Tuesday, March 30, 2010


A lot of people may have heard about preeclampsia following Josie Duggar's extremely premature birth at only 25 weeks gestation, and wondered what this condition is.

According to the Preeclampsia Foundation,

"Preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the postpartum period and affects both the mother and the unborn baby. Affecting at least 5-8% of all pregnancies, it is a rapidly progressive condition characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine. Swelling, sudden weight gain, headaches and changes in vision are important symptoms; however, some women with rapidly advancing disease report few symptoms.

Typically, preeclampsia occurs after 20 weeks gestation (in the late 2nd or 3rd trimesters or middle to late pregnancy), though it can occur earlier. Proper prenatal care is essential to diagnose and manage preeclampsia. Preeclampsia, Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH) and toxemia are closely related conditions. HELLP Syndrome and eclampsia are other manifestations of the same syndrome."

The website estimates it to "cost the US over $7 Billion alone" per year. The exact statistics are shocking. The FAQs offer answers to many questions about this condition, but the one I want to focus on in this post is the question: What causes preeclampsia? Can it be prevented?

First of all, I would like to say that I am not trying to "blame" anyone if they suffered preeclampsia, or any of its related conditions. I am not at all trying to say that it was their fault, or that they brought it on themselves. I am not saying that all cases are preventable. I am merely stating what I have learned and experienced from having had five healthy pregnancies and births (four at home), from reading about this subject in depth, and from learning from midwives and other natural birth supporters. Of course, I am no medical doctor, so please do not view this as medical advice. It is your responsibility, and yours only, to educate yourself about your health and that of those you love and care about. No doctor in the world will ever care more about your well-being than you yourself will.

Among most midwives, it is usually common knowledge that preeclampsia is caused by a lack of protein. It is, in short, a nutritional deficiency. They often admonish expectant moms to follow the "Brewer Pregnancy Diet", developed by Dr. Brewer, a doctor who long held that moms who followed this nutritional advice never got preeclampsia, and also warded off a whole host of other possible pregnancy-related issues. Please click here to go to a website that explains the diet in detail and offers much information and scientific backup.

The medical society, by and large, has rejected this explanation. Maybe it sounds too simple, but scurvy was caused by a lack of vitamin C, the plague was caused by a lack of sanitation, and child-bed fever was caused by doctors going from patient to patient without washing their hands. The solutions to all of these problems were discovered decades before they became standard practice, because they were all dismissed as being too ridiculous to accept. Or maybe, as in everything, the love of money is behind all this. Did you know that on average, 80% of hospital profits come from the labor and delivery department? I just learned that last week. Think about that for a minute. There's just not a whole lot of money in a normal, natural birth that doesn't require anyone to be there except mom and baby.

Some time back I read that there had been a study comparing the pregnancy outcomes of expectant moms on high protein diets, and moms who just ate a "normal" diet. There was no significant difference between the groups with regard to preeclampsia. However, it should be noted that the women in the study did not consume protein from whole foods (both animal and plant based), but rather from protein shakes. This study is largely responsible for most doctors dismissing the "protein deficiency theory". However, nutritionally speaking there is a massive difference between consuming whole foods, and consuming a highly-processed supplement.

In fact, many midwives have witnessed cases of beginning preeclampsia reversed after the mother made a conscious effort to eat an extremely high protein diet in an attempt to turn her condition around. Under careful monitoring, this is often successful, and definitely beats having to tear a baby out of the womb prematurely to save its life and that of the mother.

If you are pregnant, unless you are counting protein grams, you are probably not getting enough. And not just proteins, but proteins from different sources such as eggs, milk products, meat, beans, and whole grains. If you have a family history of preeclampsia, you should be extra careful to make every bite you eat while pregnant count.

The characteristic high blood pressure and swelling in the face and sometimes hands are late warning signs of preeclampsia. A much earlier warning sign is protein in the urine, a sign that the mother's body has started breaking down her own muscles and other protein stores in order to make it available to the baby. At this point, focusing on healthy proteins would almost always avert the full-blown condition in the mom. Unfortunately, most "pee sticks" that OBs offer at prenatals do not check for protein in the urine, whereas midwives use sticks that test for almost a dozen different warning signs that may be present in a sample.

The philosophies of doctors and midwives are vastly different in that the first will wait for a problem to crop up, and then go at it with the big guns, while the latter focus mostly on preventing any complications from arising in the first place.

