Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Birthday, Honey!

Yesterday was Casey's birthday. Isn't he gorgeous? And aren't my kids cute?

Thanks for putting up with all this chaos with me, sweetie! And for digging that leaf out of Christian's mouth:)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Talking about what we're thankful for...

We hung up our thankful quilt today. I'm really proud of myself for not waiting until the last possible minute for this...
My camera is awful so you can't really see how gorgeous this paper is - it's Martha Stewart's classic woodland scrapbook paper from the friendly neighborhood walmart. The blocks that look solid in the picture (cursed camera!) actually have a very pretty quilted design on them. Each day we will take a square down and write what we're thankful for (leaving space for Daddy to add his after supper).
Today's list....
I am so thankful for Casey's hard work.
Levi is so thankful for Rover (his stuffed dog).
Brenna is thankful for mommy.
Jack is so "sankful" his mommy loves him:)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The kids and I went to Veteran's Day celebration at the Georgia War Veterans Home. It was wonderful. First of all, the kids behaved. That alone usually qualifies as a win for me. But the ceremony itself was very moving and it was a great opportunity to talk to the kids about things that don't always come up in every day conversation. Levi asked lots of questions afterwards...we talked about POWs and amputations and sacrifice. They were all very impressed with the ROTC squad from the local high school. I was too, they were good.
Growing up in a military family, I think I'm especially passionate about our country. I still tear up any time I hear God Bless the USA. It was released (or re-released?) when my dad was in Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War and I just don't ever hear it without getting choked up.
I was so proud when the M.C. called out the branches of service for recognition. After each one I would tell the kids which people in our family were or are in that branch. It helped the kids to put a face on what we were honoring.
I hope that I can pass my love for this country on to them. I hope that I don't let my own discouragement or disillusionment get in the way of teaching them what makes this country great.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Christian's first haircut

We took the boys to get haircuts yesterday and I almost cried. In public, y'all. I don't think I've ever been so emotional about a first haircut... I love that he's growing up, I do, it's just that I have loved his baby time so much! But all my boys are growing up and that's exciting, too. Christian and Jack are sharing some clothes already. Sharing is not Jack's strong suit so this is good practice.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Being Pro-Life means doing something

More than ever we need to be working towards a culture of life. This is a list by Randy Alcorn that I've passed out at church several times, but I don't think I've ever linked to it here. Instead of just linking to it, I think it's important enough to post the whole thing here. Read through it and pray God will show you which ones He's calling you to, that's what I'll be doing.

50 Ways To Help Unborn Babies and Their Mothers
By Randy Alcorn

Please Note: This article was written for the first version of my book ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments (1992). The book was revised and expanded in 2000 so the references to Appendices are different depending on which version of the book you have. The abbreviation PLA stands for ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments. References to the smaller prolife book published in 2004, Why ProLife? have also been added.

Direct Personal Involvement

1. Open your home to a pregnant girl. Help her financially, emotionally, and spiritually.
2. Open your home to an unwanted child for foster care or adoption.
3. Volunteer time with organizations helping pregnant women, newborns, drug babies, orphans, the handicapped, elderly, street people, and others in need. Personal care is the most basic prolife activity.
4. Establish a pregnancy counseling and abortion alternative service that offers free pregnancy tests, counseling, and support. You can often get the very first listing in the Yellow Pages as Abortion Alternatives, which precedes Abortion Services. (For help getting started, see "Abortion Alternatives and Support For Women" in Appendix D or K, Prolife Resources, PLA.)
5. Donate materials, office equipment, furniture, baby clothes, professional services, and money to Pregnancy Resource Centers, Birthright, Bethany Christian Services, and other prolife groups.
6. Teach your children and other young people how to say no to premarital sex. Teenage sexual abstinence is not only psychologically healthy, it is the only sure way to prevent teen pregnancies. (Josh McDowell's Why Wait? and How to Teach Your Child to Say No to Sexual Pressures, and James Dobson's Preparing for Adolescence are helpful resources. See also the "Prochastity Curricula" listed in Appendix D or Appendix K, PLA).

