09 November 2011

Letter to the OWS Protesters.

Belated Parental Advice to Protesters

By Marybeth Hicks

Call it an occupational hazard, but I can't look at the Occupy Wall Street protesters without thinking, "Who parented these people?"

As a culture columnist, I've commented on the social and political ramifications of the "movement" -- now known as "OWS" -- whose fairyland agenda can be summarized by one of their placards: "Everything for everybody."

Thanks to their pipe-dream platform, it's clear there are people with serious designs on "transformational" change in America who are using the protesters like bedsprings in a brothel.

Yet it's not my role as a commentator that prompts my parenting question, but rather the fact that I'm the mother of four teens and young adults. There are some crucial life lessons that the protesters' moms clearly have not passed along.

Here, then, are five things the OWS protesters' mothers should have taught their children but obviously didn't, so I will:

Life isn't fair. The concept of justice - that everyone should be treated fairly - is a worthy and worthwhile moral imperative on which our nation was founded. But justice and economic equality are not the same. Or, as Mick Jagger said, "You can't always get what you want."

No matter how you try to "level the playing field," some people have better luck, skills, talents or connections that land them in better places. Some seem to have all the advantages in life but squander them, others play the modest hand they're dealt and make up the difference in hard work and perseverance, and some find jobs on Wall Street and eventually buy houses in the Hamptons. Is it fair? Stupid question.

Nothing is "free." Protesting with signs that seek "free" college degrees and "free" health care make you look like idiots, because colleges and hospitals don't operate on rainbows and sunshine. There is no magic money machine to tap for your meandering educational careers and "slow paths" to adulthood, and the 53 percent of taxpaying Americans owe you neither a degree nor an annual physical.

While I'm pointing out this obvious fact, here are a few other things that are not free: overtime for police officers and municipal workers, trash hauling, repairs to fixtures and property, condoms, Band-Aids and the food that inexplicably appears on the tables in your makeshift protest kitchens. Real people with real dollars are underwriting your civic temper tantrum.

Your word is your bond. When you demonstrate to eliminate student loan debt, you are advocating precisely the lack of integrity you decry in others. Loans are made based on solemn promises to repay them. No one forces you to borrow money; you are free to choose educational pursuits that don't require loans, or to seek technical or vocational training that allows you to support yourself and your ongoing educational goals. Also, for the record, being a college student is not a state of victimization. It's a privilege that billions of young people around the globe would die for --- literally.

A protest is not a party. On Saturday in New York , while making a mad dash from my cab to the door of my hotel to avoid you, I saw what isn't evident in the newsreel footage of your demonstrations: Most of you are doing this only for attention and fun. Serious people in a sober pursuit of social and political change don't dance jigs down Sixth Avenue like attendees of a Renaissance festival. You look foolish, you smell gross, you are clearly high and you don't seem to realize that all around you are people who deem you irrelevant.

There are reasons you haven't found jobs. The truth? Your tattooed necks, gauged ears, facial piercings and dirty dreadlocks are off-putting. Nonconformity for the sake of nonconformity isn't a virtue. Occupy reality: Only 4 percent of college graduates are out of work. If you are among that 4 percent, find a mirror and face the problem. It's not them. It's you.

08 November 2011

So great of HSLDA!

HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Agency) is offering help to military families who are trying to homeschool!

What a great resource!

27 October 2011

8 Weeks

We are now in the 8th week of school and things have finally gotten into a groove.  We usually start school somewhere between 9-10am and usually are done for the day between 2-3pm.  With an hour break for lunch between 12-1.  So, for doing work with a 2nd grader, a 1st grader and a preschooler I'm only doing school actively for 4 hours a day.

We start our day off with Bible, all four kids come and say the Pledge of Allegiance, (some better than others) and then we usually sing/dance to a song or two.  Then we have the Bible verse, and doctrinal drill and some more songs.  We then have a Bible story.  Right now we are learning about Moses, and the Israelites flight into the desert.  We also pray, and the kids and I take turns leading the prayer, and then we usually close with a song.

Once Bible time is over the younger kids are sent to play in their rooms and I work with James and Jade on phonics and language rules.  Right now we're working our way through all the special sounds, and with sentence rules, suffixes and root words, and forming complete thoughts when writing.  During phonics/language time Jade listens but works on her phonics papers, which is usually only one or two papers.

Then we move on to spelling for James, we go over the spelling list and I help him figure out ways to memorize it.

Next is AM reading for James, then usually Jade, from books provided by abeka.

After reading we move on to writing papers, and we listen to pandora while the kids write.  When they are done writing James reads/recites his poem for the month.

We then have signing time, which either consists of watching the DVD, listening to the song or just reviewing the signs in that unit.

Then I explain the seatwork for James and go and make the younger two kids lunch, while James and Jade work on their seatwork.  I also eat lunch during this time, and then when I'm done eating I make James and Jade lunch and send the younger two to nap.

After lunch we do PM reading with both Jade and James, and I do anything I need to help Jade with.

After that is science, which right now is mostly just reading, and then we move on to arithmetic.  Right now in arithmetic we are still reviewing what was learned in 1st grade, addition and subtraction families, easy fractions, adding with 3 numbers and 2 digit addition and subtraction.

Then James does his reading homework, and any homework I assign extra (copying, spelling words etc) and we're done for the day!

It's working out well, and I think our schedule works well with what we're doing.  We go outside around 3ish and hang out with our awesome neighbors, and so the kids get some outside time before I start dinner.

The only thing I seem to have trouble finding time for is cleaning, but I'm sure that may get easier as the kids get older too.

20 October 2011

Why I choose to be an intactivist

My oldest son was born and to me there was no option but circumcision.  My parents even felt so strongly that he should be that they paid for it, because my insurance did not.  I took him in, and they held him down and I watched the procedure and the nurse yelled at me because he wouldn't take the bottle.  He wouldn't take the bottle of sugar water because he was breastfed and had never had a bottle, he was only a week old.  Plus, it probably had something to do with the fact that the doctor was cutting pieces of his skin away.  It horrified me, and I apologized to him over and over again after it was done.  After they handed him back to me, I went to my car and cried holding him and nursing him and I apologized over and over again for having put him through the procedure.

That was when I had decided that I wasn't entirely comfortable with circumcision. I figured I'd have Michael take care of the decision and the actual procedure if we had another son.

We had a girl next, but then we got pregnant with our third child, another son.

My husband and I lived separately at the time, because of an impending deployment.  We had discussed and decided on circumcision again, even though I wasn't entirely comfortable with the idea.  However, he did not have enough penile skin when he was born to do the circumcision, so the doctor suggested I hold off and we'd review the subject again when he was six months old.  I held off and at 6 1/2 months old he was approved for circumcision and two weeks later I was at the pediatric urologist and Steven was circumcised.  My father in law went in with him because I refused and I didn't want him to be alone, and I didn't want to be either.