Taking a prenatal is NOT a substitute for proper nutrition. In fact, it may make things worse. A recent study linked taking folic acid supplements during the last trimester to a number of adverse conditions in the babies, while consuming the same amount of folic acid in natural form (i.e. leafy greens, asparagus, whole grains, eggs) only showed beneficial effects.

In any case, eating healthily never hurt anyone, so the Brewer Pregnancy Diet can safely be recommended to all expectant moms.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A nice day

Just in case my last post mislead people to believe that I really turned 29 today, I actually turned 31. Which officially makes me a "30-something mommy blogger". I am okay with that, really. I just act like my age bothers me because my husband, who is two years younger than me, likes to tease me about it. So I play along with his jokes about how I am going to be a bald old hunchback with no teeth while he will still be in his prime. Well, maybe that's not exactly his wording, but something along those lines.

We did have a very nice day today. I spent the whole morning finishing up my big translation project, which could have waited until tomorrow but I was eager to get it off my desk. The document I was translating was a 150-page class action suit filed in connection with Bernie Madoff and his investment scheme. Boy oh boy, the love of money truly is the root of all evil. Of course, what he got in trouble for is pretty much the same thing that all these bankers and the government do - pushing around numbers of fictitious money, only difference is that he is sitting in prison for life for it.

In the meantime, my husband played with the kids, taught Solomon and Isaac some basics of playing the harmonica, and fed them lunch. I got done around 2 pm, and we headed out for my free Starbucks and the free dozen doughnuts at Krispy Kreme, where we were joined by a sweet lady from our church and her adorable little baby girl. Talk about sugar overkill. I had a few sips of my drink and one doughnut, and it about satisfied my sugar quota for the next month. The kids of course were loving it. I took tons of pictures with my new Nikon digital SLR, one of the gifts from my husband (that he actually gave me last month). I'm not a great photographer, and I definitely don't have time to touch up all my photos in photoshop, but I am looking forward to getting back into this old hobby of mine that I gave up when the babies started arriving.

Becky is wearing a very cute little dress that a young teenage girl in our church hand-sewed for her. She made another identical one for Miriam, too, only it's bigger. They both love the dresses!

Smiling pictures of my camera-shy husband. I was thinking how much his mom would love these when I took them.

Becky was making a funny face because she knew I was taking her picture.

After leaving Krispy Kreme, in spite of the fact that my husband had already showered me with gifts and flowers, he wanted to take me to buy a new dress as a special treat. Mind you, I only ever buy our clothes from the thrift store, and maybe once a year or less make an exception if I find a great deal at the outlet mall. I never ever shop at department stores or the mall. My husband, on the other hand, works at a lot of really upscale and fancy stores for his fire alarm business, so he decided to take me to Anthropologie for a special treat.

Let's just say the store is nothing like what I remembered it to be from the first (and only) time I have ever been there five years ago, when I accompanied my husband on a work trip. It was just way too trendy for me, but even if it had been my style, the prices were laughable. Come on, who in their right mind shells out that kind of money on CLOTHES??? They were also selling an old, rusty, metal shop rack from Michelin that cost $4,500, and a huge, worm-eaten, dilapidated hutch that was leaning to one side and looked like it was about to fall over for $20,000. Looking back, I wish I would have taken a picture. I was trying not to hurt my husband's feelings by laughing too much, since this was his idea, but I don't think this was what he was looking for, either.

Then, we stopped by Coldwater Creek, in the same strip mall. Better clothing style to be sure, but again, the prices were crazy. The fact that all the other customers in there were elderly ladies didn't add to the store's appeal in my husband's eyes. I just bought a brand-new pair of sandals from Coldwater Creek at the thrift store this week for $6, which is a far cry from their store prices.

Back in the car I told my husband that if he still felt like shopping, I would really like to go the Savers that we were close to, which is so far from the house I rarely ever go there. He entertained the kids in the book and toy sections while I found 4 absolutely fabulous skirts, 4 matching tops, a bunch of clothes for Miriam and the other kids, and a few miscellaneous books and things. The total came out to be around $50, which would barely have paid for a handkerchief on sale at the other stores.