Educating Yourself and Others
7. Become thoroughly informed about the abortion issue. Read ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments or the condensed version, Why ProLife? There are many other fine prolife books and videos as well as excellent—and usually free—prolife newsletters. (See Appendix D or K, PLA.) There are a large number of quality prolife websites. The one I highly recommend is .This website is one of a kind, cutting edge, informative and appealing in its presentation. Know the facts so you can rehearse in advance the best responses to the prochoice arguments. Be prepared so no opportunities are missed.
8. Talk to your friends, neighbors, and coworkers about the abortion issue. Challenge them to rethink their assumptions, and to be careful not to buy into an illogical or morally untenable position. Give them a copy of this book, with some pages marked for their attention. (Refer women who have had abortions to Appendix A, PLA, "Finding Forgiveness after an Abortion".) Use this book to read and discuss in a class or small group.
9. Volunteer your services as a prolife speaker for schools and church groups. Use the arguments laid out in this book as your presentation outline. Approach a church or Christian school and offer to teach a course in Prolife Logic and Action.
10. Call in and speak up on talk shows, and ask for equal time on television and radio stations that present the prochoice position. They often welcome a variety of positions. To say nothing is to endorse what is often an unchallenged prochoice bandwagon.
11. Students: Write papers, make speeches, and start a campus prolife group. See "Organizing a Student Prolife Organization" under Books on Prolife Strategies in Appendix D or K, PLA.
12. Display attractive prolife posters and information at your office or shop. You may lose a little business, and gain a little. But the truth will be served, and some innocent human lives will be saved.

Literature, Visuals, and Advertising
13. Order and distribute prolife literature. Have it displayed or available at your place of business. Leave it on your coffee table. Distribute literature door to door to influence opinion. An attractive piece left on each porch on a Saturday morning will be read by many. In some areas every home distribution has radically changed community sentiments about abortion. (See Appendix D or K, PLA, for a list of the best literature.)
14. Donate prolife books and magazine subscriptions to public and school libraries. They are usually well-stocked with prochoice literature—point out that you just want to provide a little balance and make sure the other position isn't censored.
15. Use a pre-made prolife slide presentation, assemble your own, or buy a video tape, and offer to show it in schools, churches, to your neighbors and government representatives. (See Appendix D or K, PLA.)
16. Wear prolife symbols, precious feet pins, buttons, and shirts ( sells some attractive prolife apparel). These often stimulate conversations. Use prolife bumper stickers or lawn signs. Place prolife stickers on letters. More than a dozen people see the average piece of mail. (See Appendix D or K, PLA.)
17. Place newspaper ads, bench ads, and billboard posters. Attractive pre-made ads and beautiful full-size billboard posters are available. (See Appendix D or K, PLA.)

18. Write letters to the editor. Be courteous, concise, accurate, and memorable. Quote brief references cited in ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments. Some local newspapers have a policy of printing every letter to the editor. The opportunity for influence is enormous. Letters to the editor in a major national magazine may be read by a million people.
19. Compile a list of names, addresses, and phone numbers of politicians, newspapers, television stations, hospitals, and others in your area that people can contact to express their prolife views. Distribute them widely.
20. Select the most strategic measures and issues and host a prolife letter-writing party. People can help each other compose informed and succinct letters to the right people and places. Since legislators and others assume there are a hundred others who feel the same way for every one that writes, there is considerable impact from each letter.
21. Write letters of encouragement to the sometimes tired and discouraged prolife activists.

Personal Conversation
22. Refuse any indirect or business support of abortion clinics, and explain your refusal. Boycott proabortion companies, landlords of abortion clinics, and businesses that share space with abortion clinics and abortion-promoters such as Planned Parenthood. Explain your reasons nicely, and they will often take you seriously.
23. Contact physicians and hospitals that perform abortions and insurance companies that cover them and express your convictions. Be polite but firm, stating that you, your family, and your business cannot in good conscience patronize those who contribute to the killing of innocent children. Does your own physician perform abortions? Ask him; you may be surprised to discover he does. If so, tell him you must reluctantly change doctors. Is your doctor prolife? Encourage him to take a public stand and participate in local prolife events. Share this book with him and ask his opinion of it.
24. Talk to journalists about your concern that they accurately represent the prolife side in their reporting. Many have never heard an accurate presentation of the prolife position. Until we present it to them, how can we expect them to be fair? Highlight sections of this book for their interest. Many will read what you provide, and some may use the material in future articles.
25. Talk to teachers, especially junior high, high school, and college teachers. Express your desire that they understand and be able to represent the prolife position rather than ignore or distort it. Whatever a teacher believes is multiplied a hundred times over in his students and those they in turn influence. Give them a copy of ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments or Why ProLife? or other prolife books or videos. (See Appendix D or K, PLA.)