I took Steven home, and he seemed fine.  He was crawling around, he didn't seem in pain or anything and I was glad.  Until I changed his first diaper.  It was about an hour after the procedure and his diaper was completely filled with blood.  I had my parents watch my two older kids and I called my in laws and my mother in law agreed to meet me at the ER.  I didn't stay in the waiting room too long, but when the doctor saw him he informed me that he had to call the urologist before he tried anything.  He also informed me, that even though my young, 7 month old son was bleeding, and it wasn't stopping that he'd seen much worse.  Which of course did not make me feel any better.

They left us in the room, for a total of six hours, without stopping the bleeding on my son, who was filling his diaper completely with blood about every hour and a half.  I kept thinking that if I had only held my ground my son would have never been cut and I wouldn't be in this position.  Eventually the ER doctor came back in, informed me that he had finally gotten a hold of the urologist and he suggested he stop the bleeding.  Genius.

He then proceeded to slather liquid adhesive all over my son's swollen penis and told me it was fine.  Allowing that to happen was mistake number 2.

I brought him home, bleeding stopped and thought to myself, now everything will be alright.  I was completely wrong.  I don't know what exactly the urologist did wrong, but I do know what the ER doctor did.

A week later I noticed that the swollen skin had started adhering to itself and was starting to grow up and covering the head of the penis.  I was concerned by it and so I brought him to his pediatrician.  He referred me back to the urologist and I went back to him and he informed me he'd never seen anything like that and he didn't know what to do and then left me in the room, officially dismissing me, and my son.

Three days after that I noticed that the skin was growing even more over the head of the penis, and that urine was starting to get caught underneath.  I tried to pull the skin back some and it hurt my son a lot and so I stopped, called my pediatrician and asked for a referral to a new urologist.  I got that one and was given steroid cream to use and to wait a week and see what happened.  I tried the cream for a little over a week and when it didn't work I went back in.  That urologist told me that surgery was the next step but that he refused to touch a child under the age of one.  I had to call my pediatrician and get a referral to yet another urologist.  This time I had to drive to Orlando and talked to a urologist who would do surgery to fix the problem on my son.  It was scheduled for a month later, when my son would be 8 1/2 months old.

Things began to go downhill, just a few days later Steven wouldn't stop screaming.  I tried everything I could to calm him down, and when I tried to nurse him I realized he screamed in pain every time I held him against me, so I checked his diaper and his penis was swollen up about twice its normal size.  The urine couldn't get out of the tiny hold that was slowly closing in over his penis.  The urine had made the skin swell and he was in a lot of pain.  I took him to the ER and they were able to get a catheter in and drain the urine.  Over the week I took him in the ER for them to cath him over 10 times.

I called his urologist, and talked to the surgery nurse who told me they just couldn't get him in earlier, and that I should just keep taking him into the ER.  I finally got an ER doctor who called the urologist and informed him that he couldn't even get a newborn catheter in to drain the urine.  I had already been in the ER twice earlier that day and that Steven needed surgery NOW.

They got an OR two days later for him.  I went to Arnold Palmer hospital at 6am and his surgery ended up being at 12:00 pm.  He couldn't nurse after midnight, and so I pumped twice once before he went in, and once during.

I was a nervous wreck during the surgery, not that I didn't think he wouldn't make it through, but that I knew that the reason he was put under, the reason he was having surgery to begin with was because I didn't go with my gut, I allowed something to happen to him that I didn't feel was necessary to begin with.  I know that if I had told my husband that I felt strongly that I didn't want him circumcised that he would have stayed whole, but I went along with it.  For over a week I watched my son scream in pain every time he attempted to urinate, leading up to a surgery.

When the doctor came out to tell me what he had seen during the surgery he informed me that it was good we had done it then rather than wait the full month because as it was the skin was completely infected, and that he had to literally cut all the skin away from the head of the penis.  The swollen skin had completely adhered to his glans.  He has a lot of scars all over his penis now, and he had to remove the infected skin, and so he has a slight chunk of skin missing, it's not as noticeable now as it was when he was younger, but it's still there.  He'll always have those scars.

I promised then that I would share my story with everyone I could, in order to educate, in order to teach.  I never even dreamed that anything like this could ever happen.  I was never told it was a possibility, not when he had the circumcision or when the ER doctor slathered the liquid adhesive on him.

I have two circumcised boys, and I am an intactivist.  My husband and I have no plans to have any more children, but if we do, and if we have a boy, we are both in agreement that he will remain intact, just like our other two boys should have been.

There will be a day in the future that I will sit my boys down and I will apologize to them both for not allowing the decision to be theirs, and I can only hope that when I do they will feel compelled to forgive me.

10 October 2011

Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street

Read the link.  I'm at a point that I'm left wondering, do these people really know what they are protesting?

These people with all their corporate gadgets, their books printed by corporate publishers, their iphone's, ipad's, ipods, android phones.  They are protesting capitalism, and yet they buy from capitalists.  Steve Jobs, RIP, was a capitalist!  He was RICH!  He worked hard and made a name for himself, and these people think it's unfair that he did the best he could and was rewarded for it?

Um, right.  There's logic.

I'm glad my children are not going to be seeing this going on.  I've said nothing about it to them, and I will wait until they are older to explain the immoral and depraved actions of many of the people there.  I will also teach them about how capitalism works, and how if you work hard everyone has the opportunity (notice the word opportunity not entitlement) to succeed!

This whole situation there makes me sick to my stomach.  And to think that our president supports this depravity doesn't surprise me, but it's horrifies me also.


03 October 2011

This may offend you....

And I really don't care.

Yes, this is a rant, and it's about something I read online.  So sue me.

For new mothers who may not know this, or for anyone who knows nothing about babies.  There is this thing called a growth spurt.  There is a period of time before this growth spurt that your baby will seem hungrier than normal.  It's because it's the biological signal in them that says, "hey I need to up the breast milk supply so that when I start growing I"m getting enough milk and nutrients to support that growth".  It does NOT mean you need to give them "other" foods instead of your milk.  If you give them rice cereal, which has NO real nutritional value because it is bleached (which just means it's been deprived of all the nutritional value).  So if you give them cereal to "fill them up" you are DEPRIVING your child of the nutrients they are supposed to be getting and you are not increasing your milk supply like you are supposed to.

A LOT Of times, when I hear women tell me they just didn't make enough, or their supply just couldn't keep up, it's around one of these growth spurt times and instead of just going with the increased amount of feedings, which generally only lasts, at the most a week, they give up thinking they don't make enough, or they start giving cereal because well meaning but ignorant people tell them to do so.

Thus breastfeeding doesn't work under the guise that they just didn't make enough milk, when really they did, and then they pass on the information about their "lack of supply" on to others who decide that must be the same thing.

Oh and I know I'm sure I'll offend someone here and I'm almost positive I've probably already offended someone on the group I'm on for talking about this, but like I said I really don't care.  My motivation behind this is for the well-being of the baby and not your feelings.

16 September 2011

I just realized...

