Saturday, October 18, 2008

Psalm 103:3-5

All His benefits:
who forgives all your iniquities,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from destruction,
who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
who satisfies your mouth with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Check out the order of "His benefits."
First is the forgiveness of sins.
From that flows healing, and life, a crown of His mercy, and the Supper which is the medicine of immortality.

For where there is forgiveness of sins,
there is also life and salvation.

It's almost like Luther got the catechism out of the Bible.

The Perfect New Grandma

When I first became a new mama, my mama came to help. I know lots of grandmas (especially first-time grandmas) want to be there when then baby is born: to snuggle, and to love, and to hold, and to feed, and to help. I'm not about to deny that Mom wanted to come meet her new grandbaby and snuggle and love.

But she really was a huge HELP. Unlike many new grandmas, she didn't take over the baby. Instead she waited on me. She made sure the food was cooked and the laundry was done and the dishes were washed. She brought me a small glass of wine and a freshly diapered baby when it was time to nurse. She made sure the fridge and pantry were not missing items. Before she returned to the care of her own family, she made sure the floors were vacuumed and the bathrooms were cleaned.

Overall, she didn't do much to take care of the baby. She left that job to me and Gary. When I tried to pin on a diaper, and it looked like it surely wouldn't stay on that child more than 5 minutes, and would surely leak like crazy, she gave me some pointers on how to pin it on a little better. But mostly she just encouraged me that I'd get better at diapering with practice. Being a lactation consultant, she knew not to sneak bottles into Rachel even though I'm sure she would've liked to have fed her granddaughter. Instead, she made sure I knew that I could nurse that child just dandy, and gave practical pointers when necessary. Being a nursery nurse, she also knew what to do with a jaundiced newborn (put that kid in a sunny window!) and that breastfed babies were usually more jaundiced anyway (in other words, chill out) and how much jaundice would be too much for us to deal with at home.

My mom was the PERFECT new grandma.

I hope I can do the same for Katie next month, leaving the parenting to Alia's parents, and just doing the slave-duties of waiting on the new mother and alleviating her of all her "non-mommy" housewife-duties.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Ring on Her Finger

Happy dances!
Joyful laughter!
Glee abounds!

Robert is going to be a permanent part of our family! My sister sure does have good taste in men! And I must say, Robert picked a great gal in Karen, too!

Oh boy
oh boy
oh boy
oh boy!

The Reasons We Want Obama

My son-in-law pointed out to me a YouTube video that makes you question whether some people are voting for Obama because of his stand on the issues or because of the color of his skin.

In a way, it's not a fair video because I'm sure you could come up with examples of McCain supporters who are just as clueless. But this is even more shocking than when Kelly Pickler thought Europe was a country and that they speak French in Budapest.

"100" -- Neighbors' Gardens

81. SWEET ALYSSUM is the first annual I grew when we moved into our first parsonage. I really like how it mounds and fills in with those tiny flowers.

82. The reason I know GERANIUMS is because Mom usually had some red ones in a pot on the front porch.

83. I may not be great at recognizing garden flowers, but BEGONIAS have that unmistakable waxy look.

84. PANSIES are one of my favorites!

Paul's Visit

On Wednesday evening, Paul arrived home for fall mid-term break.

But it was this morning that I REALLY could tell he was home. I got out of the shower and was greeted by Rick Astley singin' away from YouTube. Yup yup yup, that for sure means Paul's home!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"100" --Cypress Family

78. ARBORVITAE has flat scaly leaves which are more filled-in than the cypress. These often grow rather tall and thin-shaped. We used one for our Christmas tree last year when we'd run out of properly-sized pines and firs in my tree patch.

79. CYPRESS also has flat, scaly leaves/needles, but it looks much lacier than the arborvitae.

80. JUNIPER is the prickliest of the cypress family, with short, stiff, sharp needles. The "berries" (which are actually cones, although they look similar to tiny grapes or tough blueberries) are used in some cooking and are what gives the flavor to gin.