Political Action
26. Write to representatives and others in government at local, state, and national levels. Be respectful, legible, straightforward, brief, and nondefensive. Enclose attractive prolife literature. The more personal your letter the better. Pre-printed postcards are not as effective.
27. Personally phone or set up a meeting with your representatives to share your views on abortion. Groups of three are most effective. If possible include a prolife doctor or other professional. Be careful how you come across; show them prolifers are intelligent and rational.
28. Draft, circulate, and sign petitions for prolife ballot measures, school board members, and so on.
29. Run for political office, school board, or precinct chairman. Or stand by other prolife candidates with your time and money. The only possibility for there to be long-term restrictions on abortion is if our state legislatures have a prolife majority. Churches and prolife groups should identify and support character-qualified, knowledgeable, and skilled candidates.
30. Help a bright young prolifer through law school. Challenge him or her to set a goal of becoming a judge. The legal and judicial arenas, as well as the medical and political, desperately need intelligent and skilled prolifers.

Prolife Events
31. Picket abortion clinics, hospitals, and physicians who perform abortions. Write a brochure or fact sheet documenting their performance of abortions. When abortions are only part of their practice they are much more inclined to eliminate them to preserve their reputation in the community. But until they are exposed they usually won't stop.
32. Make prolife signs for yourself and others. Make them large and attractive, with concise messages such as: Abortion Kills Babies. Adoption, not Abortion. Every Child Is Wanted by Someone. Give Your Baby a Chance to Choose. Please Let Your Baby Live. Equal Rights for Unborn Women. She's a Baby, not a Blob. We Care; Talk to Us. We'll Help Financially If You'll Let Your Baby Live.
33. Organize or participate in a Life Chain, where hundreds or thousands of prolifers stand on public sidewalks and display signs supporting the unborn and opposing abortion. This is an extremely effective means of mobilizing prolifers and making a clear statement for the children. Many who begin with Life Chain will solidify a prolife commitment and get involved in future prolife activities. (See Life Chain under "Prolife Event and Action Organizations", in Appendix D or K, PLA.)
34. Join prolife rallies and marches to galvanize prolife efforts. Have walk-a-thons and other projects to earn money for prolife groups. Get your children involved. They'll love it, and it's a great education as well as a family activity.
35. Attend prochoice rallies as a counter-demonstrator. Be peaceful. The quiet presence of your group and your signs will make others think and lead to conversations with passersby.
36. Participate in peaceful nonviolent civil disobedience at the doorways of abortion clinics. Or do the legal sidewalk counseling, singing, or praying in conjunction with other prolife activities.

Abortion Clinic Strategies
37. Research and write a brochure on your local abortion clinic, citing specific lawsuits and health code violations, which are a matter of public record. Write a leaflet or brochure asking something like, "What Do You Know about the Third Street Abortion Clinic"? Make it neat and attractive, perhaps with a photo of the clinic on the front. Give this brochure to women coming to the clinic, neighbors, nearby businesses, and passersby. Include information from this book on physical and psychological risks of abortion. Or use pre-made brochures specially designed for women entering abortion clinics. (See Appendix D or K, PLA.)
38. Collect information and initiate lawsuits against abortion clinics. Place newspaper or billboard ads asking, "Problems after an abortion?" Give a local or national phone number to call for medical, legal, or emotional help. (1-800-634-2224, the American Rights Coalition, is already set up for this purpose.) Many abortion clinics have been shut down by successful lawsuits.
39. Hand out questionnaires and legal information to women entering and leaving clinics. Did you have a doctor-patient relationship? Did the doctor ask you for a complete medical history? Did he explain to you the possible complications of abortion? Did he show you a picture or explain to you the state of development of your unborn child? This will encourage them to reconsider their decision, to seek other counsel, or—if the abortion is over—not to come back for another abortion, and possibly to initiate legal action against the clinic. Include the number of an alternative pregnancy center where they can get complete and accurate information the clinic won't give them.
40. Keep new abortion clinics out of your community by informing the public, writing letters to council members, and contacting potential landlords and real estate agents. Abortion clinics mean loss of business and declining property values to everyone due to public sentiment and frequent demonstrations. Those who do not respond to moral reasoning often do respond to public opinion and even more to financial loss. It is usually easier to keep a clinic out of an area than to shut it down once it's there.
41. Rent space as close as possible to an abortion clinic or Planned Parenthood office and establish a pregnancy counseling clinic or prolife information center.