That it's been three months since I updated about my reproductive system.  I'm sure so many out there may be interested in knowing, since my husband has been home for 5 months now if there's a baby on the way.

There is not.

Carry on.


12 September 2011

First Week of School

We are on our second week of school now  We started out pretty good!  Jade is actually doing her work, with minimal fussing from me.  She's excited to get smiley faces which will earn 30 min of game play of their choice.

James is doing pretty well with school, although he's not happy with having to review things because "I already know that"!  Now that we're getting back into the swing of things though, I can definitely see which are their favorite subjects.

This year when coming up with the schedule for the school day I made sure to break up likes and dislikes, taking both Jade and James into consideration, plus making sure there is enough stagger in the day that I can work one on one with Jade and Steven during the day.

So we're doing Bible first, starting the day off with something the kids enjoy.  All three of the older kids have to participate in that, then we move on to phonics.  Only James and Jade participate, Steven is allowed to go play for about an hour or so.  I give Jade her phonics paper to start with, and explain it to her, making sure she understands before moving on to James's lesson.  Jade, while doing her paper usually pays attention to James's lesson too (which is good since it's 1st grade reviewing still).

After phonics we have morning reading.  I have James read first, to give Jade more time to finish her phonics paper and start on her writing paper.  Then when James is done he finds his poem while Jade does her out loud reading.  Then Jade starts her writing paper while James reads his poem.

Then I give and explain the writing paper for James, and they both work on those, and about that time I put Willow down for her nap.

Once they are done with their writing papers we move on to signing.  We either watch the DVD, listen to the song (signing mandatory) or we go over all the signs covered in the lesson (which lasts 2 weeks).  All three children have to participate in the signing.

We then do the afternoon reading, this time Jade first, then James.

After signing we have seatwork time for James.  I explain all of his individual work to him and then let him get to it.  I then give Steven his two papers for the day, and we go over them, once he's working on his papers (coloring/tracing) I move on to Jade.  I go over the work she's already done and let her know what needs to be improved on and go over anything she may be having trouble with.  I give her her one page of seatwork and her Bible Friends coloring page to do.

About that time it's time to make lunch so while they are finishing up their seatwork I make lunch. Steven is then done completely for the day.

We break for lunch then, and when we come back we have science, which right now is reading out of  a book we got at Barnes & Noble called "The Solar System". Then I read Jade's science book. After science we move on to arithmetic.  I explain Jade's paper to her and she starts that while I do James's lesson.

After science James and Jade have to do 15 min of silent reading of a book of their choice.  They are then done with school.

We usually start about 9ish and we finish somewhere between 2-2:30pm with an hour break around 12-1pm for lunch.  Everything is not incorporated yet, we still have tests to factor in, and spelling lists, which will come in next week, and then at the 6 week mark James starts the abeka science.  Until then we'll use the solar system book to read from.

I have high hopes for this school year!

13 August 2011

Insomnia Sucks.

I have nothing really to post about, but I can't sleep so here I am.  We're getting pictures done in the morning and I'm going to look like hell too.  It's going to suck.  Oh well, I can't really do much about it.  I tried laying in bed for an hour and a half and couldn't fall asleep at all.  I'm almost tempted to put my contacts back in but I'm hoping that in a bit I'll be able to try again and fall asleep.

This blog post has absolutely no real theme or subject at the moment.

I got more done on the lesson planner, so that makes me happy.  I could probably be working on that, but without my contacts I'm blind, and I can type reasonably well, blind, but trying to write while blind doesn't always turn out so well.  I have to get way too close to the page and everything whereas typing comes more like a second nature really.  I've been typing so long that I don't even need my eyes open to type what I want.  I just know how to do it, without thinking.

Argh, I really wish I was able to get some sleep at the moment.  Really really.  Maybe I'll go take a shower and see if that helps.

28 July 2011

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Not a lot of people understand this syndrome, and scoff at it.  I look fine, I look normal and most of the time I can function like a normal person.  I have episodes.  Not everyone with CFS has episodes, there are many people who struggle with it for most of their lives, on a day to day basis.  I am in the middle of an episode right now.  There is no warning on when it will strike, or how long it will last or how bad it will be.  There are many different symptoms for CFS also, but the most common factor is the fatigue.  This isn't the normal, I haven't slept much so I'm tired, fatigue.  The fatigue I feel is not just physical but mental also.  I feel like I've been awake and function for days, if not a week or more with very little to no sleep at all.  Which isn't true.  I've been going to bed for the past week around 10:30-11pm and waking up around 7-7:30am.  I have been sleeping long enough, but for whatever reason my body is not responding to that sleep the way it's supposed to.  I made dinner last night, lasagna.  It took me 3 hours to make it.  I'll probably be paying for it for days for even attempting standing for that long, and certainly for the brain power of watching hulu, and trying to cook at the same time.

I was diagnosed with CFS at the age of 15 years old.  I got sick, I think it was the end of October of my freshman year of high school.  I couldn't stand for more than 5 minutes or I would get light headed and dizzy.  I would have nausea accompanied by migraines at least 3 days a week.I was poked, prodded, scanned, examined and no one could come up with anything.  One neurologist even tried to tell my Mom that I was making it all up.  My pediatrician finally managed to accumulate all my symptoms and found that I fit CFS almost perfectly, and thus I was diagnosed. That I believe was in January.  I was not better though, I struggled every day, my bones felt tired, moving around, just to walk to the bathroom was exhausting.  I sleep a lot those months, and honestly most of it was a blur, and I would wake up exhausted.  Sleeping took too much energy it seemed.  I didn't go out, except to go to church, and I did school with the county over the telephone.  I broke up with my husband, who I had been dating for a few months because it didn't seem fair to him to have a girlfriend he couldn't actually go out with.

By the summer I could do a little more.  CFS is easier to deal with, and improves easier if you're young than if it strikes while you're older.  I have only had a few episodes of it since that time, and I was affected by it for about 8 months.  My later episodes really only lasted about a month or two.  Nothing helps it, and I just have to try and do my best during the day.  It's a very frustrating feeling knowing that you're unable to move your body, or do things with your kids because of the exhaustion.  People call you lazy, and they don't believe that you're really affected by anything.  However, waking up exhausted, after sleeping for 9 hours, is NOT normal, and when it happens day after day, it's starts to really take it's toll on you.

This affliction affects many people who may not even know it, and it's hard.  I hope I can bring some understanding to people who may have had no idea about this syndrome, or who have maybe heard of it, but knew nothing about it.

26 July 2011

My conservative stance

I am a Republican.  I'm proud to be, I like the ideals that most (notice I didn't say all) of them stand for.

Taking from the GOP website itself, I'll address the issues, and explain what my personal opinion is.

1. National Defense-I'm not a fan of war, especially since it tends to take my husband away from me, however I am a supporter of a strong military force, putting money into the defense of our nation, and not backing down if a threat arises (ie we're attacked).  