Cell Theory

Our biology song for the week is "Living Things." (This is not a "Christian" science program nor is it creationist.) The song teaches about the characteristics that make something alive (able to reproduce, move, grow, respond to a stimulus, carry on metabolic activity), the different levels of organization of life, and the different metabolic activities. The song also has the lines
Living things are made up of cells...
All cells come only from other living cells.
This is what's called the cell theory.

So Andrew asks, "What do the evolutionists think about the cell theory?" Well, the cell theory is one of the most basic theories of all biological science. You can't do ANYthing without its foundations. So of course evolutionists accept the cell theory.

But the cell theory says "all cells come only from other living cells."


So I did a little internet surfing. Surely NO scientist could deny the cell theory. Most websites just stated the cell theory as is; a few had the caveat that the cell theory has held solid "except for the first cell which originated from non-life." The website I found funny interesting was from Nature. It stated,
With the theory of evolution, the cell theory is the most important generalization in biology. There is, however, a missing link between these theories that prevents an even more general and unifying concept of life.

A missing link?
In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.
That's from John 1.
(And check out the verse preceding it too.)

Psalm 14: The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Single-Issue Voting

Single-issue voting is normally considered a bad thing to do. After all, there are so many issues of importance.

My son-in-law made an interesting observation last week. I may agree with Candidate A on abortion and disagree with him on economics and size of govt and education and other issues. I may disagree with Candidate B on abortion, but agree with him on a plethora of other issues. Do I vote for Candidate B because I agree with him on most issues, or do I vote for Candidate A who may really botch up a lot of things I want done (or not done) in the capitol? Nathan's point was that, as Christians who are willing to lay down our life for the brother, wouldn't it make sense that we be willing to sacrifice our desires for how the govt is run, and vote instead for the protection of the LIFE of others?

When he puts it that way, it seems obvious!

There are other things to consider, of course. Sometimes voting for a pro-life candidate who's a member of the party with the pro-choice platform will actually backfire by tipping the balance of who is in charge of committees and scheduling hearings. There's also the observation that Congresses and presidents who are pro-life have not managed to outlaw abortion; but it is good to have lawmakers who will at least hold the line on obscenities such as killing the child who lived through a "botched abortion."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Outdoors Today

Blue sky. A few white, wispy cirrus clouds. Lots of green still left, but oranges and yellows and browns and reds in the trees too. Just a touch of light breeze, a little cool without a jacket and a little warm with a jacket. (For you Miss Congeniality fans, it was definitely an April-25th sort of day.)

And there I was, out walking for exercise. Not cooped up in a cubicle. Not stuck inside a store. But free to leave children with their schoolbooks and go exercise for a short while ... even if it did make my legs ache from putting heretofore unused muscles to work. I need to enjoy these luxuries while they last. I suspect that sometime within the next 5 years I will no longer be free to do such things, so for now I will soak up the pleasure while it lasts and be grateful to the husband who makes it possible.

Later we biked to chapel. Maggie was pokey. SO pokey. The more I slowed down to let her catch up, the further behind she got. I finally stopped and waited for her. When she caught up, I saw her back tire was flat. Not low. Not very low. But flat as flat could be. What to do? I couldn't very well leave a little girl sitting on the side of the road for twenty minutes, waiting for me to ride back home to fetch the van or a tire pump, or both. We continued on to church. After prayers, I figured I would go fetch the van for the Maggie-girl and the bicycle. And you know what? Andrew offered to stay with her. Can you believe how sweet that is!?! I'm sure she would've been okay staying there by herself: it was at church, after all. But he stayed and I'm so proud of his kindness!

WHEN Then?

"It's not a useful time to be running an ad that says the guy consorts with terrorists," Biden said, as quoted in an article about the content of campaign advertisements.

So now is not a useful time. I suppose it's better that we learn AFTER the election that Obama consorts with terrorists? Of course. It's always better to discover pertinent information AFTER you make your decision and are stuck with it. Of course.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Blast from the Past

Great movie!

Rachel told us about this. She said if we liked Enchanted, we would like this. The movies were both written by the same guy (one of Matt's relatives).