Influencing Your Church
42. Organize a prolife task force and target key church leaders for influence. Identify pastors and other strategic leaders and speak with them one by one. Give them literature and ask them to watch a video. Recruit prolife activists in your church who will help you formulate and implement a plan of education and mobilization. Ask your church leaders to include prolife activities and literature in the budget.
43. Set up a prolife table at church with the best prolife literature and materials. (See Appendix D or K, PLA.) The presence of the table itself is a vital reminder of the prolife cause.
44. Show in church services or classes prolife films and videos such as The Abortion Providers, The Hard Truth, and The Eclipse of Reason. Offer to pay the film rental yourself. (See Appendix D or K, PLA.)
45. Place a prolife newspaper ad, bench ad, or billboard with your church's name and phone number, offering your help to pregnant girls. (See Appendix D or K, PLA, for pre-made ads.)
46. Take your church bus to prolife activities. Many people who won't go alone will go with a group. Some will discover an aptitude for regular prolife ministry they would otherwise never have realized.
47. Have prolife emphasis Sundays, with special music, speakers, films, and literature. This should include, but not be limited to, the Sanctity of Human Life Sunday in mid-January. (Special bulletin inserts and materials are available from CareNet and Right to Life of Michigan,, listed in Appendix D or K, PLA.)
48. Bring prolife issues and opportunities to the attention of your pastor, Sunday school class, Bible study, or men's, women's, or youth group. Show them one of the videos listed in Appendix D or K, PLA. Provide relevant newspaper clippings and other information to inform your pastor and provide him with sermon ideas and illustrations. Give him ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments or Why Pro-Life? as a resource. Instead of expecting him to fulfill your prolife agenda, help him out by offering to be a resource and facilitator for him.
49. Start a group of sidewalk counselors from your church that go once or twice a week to talk to women outside abortion clinics. This is hard but rewarding work, and you need the camaraderie of others by your side. Some excellent sidewalk counseling materials are listed in Appendix D or K, PLA.
50. Pray daily for prolife ministries and victimized mothers and babies. Organize your own prayer group, perhaps combining prolife concerns with other vital needs, such as missions. Go to prolife rallies or sidewalk counseling and focus on the ministry of prayer. If the darkness of child-killing is to be overcome with the light of truth and compassion, it will require spiritual warfare, fought with humble and consistent prayer (Ephesians 6:10-20).
I don't know about y'all but I went to bed pretty disappointed last night. I haven't changed my mind one bit about what I believe is good for our country. But I woke up this morning with a new outlook. God has allowed this for a reason..."For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." (Jer 29:11)... Perhaps God is using this election and this new president to wake up His people. So many of the issues that I disagree with the new president about are Biblical, marriage, the very role of government. What I feel like this morning is that I've been waiting for a new president to come along and "save" our country - the very thing I've often accused Democrats of doing. Hmmn, humbling, huh? So it's time for me to ask myself what *I* am doing about these issues. Unless peoples' hearts are changed there will be no end to abortion, marriage and family will be redefined, we will continue more and more to rely on our government to do the things we should be doing for ourselves... As Christians we have to be tirelessly doing our part to show others what God's Word says.
With that in mind, I'll be praying for President Obama more than I've ever prayed for any other leader and I'll be praying for new opportunities to share Christ and do His will.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Going to vote

We brought our breakfast in case the lines were long but we went at a perfect time - there was no wait!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The past few weeks have been crazy. Not that we've been any busier, really, than usual. Actually from the outside I bet you couldn't notice any change. But boy I can feel it. Suddenly (or so it seems to me) our family is growing up. It's not that we're out of the baby phase - we'd be thrilled with a new baby! - but we aren't a family of babies anymore. Levi and Brenna and even Jack are old enough to really do things. I can give them a job and expect it to get done without standing over them. We can take them places and just enjoy them instead of feeling like a mama duck trying to keep all her ducklings in a row. It's very nice...

I just love this picture. I know it's technically not, well, good. The lighting is off and my camera is just really bad (dropped one too many times maybe?). But I like it:)

Casey and I took the kids to a new park our town has built down by the river on Friday for a picnic. After we ate, we walked along the path and wound our way down towards the river.

That bridge in the background is where we parked and that stroller in the foreground is where we parked Christian while he napped and we investigated the sandbar.

Then we came home and dressed up to Trick or Treat. Christian refused to wear his fireman hat (and Mommy refused to spend $20 on a better costume for a baby who could care less). The big kids had a ball though...

Levi was Anakin Skywalker (from The Clone Wars - not *regular* Anakin Skywalker), Jack was Batman and Brenna was a ninja. My girly girl with the drawers full of dress up costumes. But her ninja moves were quite awesome.
I just finished updating our "lesson plans" for the next few weeks - up to Christmas. I like to divide the year up into blocks of 6 weeks or so. That gives me a chance to adapt things pretty easily if we fall behind or get ahead. Now that I have the basics down I'm making holiday plans and working them into our school days. I'm so excited about the holidays this year - cocoa and reading Christmas stories and baking cookies...bring it on:)