2. Health Care-the website itself doesn't give a solution, and I have a feeling that's because there are many ideas out there to help fix the healthcare solution.  Government run healthcare is not a common sense solution to health care.  Our country is bankrupt, adding to it by making the country pay for everyone's healthcare is ludicrous.  I believe in a free market.  I think that if we had torn down state borders for insurance companies, and put doctor's/offices themselves as competition we may have seen prices for procedures go down and health insurance itself improve.  However we need to remember that some of those high tech machines cost a lot of money and experience to run and so we can't expect everything for free.  However, if doctors offices had to compete with each other, and insurance companies also with them, for those people who would pay out of pocket for services, prices would go down to be competitive.  Happens every time.

3. Energy issues.  I think the entire country can agree that oil is not the best source of energy, not only is it finite, but it can cause many problems, however, at the moment that IS the only main energy source we have.  To put restrictions on the drilling of oil is insane when we have no alternative sources.  We should be looking for other solutions of course, but I support oil drilling until those other solutions can be found.  I do have hope that one day we can remove ourselves from oil dependency, but until that day we should invest in what we have.  Not only will using our own oil lessen our dependency on the east, but it will lower gas prices, which I'm sure would make a lot of Americans feel better.

4. Schools.  Republicans support parental choice in schools.  I also support parental choice, however I think the public school system needs a major overhaul.  I think that all schools should be encouraged to do better than they have in the past, and that all students and teachers should be held accountable.  I think that homeschooling in every state should be supported, and be seen as a valid alternative choice for schooling.

5. Economy.  This is always a fun subject.  I'm spot on with the GOP.  A free market works.  It really does.  The economy is failing because the government has slowly been tearing away at the free market system, however, during the Reaganadministration, when the free market had its chance to flourish, it did. Yes, some regulations are needed, just like some laws, and some rules should always apply for things to be orderly but business should not be stifled by over-bearing regulations that put them out of business. I believe in lower taxes, and I believe in a straight across the board tax.  I think we should abolish tax brackets altogether.  Obviously, if we're all paying the same percentage of tax, those of us who make less will pay less, and those of us who pay more will pay more.  I also do not support most tax incentives or tax breaks.  I don't think the government should be allowed to use those to encourage behavior.

6. Courts. I believe in this branch of the government as professionals who are trained to know and be able to interpret the law, but not to make up their own laws as some have in the past and decide that what is in the constitution doesn't actually count because they personally disagree with it.

As a republican I believe in the right to pursue happiness; I do not believe that you have the right to happiness, you have the right to work hard to get there. It's not your right to be handed everything just because you were born.  You don't have the right to health insurance, a house, or money to pay your bills with.  Those are not basic human rights; your basic human rights are said best in the bill of rights.  Last time I checked, it said nothing about your right to receive a welfare check, or that the government has to take care of you.  The government should be there to protect us as citizens and guarantee us our rights.

I believe that all people should have a choice on who they marry, where they want to live, where they want to send (or not send) their children to school, how they want to parent, and to own what they are capable of owning within their budget.  I think the government should not have a say in these things.  

I am a realist however; I know that there are times when the government should step in and make new laws, or regulations (in a perfect world there would be no bad people), but we should still continue to strive to have a small government.  One that does not tell us where and when and how to live.

I honestly could never be a liberal, because I enjoy my rights too much.

21 July 2011

Almost Done

Right as we speak I'm doing school with James.  It's almost time for lunch, but for this morning we'll have managed to finish 2 whole lessons.  I'll be watching the boys from next door later, so we'll be doing school until then.  James only has 3 lessons after this until he's done, so I am actually hoping to get done with it all today.  We'll see though.  I'm very proud of all he's accomplished this year.

Jade is still only half way through 1st grade, and we're taking it slower.  She's capable of having finished 1st grade with James, but was unwilling to do all the schoolwork.  Seeing as how she's still only 5, turning 6 in November, I'm not worried about this, although it seems a little frustrating to me, knowing her potential, and what she could do with her intelligence, and not taking advantage of it.  I have to keep reminding myself that I had that potential too, but I didn't take advantage either.  Of course, there lies my frustration.  I want better for my daughter, but I have to allow her to make her own way.  This isn't something that would be detrimental to her life.

Steven also has done well with his school work.  He's proficient in shapes, recognizing the alphabet, numbers 1-10.  He also understands the concepts of addition and subtraction, although I haven't really worked with him on that.  I had debated on starting him on K4, but I have decided that even though he'll be 4 this year, I don't think he's ready for that type of regular instruction, so we'll be working this coming school year on pencil hold, and creating lines and curves to prepare him for K4.

Willow is very interested in school time now, and I have no doubt that in the 12-13 school year she'll be very ready for preschool work!  Right now we're working on basic signs, and learning to talk!  She knows so many words already, and I have a feeling she'll be a non-stop talker just like James!

05 July 2011

Nestle Boycott

I know I'm known as quite the boob nazi, and honestly while the nazi part is a little extreme when it comes to the title, I gladly and proudly hold the title for breastfeeding supporter and encourager!  Yep, I do believe breast is best, although I can see the need for formula I will never consider it to be the first choice, that should always be breastfeeding.

Now when it comes to Nestle, I don't expect anyone else to read this and then suddenly decide that I'm saying you're a bad uncaring person because you buy nestle products.  Isn't it sad that I have to put all these disclaimers just in case I hurt someone's feelers?  Anyways, back to topic.  I heard about nestle from a friend, and I didn't immediately decide to boycott right then and there, although my friend is very passionate on this topic, like I'm not right?  I did my research first.  I looked into how valid the claim that nestle was marketing to women who are unable to afford formula, and live in condition where pure clean water is available, and pushing formula on these women.  Undermining breastfeeding, and essentially putting these infants in danger.  After looking into it I saw that it is completely a valid claim.  Nestle is unethically, and against WHO regulations, undermining breastfeeding in third world countries where breastfeeding NEEDS to happen for the babies health.  Breastmilk will always be sterile, but formula is unsterile as soon as it leaves the can.  Then add that some of the women who were given a ton of formula samples in the hospitals they delivered in, then sent home to their small villages with no running water, only a small river that everyone uses to bathe and wash things in, and it's a recipe for disaster.  The bottles are never fully clean, the water has soap, bacteria and who knows what else, and suddenly that formula really does become poison.  It's not the formula itself, but everything else that makes it dangerous.  Nestle is unconcerned with this though, as they just want to encourage sales.  These women area also dirt poor, and so not only are they using unsanitary bottles, nipples and water, but they also use less formula then they are supposed to in order to buy less formula.

So when you hear that 150,000 babies a year could be saved by breastfeeding, those are the babies we're talking about.  Yes, if you're in a developed country, have access to sterile water and ways to clean your bottles, you're probably not going to kill your baby by using formula, but not every woman who is told formula is just so awesome has those options.  Those women should be encouraged to breastfeed, supported in breastfeeding, and it's sad that these women are pressured to formula feed when it's so dangerous in those situations.