The great prices are not the only advantage to thrift store shopping. One of the best things is the massive selection. Not only did this store carry many more times as many clothes as the small pricey stores do, but every single garment in the store is also different from one another. Every brand is represented there, including Anthropologie and Coldwater Creek, all in one quick stop. When I look at clothes in "regular" stores, only about 10% of what they sell passes my clothing standards, but at the thrift store I can just find the best from all stores in one big place. Especially in a nice part of town like this, the people who shop the expensive stores are not the type to sell their clothes at a yard sale after having worn them once. Instead, they drop it off at a thrift store like Savers, maybe even on their way back to the big-bucks store. Which is certainly to my advantage.

By the time we were done there it was high time for dinner, but I didn't want to eat out with the whole family. The kids had already had too much junk food and been out too long, but on the other hand I didn't feel like cooking or having a sandwich for dinner either. So, on the way home, we got some delicious Indian take-out for my husband and myself, and fed the kids leftovers from yesterday when we got home. We had chicken tikka masala with rice and naan bread on the side, papadums with a couple of different dipping sauces, and mango lassi. I absolutely love Indian food. Became addicted to it when I lived in Britain, but never found any good Indian food this side of the Atlantic until I discovered this particular Indian restaurant in Chandler. My husband said he wasn't hungry. Then he tried it and ate half my meal! Which was fine because it was way too much for one person to eat.

Did storytime as usual with the kids (we are still in the Little House series, and also reading "Heidi" right now), then they went to bed and my husband and I got to hang out together which we don't always get to do because he works so much.

A great day, and as usual, my best birthday yet.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Happy Birthday to me!

So I am turning 29 this Thursday. Actually, that's not quite true, but I think I will start counting backwards for the next few years... :) The good thing about getting older is that I get more birthday kisses each year (29 this year...), and multiplied by the number of our children that is a lot of kisses.

Miriam is thinking that we are really still celebrating her birthday, so she keeps telling me "Thank you for having my birthday again today!"

John's gift was this funny picture of a princess in high heels. The caption reads "From John to Mom. This is who you are." or something along those lines - his phonics are still off, but he's barely five and I think it's hilarious.

All of the kids have been making me lots of little gifts and cards, but I would just like to highlight Isaac here today, because I don't blog about him as much as I would like to. Which is only because he doesn't like having his picture taken.

First, he bought me a bouquet of daisies at the store. He really wanted to get me tulips, but because we were at Whole Foods (i.e. overpriced flowers) he only had enough money for the daisies, which I think are absolutely beautiful. He regularly spends all his savings on flowers for me, in addition to the ones he picks outside, and tells me that that's what sons are supposed to do.

Then, he crafted a little mummy for me from aluminum foil, wood, and electrical tape. Not sure what gave him the idea, but it looks strangely cute.

Finally, he made a very sweet card that had wildflowers (aka weeds) from our front yard taped into it.

Then he asked me, in typical Isaac fashion: "Mom, what would you think if I made you a candle out of ear wax? Would you like it just because it was from me?"

Oh, I love this funny little boy. He is such a ham, and just all around lovable and sweet as pie.

(notice the funny gap in his front teeth - it looks hilarious in real life)

With kids like ours, I really do not need any other gifts on my birthday, but my husband gave me several really nice ones. His business has been going very well in the last couple of months, which is really a blessing because it takes a lot to feed and care for a large family on a single income (he does not take a salary from church at all, only from his business). After all the media attention last year, one of his major clients canceled all contracts with my husband, and we have had to make some cutbacks since then, and he has had to work a lot more hours to make up for the loss.

He also picked up some sweets from the Whole Foods bakery for me tonight because I got a sweet craving, and bought flowers and a card while he was there. I am very spoiled indeed. There has to be some advantage to getting older. Not hat 29 is old... ;)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A sweet deal

For the last week and a half, I have spent hours every day chewing away at my exceedingly boring legal translation. I have figured out that I am NOT translating from English into German. I am translating from legal gibberish that kind of sounds like English into legal gibberish that kind of sounds German. Well, maybe it's not that bad, but Legalese is definitely not my favorite.

So to air my brain and allow myself a little fun time, we stopped by the thrift store on our errands yesterday afternoon. I didn't spot any exceptional finds, although there were several really cute and new-looking dresses in Miriam's size, as well as a couple of shoes for Becky, who has been needing more because she keeps losing one shoe from each of her pairs. Nothing noteworthy. On the way to the registers I happened to stroll by the furniture, which I never do. I prefer to buy furniture on craigslist because the selection and prices are usually much better.