The basic scenario is that this man was born in a fallout shelter in 1962. He was locked in with his mom and dad until 1997. He lived in a happy and functional family. He was mannerly. At the end of the 35 years, his father went up to the world and concluded that the society he discovered up top was mutated from the nuclear fallout. So he decided they needed supplies and were staying in the shelter for another 10 years. The son went to fetch the supplies. Incidentally, it would be nice to have a wife too. And thus begins the story of a nice nice guy who meets modern society where men don't hold doors for the ladies and everybody has credit cards and computers will fit inside a house.

There was some language in the film (as we see what modern society is like) and some "adult situations" that were not in the movie but were part of the background of the story, but overall it's about as sweet and funny and innocent a story as you could hope to find ... not unlike Enchanted.

Kitty's Eyes

Poor Athena. We've noticed evidence of her eyesight deteriorating. Today I was sitting out at the picnic table, doing some paperwork. She came out to sit by me and be petted. (Okay, that may not surprise most readers, but the kids who lived at my house will say, "WHO?? Athena? She came to cuddle outdoors??") Then she noticed motion. Something was moving. Miss Huntress-Extraordinaire had to go get it. But after some stalking, she finally got close enough to see that the prey was a small flag from the gas company marking the underground pipeline. What a disappointment for the kitty who needed a bon-bon of sparrow or gopher. But also sad for me to see her struggles. What I find amazing is that she is still such a fantastic huntress in spite of her increasing blindness.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Rug Repair

When Paul's roommate quit at Bethany and transferred to another college, he had the audacity to take his rug and furniture with him! (Can you believe it?) Well, Paul was mentioning a while back that it would be nice to have a rug ... until he found out how much they cost.

It so happens that I have this well-loved woolen braid rug that my grandma made by hand. It has been stored for a very long time. But there are children o' mine that spent many hours using the braid rug as a track for Hotwheels racing.

In desperate need this afternoon of soaking up the last of the sun's rays [Mom, what was that book with the mouse who soaked up the sun so that he could tell the group in winter about the rainbows and the breezes and the sun?] I hauled the rug out to the driveway. I've dragged it out there before with intent to repair it, but never got around to it. (People can make some pretty bizarre comments when they stop by and find a "carpeted" driveway!) Today I sewed up many many places where the braids were unraveling from each other. It took hours and hours, but the rug is no longer falling apart!

(Hey, do any of us know the location of the little metal jobbies that Nanna used for folding in the unfinished edges of the wool strips while she was braiding? Like as if I have the time and inclination to be braiding rugs??? Still, I'd hate to see those get tossed in the current decluttering efforts in central Illinois.)

Now we have to decide whether Paul gets the rug in his dorm room or if I get it in the laundry room.


Fear Of Missing Something.
In an attempt to give myself more time for things around here, I am confronting my FOMS and have resigned myself to missing the homeschool retreat next week in Ft Wayne, have made myself delete some Looper posts unread (ouch!), and unsubscribed to about 1/3 of the blogs I read (ouch again!). I have also once again steeled myself against the temptation to join Facebook. I am hoping to be able to learn to control my computer time without having to totally ban myself from online friends.


Two months ago, I quit jogging because of ramifications it was having for my health. After five weeks, the problems began to subside, presumably because the jogging was exacerbating certain unrelated problems. Oh, I sure did love having that half hour of free time each day. But I kept wondering what would happen to other aspects of my health (say, oh, lung capacity, energy levels, mood, endurance, etc) if I knocked off the daily outdoor jogging. Sure enough, I'm beginning to feel the repercussions of not-jogging now. Darn it -- I hurt if I jog and I hurt if I don't. That stinks.

Today I tried Sandy's race-walking again. I jog SO pitifully slow and shuffly that two miles of race-walking didn't take me any longer than my two miles of jogging. It sure is hard to keep my feet on the ground. It made me suck a lot of air and breathe deeply -- one of my main goals for exercising. Right now, though, I am sure feeling it in my hip joints. Yikes -- there are different muscles used in race-walking that are left flabby from jogging, and I'm going to be noticing those muscles and joints while they try to get "up to speed."