It really does make me want to cry.

This is why I boycott nestle.  It's also why I support breastfeeding, and it's why I want to see breastfeeding become normal again.

July will be busy!

July is my favorite month of the year, and mostly it's because it's got both the 4th of July and my son's birthday.  Which also happens to be my birthday, but I think it's a great idea to just leave the focus on him instead of me.  This month though we've got a lot going on.  This past weekend was the the 4th of July weekend and we went to the festival/fireworks thing they held on post.  They do it every year, and they have all these displays, lots of food, and crafts and rides and things.  It was a lot of fun.  This weekend I'll be driving down to Savannah to eat brunch with Tara and Jess and I'm really looking forward to that, especially since it'll be with NO kids! Well, I might bring Jade, but not sure yet.  Then the next weekend we're headed down to FL for a reunion with friends and then James will have his birthday party on Sunday.  The next weekend is James and my birthday weekend and we're going to head to Statesboro to go to the waterpark there.  The next weekend I'll be heading back to Savannah to watch my bestest friend Tara get baptized and confirmed into the Church.  I'm super excited about that!

Really the next several months will be busy, all of the birthdays in our family start now and continue until the end of the year.  Next month is Michael's, then September we'll be starting 2nd grade with James, and continuing 1st grade with Jade, and preschool with Steven.  I'll be starting to work more one on one with Willow to learn colors, and then shapes. At the end of September/beginning of October I also have my 10 year high school reunion, which is crazy that it's been that long since I graduated!  Then in October Willow turns 2, it's crazy how quickly the past 2 years have gone.  There may also be a wedding I'll be attending in October, and then there's also Halloween.  November not only contains Thanksgiving but my bestest friends birthday, my SIL's birthday, and Jade and Steven's birthdays.  We haven't figured out what we're doing for them yet. December seems far away but really it isn't, and that holds Christmas, and our last trip to FL for the year.

It's almost hard to believe how fast time is going by, it feels like Michael just came home, but he's been home for 3 months already.  I'm enjoying every second I get with him, because I know that it'll be way too short a time when that D word comes up again.  Michael and I do love (for the most part) this lifestyle but the separations are hard.  We're blessed though, Michael enjoys serving his country, and I'm proud of everything he's managed to accomplish in such a short time.  He really pushed himself and made his dreams come true.  I also had mine.  I married the man I fell in love with when I was 15, and we have a beautiful and happy family.

26 June 2011

For people entirely too interested in my reproductive system.

To let you know, Michael has been home a whole 2 1/2 months now and we are NOT PREGNANT! :)  For those who may have been wondering, we are well aware of how conception happens and so you may look forward to many more updates informing you of our un-pregnant state....unless of course we change our minds and decide to have more kids.

Have a great day!

18 June 2011

The father's in my life.

I don't think my husband realizes just how much I appreciate or love him.  I'm sure he has some idea, but the massive amounts of love and respect I feel for him, is just indescribable.  I always knew that Michael would be an amazing father some day, and he's proven it true a million times over.  My kids couldn't be luckier to have him as a father.  Michael is sweet, compassionate, tough when needed, loving, understanding, more patient than I could ever be, and so much more.  I don't think he even knows his own worth.

That man can drive me up the wall one minute and have me busting out laughing the next.  He's one of the few people who can genuinely cheer me up out of a horrible mood without even trying, just by being near me.  He's seen me through so much in my life.  I couldn't ask for a better husband or father for my children.  He helps, with everything.  He doesn't stand back and just let me raise our children, he's an active participant and he wants to be.  There is no nagging for help with the kids, he wants to be there, enjoying every second of their childhood with them, with us, as a family.  I have been so blessed.

My daddy was an amazing father too.  He wasn't perfect, and as a person he's had many faults.  I cannot possibly see them all as my memory of him is from a young girl's views only, but the one thing I do know is that he always made time for me.  I have very few bad memories when it came to him.  He read to me, talked with me, played with me.  I can remember so many times being with him and knowing I had his undivided attention solely on me.  Yes, I was quite a bit spoiled, but not monetarily, we didn't have a lot of money, but by attention and love.  My father loved me, he was proud of me, and I never had a second in my life where I've ever doubted that, and for that I am lucky.

Bill, my second father, and grandfather to my children is also wonderful.  I wasn't very receptive to him at first, and I feel some pain for that, but if you look at the above description of how I view my biological father than you'd see why but I came around.  Bill is also my father, and I love him as one.  I know that he also loves me as a daughter.  I have no doubts of that.  Bill also had a tendency to spoil me.  I like men who do that. Bill helped our broken family and made it whole at a time we needed that.  He's always been there for my mother and I, and we've been through a lot.  I am extremely thankful that God put Bill in our life, and I hope he knows how much I love and appreciate everything he's done for me, and my mother.  I have been blessed in not only having one, but two fathers who I love, and who love me.

Now what can I say about Grampy?  I love him.  He's fun to be around, and I love listening to his stories.  I miss getting to spend time at his house, spending time with him and Grammy and my cousins.Grampy is getting older now, and I worry about him, but again I was blessed in having amazing male role models in my life.  Grampy is no exception.  My grampy is caring man and has always been willing to help anyone he can to the best of his ability.  He loves his family and we love him too.

I have been so blessed by my family, biological and chosen.  These men, these father's have helped to shape who I am today, and I can only hope they realize how important each of them are to me, and how loved they are, by their family also.

I love you Michael, Daddy, Bill and Grampy!

Happy Father's Day!

09 June 2011

Let's talk about hate

I'm so tired of seeing hate, in the news, on facebook, in real life.

I'm tired of being hated because I'm Christian.  I try and show nothing but love to people, regardless on if I even like the person, but I'm hated in return by some.  I face criticism because of a small minority of people who do not actually live a Christian lifestyle but claim to be Christian, and suddenly they have apparently tainted the religion with a false image.  I don't claim to be perfect.  I sin, I fail to live a Christian life sometimes.  Sometimes I let the world rule me, but I try.  Every day I recommit myself to the best of my ability to Christ, and to living the way He would want me to live.  I give what I can to people who need it, I show love and compassion as much as I am capable, and I try and teach my kids the same.  It hurts sometimes that people cannot separate what they think they know about Christians, to what the religion is really about.