There, I spotted something that I have been wanting for years. Something that normally retails for $200, more than I would be able to spend on something like that.

It is called "The Learning Tower", and it's basically a glorified step-stool that helps little ones be right where most of the daily action in the house takes place - at the kitchen counter.

I have been trying to find a safe way for Becky to be close to us all at the counter while we do school work, have a snack, or cook something together. I spend hours in the kitchen every day, and Becky has had to sit in her high chair for the last year if she wanted to be close to me, watching while I was busy. But lately, she has become bored with that, even if I try to put toys on her tray or remove the tray and pull her close to the counter. We do have a pretty sturdy step stool, but it was not safe at all for Becky, and she is still much too little to sit by herself on a bar-height stool by the counter.

My cost? $7.99, and it's in perfect, like-new condition!!!

On the website, I also discovered that the company sells an awesome "Playhouse Kit", that basically transforms the tower into all sorts of neat little play spaces.

They also sell an easel that snaps onto the back of the tower, which would be nice to have to make it even harder for little ones to accidentally tumble out, but it's very pricey.

Our kitchen is on the small side considering our somewhat large family, and this tower is big - but it is so worth it! The floor board adjusts to various heights within seconds, without having to unscrew or loosen anything - it simply slides down to a lower pair of notches. The design is very sturdy - no chance of it tipping over. Miriam and Becky have spent most of their waking hours in there since we brought it home yesterday afternoon.

I have to say I am glad I have never tried one of these before yesterday, because if I had, I would have bought it in spite of the steep price tag. It's great! And the fact that I got it so cheap makes it so much better! The people at the thrift store told me that they were wondering what it was when they were pricing it. I explained it to them, and also told them the suggested retail price after I had already paid and they couldn't change their minds about it - their jaws literally dropped. They could have done a little more research - the website of the manufacturer is printed onto the tower. Or maybe they were just wondering why anyone would spend $200 on a step stool.

Breaking into the kettle corn while I am unloading groceries. It's one of the very few indulgences that our otherwise all-organic lifestyle still allows...

I almost can't stand how cute these girls are, they look sweet enough to eat.

I just love the look of greed on Becky's little face in this one.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Random John-isms

Kids say the funniest things. Of all our children, John probably takes the cake for coming up with strange but true statements. He started using single words when he was not quite 6 months old, and has been talking in complete sentences since he was barely over one year old. Now that he is five, he is basically still the same person, just taller.

Here, in no particular order, some random quotes from my quirky thirdborn son, all collected during this past week:

"Mom, do you know what I do with boogers? First I pick my nose, and then I throw the boogers all over the room." [pauses while I try not to laugh out loud or show my somewhat horrified amusement] "Or is that bad? Is it unclean?"


"Mom, are you a multi-millionaire?"


"Mom, are you sonar-equipped? Well, I am. I can walk around with my eyes closed and know where I'm going, as long as my brain is on. Do you want to see me doing it with my brain turned off?" (starts walking around with his eyes closed and intentionally bumping into everything).


John (after Miriam demanded a band-aid for a hurting finger, and I told her band-aids don't help with pain relief): "Band-aids are like pain killers. They make you feel better, but afterward your head comes crashing off." (I think he meant they make you feel worse in the long run...)


During the same meal, Miriam asked to borrow a coin from John for a trick she was trying to show. John: "Miriam, half the people in the world are borrowing money right now. The world does not need any more borrowing money!"


One day, as I was driving in the van with the kids, I kept noticing a very strong smell. It took me a while to put my finger on it, until I realized it was garlic. "Why does it smell like garlic in here?" I asked, and John piped up from the far back row: "Oh, I'm just eating some garlic." Sure enough, he had brought a whole bulb along for the ride, and was eating one clove after another. My gut reaction was to say "John, don't eat raw garlic!" to which he innocently replied "Is it unhealthy?" I conceded that it wasn't, and that it was actually quite healthy, so he kept eating away at that bulb for the rest of the day. To him, the garlic breath was an added bonus.


One night, we had sent the kids to bed about 10 minutes earlier when suddenly, there was a loud thump from John's bedroom, followed by giggling. My husband went to check on him, and John informed him that he had accidentally rolled out of bed. Then he added: "I usually don't fall asleep, I just go to sleep."

