, there is always a diaper and wipes within my reach. If the kids need a snack while we are out, I either toss that in the purse, too, or just pack a bag with water bottles, fruit, and a dry snack (like pretzels or goldfish) for everyone. But that's rare because I try to run errands between mealtimes, and avoid feeding the kids in the car.

Have you ever read any of the children's books by Kate Seredy? She was a Hungarian author and several of her books are set in Hungary.

No, but thank you for the tip, I want to check into that. We are currently reading the Little House series for read aloud time with the kids.

Years ago, when my babies were nursing, I, like you, enjoyed feeding them during the night while they lay next to me in bed. It was very comfortable for both of us, and less sleep-disturbing than getting up to sit in a rocking chair. However, the SIDS campaign has made this a big issue, so my daughter, who has recently had a baby (my first grandbaby!) is terrified of keeping the baby in bed with her to nurse at night. The medical community has created such a scare about this, and I am undecided about how much to be worried about it. What are your thoughts on this?

SIDS is such a hot topic, and I certainly am no authority on it. I know that SIDS occurrences are much, much lower in countries where moms naturally take their babies to bed with them. And, as another reader already pointed out, if a baby dies from becoming entrapped or smothered it was not due to SIDS, but another (preventable) cause. I for one certainly think that having baby beside mom is safest for baby and easiest for mom, but there are many who would disagree. I never lose any sleep when I have a newborn, no matter how many times they wake up at night. Our babies never "sleep through the night" uninterrupted until they are fully weaned, but it never bothers me one bit because I can feed them while I sleep. The older kids have all grown up to be great sleepers.

There is also a lot of very interesting information on a relationship between SIDS and the flame-retardant chemicals used in producing mattresses. You can read more about that here. It seems that this could very well be the true cause behind the baby suddenly not breathing, and subsequently dying. It would also explain why having mom close by could be lifesaving, as she acts as the baby's "breathing pacemaker". Mom may also wake up if she subconsciously notices that something is not right with her baby. Please click here to read what I have written about SIDS in the past.

My wife and I have decided to switch traditional roles. Nobody forced us to and we didn't force each other. She works all day and I stay home with the kids and do the housework and cooking and such. I also do have a job which I do from home. Do you gave any thoughts on that?

Yes, I do. But I am only telling you my thoughts because you asked. Regardless of whether or not I think that something is a right choice, it's really none of my business to personally make sure that everybody does the right things in life. While I do blog about a lot of issues in general, I do so to inform people and maybe get them to look at their decisions in a different light. I almost never "rip" on a person specifically or point out the flaws I perceive in them. Not unless they are freaks like this woman.

Back to your question, my thoughts (in no particular order) are: your kids are better off at home than in anyone else's care; God intended for the mother to stay at home an raise the children and did not really leave it up to her personal preferences; I don't think there is anything wrong with men doing housework and cooking if that's what they want to do; glad you have a job you can do from home with your kids there; it's nice that you have such a close relationship with the kids; I would never do what you do but again, it infinitely better than putting the kids in daycare and both of you working outside the home.