I'm tired of being hated because I am a republican.  I don't always agree with all republicans.  Sometimes the republicans in congress and the senate have some really stupid ideas.  They are just regular people after all.  However, when it comes down to it, I agree with the basic platform that republicans stand for.  I believe in a small federal government, one that is there to protect our country from outside invasion and to handle disputes that make it to the federal level.  I believe in state power, in the fact that all states are unique, as are the people who live in them.  I believe in the right to choose.  I am pro-life, I will NEVER say I am pro-choice, however, I will not take the choice away.  I want the right to choose if I'm going to vaccinate my children or not without the gov't telling me what THEY think I should do.  I want the right to teach my own children at home, without the gov't telling me I am unable.  I believe in taking care of our military, and keeping it strong and healthy in order to protect our country, or the people in other countries when needed.  I'm tired of hearing we're war-mongering or that we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq.  People there were dying, women had no rights, at all.  They weren't even allowed to go to school.  Now, dictators aren't killing their own people, and women have those rights to an education.  How is this a bad thing?  Please explain it to me?  Liberals say they are all for civil rights, but then turn around and say we should have stayed out of those countries.  If we had, then women would still have no rights, and Saddam would still be killing thousands of his people.  Remember what happened the last time we ignored genocide?  But us conservatives, who think we should be there, should be helping these countries (and seriously, if it was for the oil, why are the gas prices so high still?) are calling war-mongers, and hate provokers.  I honestly just don't get it.

I'm tired of being hated and called names because I don't accept all lifestyles.  I've never told someone that they had to be a different way.  I've never treated someone differently because they didn't live the life I do. Yes, I probably won't be really super close friends with you if you're a vastly different religion and live a lifestyle I don't believe in living, but I'm not going to call you names, or harass you, or hate you.  I'll still treat you as I do everyone else, with respect and love.

Honestly, there are bad people, and extremists in everything, there are extremist liberals, Christians, conservatives, any lifestyle, or belief you can think of has its extremists.  We need to stop clumping people together.  I don't believe the terrorists are Muslims, and I don't believe Muslims are evil, the terrorists are not good people though, but I can distinguish them from Muslims.  I think more people need to practice that.  Not all Christians are bad, just because you've met a few who were "pushy, hypocritical, weird, abrasive, etc".  Oh, and everyone is hypocritical at some point, it's just inevitable.  It's why the saying, don't throw stones at glass houses is appropriate for everyone.  Yes, I'm Christian, no I don't always act like it, why? Because I'm only human, please don't judge me for that and I won't judge you for being a heathen.

Legal disclaimer:  This is MY blog, MY opinion and if you don't like it you have the right to disregard anything I'm saying, or even better, not reading it.

God Bless and have a GREAT day! :)

29 May 2011

I have taught my son well.

At the dinner table James responded to something said with, "that's because I'm a boy."  I told him that was untrue and that at his age, girls and boys can pretty much do the same things, but that as he gets older, there will be more differences.  I also told him that there were things that girls can do that he'll never be able, and things he can do that girls can't.  I gave him the example of the fact that he can't have kids, but that eventually Jade will be able to.

My incredibly smart child responded with: "Well actually Mommy I *can* have kids, I will just be unable to give *birth* to them."

Yup, I got schooled by my six year old on being able to give birth.

19 May 2011

I'm alive

It's been awhile, but for Michael's block leave we decided to go to North Carolina and Florida to visit family.  Block leave, for those civilians out there is literally a block of time set aside usually before and after a deployment for soldiers to use for whatever they want, usually to visit with family.  Our block leave time is pretty much the entire month of May.  We've already been to North Carolina, and now we're down in FL.  For us, visiting family is convenient because our family is all together here.  Our parents live a whole 15 min. from each other.

So we've been chilling here in FL.  Michael has spent time with his family, shopping, doing yardwork and stuff, and spent a good portion of a day with his friends, and I got a girl's night out.  We want to have a date, but I'm unsure on if that will happen since we're running out of days here.  We'll be leaving on the 23rd to head back home.  Then we'll have time as just a family to spend together.

I think we've adjusted well to being a family again, and while I enjoy spending time with our families I'm looking forward to being home again too.

02 May 2011

Sometimes I find things that I just love.

I'm sharing this because it is well written, thought provoking and because well, it needs to be said and shared.  I have a lot of army wives as friends, and this was written by one of those women.  She's awesome and has a way with words.

Obama killed Bin Laden, by Jess Weller

Those are the status updates I keep seeing.

Really? Obama killed Bin Laden? Ok let's think about that for a second.

Most everyone knows where I stand on the political spectrum. Most know how I feel about Obama. This is not the issue.

The issue I have right now is the disrespect being shown to those who actually pick up guns and leave their families to fight this war. The soldiers, FBI agents, CIA agents, etc who put their lives on the line to keep America from going through another 9/11 and to hunt down and kill Bin Laden.

We hear that term, "put their lives on the line" so much. Especially in connection with the Military but have you actually sat down for 2 minutes... 120 seconds... to imagine what that sentence actually means??

Think for one second that someone you love; your mom, dad, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, whoever is in the military and they come up on orders to deploy. Think about how you would feel if today is the last time you would see them for a year. Imagine how you would feel waking up each morning and going to bed each night with your stomach in knots because you haven't heard from them and you have no way of finding out if they're dead, all the while putting on a brave face for everyone around so that you can be seen as "strong".

My kids and I have said Goodbye to my husband not knowing whether we would see him again. Millions of other women, men, and children have also. Some of them tragically have never been able to see their loved one again. These are the people who killed Bin Laden.

Obama good or bad has not picked up a gun, has not left his family for a year, has not given his life for the country he says he loves. He has not missed Christmas with his wife and kids or Easter, birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and lazy family days. He has not missed his daughter sitting up on her own for the first time, her first steps, her first word...

He did not kill Bin Laden.

Brave soldiers who have done and sacrificed all of the above did kill Bin Laden and we should all be grateful to them and show them the respect that they deserve.

So. As stated above: Those statements are not acceptable to me, nor are the hugely offensive jokes I see being posted. If you think this situation is funny so be it. I will delete you and have no further contact with you, no matter who you are or what position in my life you think you hold.

And... while you're making jokes about this, why don't you call up a mother who lost her son, or a wife who lost their husband in this war and tell your little jokes to them. See how funny you feel after that.

25 April 2011

The Love Dare Day 40

 I have made it to the last day of the dare.  We're supposed to write new vows to our husband and post them somewhere around the house, to remind us of our commitment to each other.

I recommit myself to you, I promise to be by your side and support you in all the efforts of your life.  I promise to love you and show you love every day. I give you half my life, and I'm looking forward to spending my life with you for many more years to come.

24 April 2011


Today is the day that the Lord hath made.  I will rejoice and be glad in it!

"And God so loved the world that He gave His only son our Lord, that whoever believes in Him will not die but have eternal life." John 3:16

Today is the day we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. Today is a GREAT day!  It's good to always remember that Jesus died and rose again, but today we get to celebrate in what Good News it really is!  I know that not everyone believes in Jesus or that he was Lord, but I do, and I get excited about Easter.  I've found that the deeper my relationship with God has gotten the more emotional I am about the facts of Jesus, leading up to His death.  It moves me in a way I cannot even explain.  That we have a God that was willing to give up His life just to save our worthless lives is beyond me.  That He thought we were worthy of that love when we come short of the glory that He is, baffles me at times and also gives me great comfort.  I am worthy because He says so.  I am worth eternal life because He loves me no matter how much I sin, and I definitely sin, He still greets me with open arms.  No matter how I screw up, how I treat Him, turn away from Him, ignore Him, He is still there, loving me, welcoming me home when I realize my mistakes.