Friday, March 19, 2010

Some thoughts on Switched-on-Schoolhouse and similar curricula

An important guest post from a dear friend:

As someone who went to Christian school from Kindergarten through my senior year, taught in a Christian school as an adult, and later homeschooled my own children for several years, I am familiar with the various curricula that are available for homeschooling families. There is no perfect curriculum, but there is one company in particular that I would like to warn parents about. It is the company that produces Switched-on-Schoolhouse (S.O.S.), LIFEPAC, HORIZONS, and WEAVER products.

I have read statements in the LIFEPACS about creation that seemed to be, in an underhanded way, actually making fun of God. Also the Horizon math books have word problems about purchasing religious icons including crosses as well as cheesy “What Would Jesus Do?” bracelets at a Christian book store. Sometimes it was harder to put a finger on it, but the way things were worded, it just did not sound like the authors really believed in the biblical account of Creation that they sarcastically described. Switched-on-Schoolhouse, in earlier editions, used the King James Bible exclusively, so I used it for awhile for my older children in spite of other liberal content eg. referring to persecution by the Catholic Church as “Christians killing other Christians”, etc. I made the decision to use S.O.S. during a difficult pregnancy, because the work is done on the computer and there is no grading or record keeping to do since it is done automatically. Anyway, for our last year of homeschooling, I ended up switching to mostly Abeka Books which at least comes from an independent Baptist college where hopefully most people believe in the existence of God.

Circumstances changed, and I enrolled my daughter in a public high school for her sophomore year. Although she was able to transfer some of her homeschool credits and challenge other classes by “testing out” of them, she was required to take a credit recovery class for Biology which is done on the computer. The name of the software she works on for that class is Odysseyware. To her surprise, the format was exactly the same as the Switched-on-Schoolhouse software she had used for science while home schooling during her junior high years! The work was easy for her, since it was almost identical to Switched-on-Schoolhouse. There was only one difference--the Odysseyware Biology course taught evolution, whereas the Switched-on-Schoolhouse course left out the evolution and instead mentioned Creation. Also, a few Bible verses were thrown in here and there for the Christian version. After a quick Google search, our suspicions were confirmed that Odysseyware is the same company as Odyssey Learning Services/Alpha Omega Publications which produces Switched-on-Schoolhouse (S.O.S.), LIFEPAC, HORIZONS, and WEAVER products. If you are homeschooling, it is probably because you do not want your children taught by unbelievers, but if you use any of these “Christian” brands, who do you think is teaching your children? The authors claim to be Christians from a “Bible church“, but why are they teaching evolution as fact? Evolution can be a major stumbling block to many public school students who do not go to church and are not taught the Bible at home.

2 Peter 2:14-15
(14) Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
(15) Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

1 Timothy 6:10
(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.

An Independent Fundamental Baptist Mom in Texas

[end of guest post]

The website of Glynlyon, the parent company of both Alpha Omega Publications (the "Christian" version) and Odysseyware (the "public school", evolution-based version), confirms:

The Glynlyon Learning Companies are dedicated to the development and adoption of effective modalities of learning through tools, curricula, multimedia techniques, and various delivery strategies designed to best educate students regardless of their learning styles. ODYSSEYWARE® provides an electronic curriculum for grades 3-12. Alpha Omega Publications® provides Christian curriculum for grades kindergarten-12, including print and electronic options.

I for one certainly do not want my children to be taught by people who believe one thing, but teach both what they believe, as well as the opposite of it, for maximum financial gain.

The authors of these books either believe in creation, but lie and promote the false and erroneous teachings of evolution to increase profits.

Or, they really do believe in evolution, while passing themselves off as Christian publishers, making themselves false prophets and wolves in sheep's clothing, and again lying for financial gain. Besides, "the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge," so these people are also ignorant and in no position to be teaching anyone.

If you are equally disturbed by this, please pass this information on to other homeschoolers who most likely are not aware of the true nature of this publisher, many of whom would be appalled to find out the truth.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring Break

I will be taking a couple of weeks off from blogging. The kids are not doing spring break (we just had a bunch of days off for birthdays and the Presidents' birthdays), but I am busy trying to redo my blog yet again. I know, I know. Web design and gardening have one thing in common - I am terrible at both, but I just can't seem to give up trying my hand at either. After this, if it doesn't work out, I am throwing in the towel.

Plus, I am working away at an unusually lengthy and highly specialized legal translation which is taking up my nights after the kids are in bed. For those of you who didn't know, I am a freelance translator. I do it more as a hobby in my spare time, as my husband makes plenty enough for us to live off of, but it's nice to engage my mind beyond diapers and errands. Plus, I get to find out what is REALLY going on behind the scenes in the medical, legal, and financial worlds. This particular assignment relates to a financial scam in which several tens of billions of dollars just "disappeared", with multiple countries involved. My confidentiality agreement forbids me to give more details, but it's really interesting.

Anyway, please feel free to dig through the archives in the meantime.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Oh my, my, where to start?

**** This post has been updated below ******

Please note: I have only highlighted spelling errors, but have not corrected the punctuation (or rather, the lack thereof).

Anonymous said...
Wow its funny how your so against tv ( I am too ) but you spend just as much time bloging, reading comments, reading other blogs and leaving comments. You will say its different but really it takes just as much time to do all that stuff as it does to watch a tv show. So if your sitting at the computer screen or the tv what's the difference. It's still not spending time with the kids. And you have said that you watch all the dugger episodes online, again tell me the difference? Your bloging instead of spending time with your kids. You will say well I only do it when they are sleeping, so why would it be wrong for a husband and wife to watch a Andy, or dugger episode after the kids have went to bed? Should I just look at stuff online and thats different? The internet can be a useful tool but bloging is just so stupid I am no longer going to read blogs and wast my time. I've relized how much time it takes away from my day. The Bible says your life is like a vapor, I don't want to waste anymore of it on worthless blogs. Blogging and all this networking has gottwn way out of hand! We don't have a computer, we have internet on our phone to look up stuff, but it cannot access porn sites or other horriable dangers, and advertisements that are bad that pop up on GOOD websites. I know you can put protection on it but there doent seem to be any good enough for computers. When your children get older they may have a time where they sneek on the computer and they see things they shouldn't. You say well i can see they history, its to late by then. And another thing why would you post pics of your children for the world to see on the internet, there are some real creeps out there that could easly find you because you have put your church and city where you are on here, so be careful. Thoes people who don't post such info are smart! I don't want to post my life on the world wide web its just so stupid.
March 8, 2010 8:13 AM


I was thinking someone might raise the objections you mentioned, because they are quite common. It is too bad, though, that your grammar, spelling, and style leave so much to be desired, because it really takes away from what little power your arguments may have had.

But to answer your questions, I think there is a vast difference between reading or writing and watching TV. The latter requires no effort on the part of the recipient whatsoever. People who read/write blogs, or search the internet for information, are no different than someone obtaining that same information from actually printed materials. The only difference is that they are getting it off a screen rather than a piece of paper.

Surely nobody would argue that reading a book is as detrimental to one's ability to think clearly as sitting in front of a TV is. There have been numerous studies showing how the right and left halves of our brains are negatively affected by watching clips on TV. There's just something about pictures coming at you at a rate of 24 frames per second that lulls the human brain into a stupor. Such is not the case when looking at a website, which is a single image on a screen.

Now I do agree that some people will waste their time on a computer, but they could just as easily waste it on the phone, or on any other hobby they have. It's not the technology that's bad, it's the unwise use of time.

As far as watching something like the Duggar episodes online, I agree that technologically, there is no difference to watching it on TV.

However, there are no commercial breaks, which is the only thing I would find objectionable about those episodes. Since they are 20 minutes total every week (that's 3 minutes per day on average), I doubt such little time would have the same detrimental effect on someone's brain as watching TV for 270 minutes per day would. I mean, if we should NEVER see video footage, we shouldn't even watch recordings of our own families. It's silly. But nobody would think to sit and watch home videos for 4 1/2 hours every day, and if they did, it would be detrimental to their physical and mental well-being.

This post was not about discussing if there is any difference between spending 20 minutes per week watching one episode on a TV screen versus on a monitor. I was addressing the average daily time that Americans watch TV.

You are right in that I only blog and use the computer when the kids are sleeping, my husband is not home, and my housework is done. For me, blogging is a hobby, and the internet is a tool to gather and share information. My blog has had an impact in many people's lives because of the issues it exposes. I don't see a difference between writing a book with the same information in it, or a blog, except for the fact that the latter is more readily accessible.

As far as bad things popping up on good websites, this is such a hoax. I mean, maybe you consider websites "good" that I would consider questionable and therefore avoid, because I have NEVER had anything weird pop up on the sites I frequent. I challenge you to even give me one example of a wholesome website with a questionable popup. As far as ads go, I use Firefox with ad-block plus, so I never see any ads.