I can't claim to know it all, but I do feel that as I've gotten older, my relationship with God has only gotten stronger.  I can give many compelling arguments on how and why I believe in God, most of them logical even, but that's not the point of wanting to post this.  These are MY feelings, these are MY thoughts, and I am talking about MY God.  I've been through way too much in my life to not believe in Him.  To not know that there is a higher being up there watching out for me.

I hope all those who celebrate Easter had a good one, filled with love, because that's what God wants us to do, Love is at the core of who He is.  We may not always understand His will, but I can for sure trust in it.  God has blessed my life, and I continue to put my trust and love in Him.  I hope everyone is comforted by the promise God gave us.

I have eternal life, I do not have to fear death because I know what is to come.  Praise God!

The Love Dare Day 39

Only one more day after this and we're done with the love dare.  I've felt very fortunate doing this and I think that keeping all the tips in mind from this book will help our marriage stay as solid as it is now.

Today's dare is to spend time in personal prayer and then write a letter of commitment to my spouse.  I didn't write a letter, but I did tell him about how much I appreciate him and how I'm completely committed to our relationship.

The Love Dare Day 38

Today's dare is to ask myself what my spouse would want and try and obtain it for him.  I couldn't think of anything, so I asked Michael if there was anything I could obtain for him, and he told me that we had everything he needed, so I'm just going to try and help him unpack and organize all the new things he brought home with him.

22 April 2011

The Liberal Commandments

According to the Religious Far Left (as if there is such a thing)
I. Thou shalt have no other God except thyself; after all, it is thy self esteem that counts. If thou doth not love thee, who will?
II. Thou shalt not make any graven images out of any substances which cannot be recycled.
III. Thou shalt not take the name of the liberals in criticism, including feminists, radical minorities, or any person who thinks he is a victim of America.
IV. Remember the anniversaries of Roe v. Wade, Anita Hill's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the start of Obama's presidencies, and keep them holy.
V. Honor thy mother. If she's dysfunctional, it's thy father's fault.
VI. Thou shalt not kill, with these exceptions: life starts at the time of birth and those opting for medically assisted suicides.
VII. Thou shalt not commit adultery, unless thou aspires to high political office, useth a condom, or thou cannot help it.
VIII. Thou shalt not steal, unless thou art disadvantaged or upset with a jury verdict.
IX. Thou shalt not bear false witness, unless thou art discussing the history of the 1980s, art campaigning, or can afford good legal counsel in the event thou art discovered -- and can ask the American people to pay thy legal bills.
X. Thou shalt not covet, unless thou art the victim of gender-related oppression, salary-related biased, institutional racism or are still angry with the Bush tax-cuts.
XI. Always hide the real truth about thyself.
XII. Never admit who or what thou really art when campaigning for office.
XIII. Always blame someone else for what thou doest, even so far as to blame society as a whole.
XIV. Thou shalt oppose all punishment, except when conservative, Republican or religious right people criticize thee.

21 April 2011

The Love Dare Day 37

I asked Michael if he would be willing to pray with me every day, and he said yes.

I am glad that he's willing to do this with me. :)

20 April 2011


For those who may not know redeployment is the term used when soldiers come home from a deployment.  This is something I just recently had the pleasure of experiencing.  This was Michael's 2nd deployment and his 3rd year long separation.  Michael has been in the army for 5 1/2 years now, with 3 years of that, at least, spent away from his family.  We've adapted well to Michael's comings and goings.  It's not to say that there aren't some hard things that come along with it, but mostly we just end up back in the same rhythm we were in before he left.  I do have a tendency, after having done everything myself for a year, wanting him to take over everything, and I have to curb that want a bit, but I'd say now, after the 3rd separation we have home-comings down to a science.

I think part of it was before he came home we talked about what I would expect from him when he came home, and he told me what he'd like to ease into and things like that.  We didn't do that the first time around, but now with 4 kids, and our house and not having to move almost immediately I thought it was important to try and make it clear between us what we both would want or like *before* he came home.

I think it's worked quite well too.  There's been a little stress, adjusting to there being two of us, but its not been too bad, and really, in the long run, looking at the big picture I'm just happy to have someone to share all my problems, stresses, and parenting with again.

The Love Dare Day 36

I commit to read the Bible every day.  I do with the kids, for their school.  As a Christian family we chose Christian curriculum to teach them with.  The Bible's Word is interlaced in everything they learn.  I enjoy reading more, and learning more about God and watching the kids learn more about God.

I'm supposed to ask my spouse to read the Bible with me daily, and I'm going to, but I don't expect my husband to want to read it with me.  I can only offer occasionally and hope that one day he'll take me up on the offer to learn more about Christ and the promises He gives.

19 April 2011

The Love Dare Day 35

Michael and I are not in a need to have counseling, but should we choose to have counseling we would probably start by going to the chaplains available to us here on post.  We are planning on going on marriage retreats as they come available, to help strengthen our marriage as much as possible.

18 April 2011

The Love Dare Day 34

It probably wouldn't surprise anyone to know that Michael is unsure of his belief in Jesus, on who He was.  He doesn't like labels, but to use one I'd say Michael is mostly agnostic.  He believes in a higher power, but he's unsure of what exactly that higher power is.  However, Michael is completely supportive of raising our kids in a Christian household and teaching our children about God, and Jesus and raising them as Christian like I want and have promised in front of our family, our churches and most importantly in front of God.  He knows that my relationship to God comes before any other, and that I am highly spiritual and he respects that.

Today's dare was to find an example of when our spouse demonstrated Christian character in a noticeable way and verbally commend them for it.

Michael constantly shows what I would consider Christian character, he prays with us, he reads the Bible with us, and he helps me raise our kids as Christians.  In fact, if you didn't know his beliefs and just looked in from the outside it would be hard to tell he wasn't actually Christian.  This is something that weighs heavily on my heart, but I just keep praying for him, for his soul, and I can only hope and believe that one day he'll open his heart and let the Holy Spirit touch his life as it has mine.

17 April 2011

The Love Dare Day 33

Today I promised my husband that I would make all major decisions with him.  This was a very easy dare because we already do that. :)

16 April 2011

The Love Dare Day 32

This dare involved sex, and as much as I love all my friends who read this, our sex life is private :)

The Love Dare Day 31

Today's dare was about leaving our parents and coming together spiritually as "one flesh".  We're supposed to address any issues there may be with "leaving" the nest so to speak.  Michael and I don't have any of those issues.  I felt like we did earlier in our relationship, at a time, I felt that I wasn't put first (after we were engaged and early in our relationship).  It didn't take a whole lot to resolve this issue, I just stayed patient, and now I feel that there is no issue.  I don't know if it's because I just don't feel like there's an issue now, of if the issue disappeared, but either way I'm happy to say it's no longer a problem.