The internet is like a library. There is a lot of bad stuff there, but you have to seek it out intentionally to get it. With TV, it's just dished up for you, and you don't chose what might pop up on screen next.

Your argument about my kids gaining access to the computer and misusing it is so laughable. If the only thing that stands between my kids and porn is some software, I have really failed in my role as a parent. My kids will not look at porn for the same reason I don't - because it is wrong, and I don't have the least desire to go down that road of wickedness and debauchery. By your arguments, maybe you would just handcuff your child(ren) permanently and lock them into their rooms, since that would be the only way to make sure they wouldn't be tempted to do anything wrong.

I am sorry to hear your life is so stupid you don't want to post it on the world wide web, as you stated in your last sentence.

And should you decide to leave more comments in spite of the fact that you hate reading blogs, here's a tip: if you highlight what you wrote, and then right-click on it, you can select "Check Spelling" and save yourself some embarrassment. Of course, it wouldn't help you with mix-ups such as "your" instead of "you're" or "they" for "their", but it would be a start. Maybe you should crack open an English book and read instead of watching "Andy".


Edited to add:
Less than one hour after publishing this post, I received the following comment from the original commenter. I do not regularly get on the computer during the day, but when this popped up on my phone, I laughed so hard I just had to share it with everyone else:

Wow a whole post just on my comment how special. Oh where to start, I find it so funny that you call yourself a Christian and are so nasty, I was in a hurry and no the phone I am on doesn't have spell check, yes I should be more careful with that because that's the frist thing you point out and want to dismiss what I write. but I could go back to your postings and find many grammer and spelling errors, and I have. Your not as perfect as you claim to be. What was the verse about the mote in your own eye? I'm sorry I didnt know your kids were perfect and not sinners like the Bible says we all are and they cant mess up. I know good christian homes where this has happened. so I would want to protect my kids and not just asume they will be perfect all the time. And watching tv for 20-30 mins once a week is no different then watching a Dugger episode like you. sorry I didn't capitalize their name last time and you got so offended. Feel free to take more time to spell check my post. I never said I thought it was ok to watch tv for hours so I dont know where you got that from? well I wont go on and on but I did think your response was funny. And my life isnt stupid but I dont want my children all over the internent and other stuff. Why is it that no one can have a different opion from yours and you are so cold and nasty to people. From your other post you seem to think your better then everyone eles. I've got news for you the KJ Bible says we are all sinners and we all can get saved. The 2nd greatest commandment is to LOVE others as yourself! You say comments don't bother you, but you did a whole post on mine, buy yeah I can see how this post is going to "change peoples lives"

I think the comment speaks for itself. The only thing I want to add is this: why does this person, who hates reading blogs and commenting on them, check my blog so frequently, and leave me lengthier comments than I leave for all blogs that I read cumulatively in one month? And for thinking that I am a nasty Christian, she sounds a little nasty herself, dontchathink? I do seem to remember her leaving me a nasty comment to begin with, and me merely responding to her concerns.

I received another anonymous comment a few minutes later, I'm guessing from the same person:

So when some creep finds out where you live and comes and attacks you while just you and your kids are home you will do what? This has happened! And some creep could have a pic of your kid gross!

What would I do if they attacked me or the kids? I wouldn't let it come to that, because I would put a bullet through them before they could get their hands on us. I have a concealed weapons permit and carry a gun whenever out and about. I hope I never have to use it, but I would not even think twice about doing so if I had to. In the house, the guns are safely stored out of the kids' reach, who would never ever dream about touching them because they have been properly trained, but they are readily available to me should I need them. Yet, all that aside, I rely on God to keep us safe.

If my husband lived a less public life, nobody would seek out a random family like us, because they would not even know we existed. But because he does live a public life, people already know who we are, what our kids look like, etc. I am not living in a bubble. God can keep me alive in any situation, and if He thinks it's time for me to go, then I can't do anything to stop that, either. I do consider myself a very protective and responsible mother.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Skiing Again?! part two

The chairlift for the green circle could only carry two people per car. So I had to go with a stranger who was nice. I told him all my adventures on the blue square and my first time skiing(Dad told me not to tell anyone that it was my second time skiing,[he said that when we were about to{the chairlift to the blue square said that it was not for beginners}go on the blue square]but I thought this was an exception). When we got off, we went on one called Bambi. It was easy, but I CAN NOT turn while skiing. So when a sharp corner came, an instant natural crash. Dad flew past me,but he had to stop quite soon. When we got to the end of Bambi, Dad wanted to go on one called Log Run, but he missed the turn. So we got on Hart Prairie(I didn't miss-spell that hart), a gnarly green circle (the blue square I skied was the easiest blue square, and hart prairie was the hardest green circle,so they were the same)that was very steep. Then I was supposed to turn toward where the lodge and stuff was, but I thought it was farther on. I notice that the chairlift was where I thought I needed to stop,but I thought that that was where the gear returns were.After traveling on the snowfield I was on I here a call...

I had blown past the returns at 50m.p.h., and finally stopped a quarter mile away from Dad and Isaac! I had to walk in ski boots (thats hard,believe me,especially when I'm this young),carrying my heavy skis. When I finally got to the returns, I plopped on the bench. On the way home, we got soda at Bun Huggers. We also got two foot long hot dogs and and a burger a half foot in diameter. It was overal a fun trip.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Our weird and wonderful children

A couple of weeks ago, I took the kids to story time at the library. When I looked over at Miriam, I noticed her sitting in her chair, listening intently to the story, while pretending to nurse the baby she had brought along. She was just completely in a world of her own. Very discreet, too.

When the baby was done, she burped it, like any good mommy would.

Solomon, at age 8, is still a total sweetheart. Maybe it's because nobody has ever taught him, in school or otherwise, that loving your mom is not cool. Not to say that he is a mommy's boy, because he really isn't.

The other day, he really wanted me to try out the way he had made his bed, but I wasn't about to climb up into the top of his loft bed. So instead, he moved it all onto the floor of his room, and came and told me: "My goal is to cuddle you". Very goal oriented. It cracked me up. He had even laid an extra blanket down because he figured I wouldn't want to lie on a hard floor. Of course, it was still hard, but I didn't let that on. He tucked me in and then wanted me to nap on his floor while he offered to hold down the fort in the meantime.

This is John. John is very weird in a funny sort of way. He's just always been a ham . I wish I could write down all the strange and wonderful things he says every day. Today, he asked me if it was "detrimental to his health to drink pickle juice". He was wondering because, after having polished off a whole jar of pickles, he then had also started spooning the pickle juice into his mouth.

Part of his gig is to never not be wearing a costume. He literally never goes one day without dressing up in some form. In his world, every reasonable person wears goggles for breakfast.

I think one of the most wonderful things about kids is the unexpected little funny things they do that brighten every single day. I would love to be able to bottle up and save all that joy and laughter for a rainy day.

Friday, March 5, 2010

TV Turnoff Resources

I found this helpful list on another blog. There is a lot of great info, as well as some shocking statistics, on many of these sites.

Isaac's birthday

Isaac's birthday was four days after Miriam's, but because I have already shared some of her pictures we will not go chronologically. I'll put up more pictures of Miriam's actual birthday and of their knights/princesses party another time.

Very typical of Isaac, who is an early riser as it is, he had gotten up long before the sun or the rest of the family on his birthday. I woke up to the sound of him tearing open his presents.

We all had fun playing with the set of Lincoln Logs he got, and then we had a special breakfast that Isaac had picked out. Of course, school was canceled in honor of one of the happiest days in my life, and we went to Chuck E. Cheese instead.

We played for a couple of hours and came home to enjoy some yummy lunch, again Isaac's choice - hot dogs wrapped in a tortilla and fried. That's why birthdays only come once a year :)

This picture is not from his birthday, but I love the way it came out.

A few days after it was taken, he lost one of his top front teeth, which has left him with a really cute gap in his million-dollar smile.

My husband's gift to Isaac was that he was going to take him skiing up North for the first time. Isaac, being the nice guy that he is, also wanted Solomon to come along, rather than having some rare one-on-one time with Dad, something that made Solomon very happy. They had a good time skiing, although I think it wore my poor husband down a bit trying to take two young beginners at the same time. Solomon had only been once before.

I can't believe how fast my baby is growing up! Seems like just yesterday that he was born. Isaac is such a wonderful blessing, we could never imagine life without him again. He is like a ray of sunshine, always into some sort of mischief, but so irresistibly cute and funny. My only regret is that I can't have many, many more of him.