15 April 2011

Planned Parenthood

Let's just be clear right away.  I think Nancy Pelosi is an idiot.

She's speaking in the above link, asking the question, "Do women think?"  Well YES, I do!

There is NO reason the federal government needs to be funding Planned Parenthood.  It IS double dipping.  Low income families can go to health departments and get low cost, or even no cost contraceptives, or maybe that's just Florida.  In fact, the health department is probably the main reason I didn't get pregnant in high school. Michael and I couldn't afford condoms so Michael would go to the health dept. and get a huge bag full for FREE.....hmm.

You could go there and get low cost pap smears, breast exams and birth control pills.  So, um, why are we funding planned parenthood for this when we're already funding the health departments?  Yes, I think, I think we're WASTING money on a program created by a woman who wanted to ELIMINATE minorities through birth control and abortions.

So yes, Nancy Pelosi I think.  I am a PROUD republican and I PROUDLY practice family planning without EVER needing a planned parenthood.  I didn't even need them when I DIDN'T have health insurance.  Guess what I did, it was an amazing concept, I PAID for my birth control pills, OUT OF POCKET, on my $200 a week paycheck......

I think that planned parenthood is a drain on our federal money, and I think we shouldn't stand behind a program that was created to eliminate minorities (hey isn't this usually NOT a GOP stance?)  I boycott Girl Scouts because they support planned parenthood.

Imagine that, paying for something you need......

But then again, Nancy Pelosi says that I don't think women think......based on my party affiliation.  I'm thinking (gasp) that I just may just have a higher IQ then her.....

14 April 2011

The Love Dare Day 30

Today I was supposed to pray about a point of division in our marriage.  So I did, I'm not sure if we'll be able to come to a perfect solution but I'm willing to try again on finding a way to compromise, or work it out.  I'm confident that any problems we face in our marriage we can work out in some way or another.

13 April 2011

The Love Dare Day 29

Today's dare is to pray for our spouse, for their needs and to demonstrate our love for them tangibly.  I haven't yet decided how I will demonstrate my love, but praying for Michael will be easy.  I try and do that every day anyways.

As I only have 11 days left of the Love Dare I've been feeling very grateful for what I've learned through this.  I've always felt that being in a relationship and being in love isn't just about that fuzzy warm feeling you feel at the beginning of a relationship, it's a daily commitment to the person you've chosen.  Love goes through phases, and eventually you're not going to have the gleeful, giggly love, eventually it becomes deeper and more heartfelt.  Michael and I have that deeper devotion for each other and I can look back at our early relationship and be happy for our beginning love, but grateful that while we aren't like we were back then, we are still committed to each other and still in love with each other.  I am secure in knowing that just like I do him, Michael chooses to love me every day too.

12 April 2011

The Love Dare Day 28

This week Michael has returned home from deployment, and his biggest need is to get through reintegration as easily as possible.  I plan on supporting him in any way I can, with time and patience.  Michael is very appreciative of the help I can give him.

The Love Dare Day 27

Today was supposed to be about letting go of unrealistic expectations of my spouse.  I was supposed to seek forgiveness from Michael on being too hard on him on something, however when I asked Michael if there was something he thought I was too hard on him about, or made him feel too pressured he said he could not think of anything he felt I did that put unrealistic expectations him.  So I will strive to maintain positive encouragement and not to make him feel pressured but supported.

11 April 2011

The Love Dare Day 26

Today's dare is to ask my spouse to forgive all the wrongdoings I've done.  I asked Michael and he told me he always forgives me immediately, so not much needs to be done with this day.

09 April 2011

The Love Dare Day 25

Today's dare was to forgive our spouse for something.  I have nothing to forgive Michael for, but I used to hold grudges.  Early on in our relationship I had found out that Michael and lied to me about something big, and then I found out about more lies.  It destroyed my trust in him and caused a lot of issues as our relationship progressed.  I held on to the pain and I didn't forgive him for it even though I said I did.  I think I held onto the grudge for about 3-4 years and it ate at me until finally I had to decide to either forgive him or let him go.  I decided that forgiving him was the best option and so I did.  It was hard, to just let go of all the pain that he had caused me, but I prayed to God to help me work through that pain and God is awesome and God answers prayers.  I won't say it was easy but I know He played a part in my ability to forgive.  It's made our relationship stronger, and Michael doesn't lie to me anymore, and has rebuilt my trust in him.

08 April 2011

The Love Dare Day 24

Today's dare is about removing lust from our lives.  I honestly don't have anything that detracts from my want of my husband.  When I'm with my husband he's all I'm thinking about, when I'm not with him, he's the only person I want to be with.

I won't say I'm not attracted to any one else, I'm sure no one would be surprised that I think David Boreanaz is super sexy, and I have been known to appreciate his pictures, but when it comes down to it, my husband wins out over all others.

Michael and I have been together for 13 1/2 years, and have been intimate for a little over 12 years and I'm still as attracted to him, still as in love with him as I as all those years ago.  I feel blessed to still feel this way, because I know not everyone does.

07 April 2011

The Love Dare Day 23

Todays dare is to remove unhealthy addictions or habits that take away time with your spouse.  I am aware that I can spend a lot of time on my computer, so I'm going to try and restrict the time I spend on it while Michael is around and spend more one on one quality time without my laptop there.  I think Michael will appreciate it.


Okay, I'm sure by now many people know my views on politics.  I consider myself a republican, I made that decision when I was 9 years old thanks to my awesome gifted teacher.  I evaluate my views every couple of years and I try and stay informed of all candidates running for office so that I can vote in confidence.  I have consistently voted my party, with the exception of the most recent Florida governor who I take no credit for.

I just want to say that I am completely and totally ashamed of our elected officials at the moment.  October is the start of the fiscal year, the federal budget should be settled by October, I realize we don't have any money, but that's an entirely different rant then the one I'm doing now.  I've seen many rants and read many upset blurbs about this already and I've found it necessary to put my own words out there too.

This affects me personally since my husband is military.  My husband and I make sacrifices for this country. My husband is currently deployed, and is risking his life for this country, and missing out on his family and us, his family, our sacrifice is not having a husband and a father while he's out there risking his life for this country. My husband is doing his job, he does what he's told to do and is a great soldier, but come this next payday we may not see any money.  Like I stated above, I am a republican, I believe in working hard, and keeping the money you earn.  I don't complain about the amount my husband earns, but I will complain if he doesn't get said earned money.  I will complain when people on welfare, who are NOT working will get money when my husband who IS working will not.  Michael and I are lucky to have some savings, so while yes, we will not be hurting if we don't get paid I know many who cannot claim this, and if we didn't still have some of our tax return available (we still have a loan to pay off) then we would be in a jam.

I am ashamed of both parties right now, in their inability to come to some sort of compromise, and make sure our hardworking soldiers get paid.  So many people I know personally are stressed and it makes me sad.  I'm trying not to stress until the 15th and I find out if we get paid, but I cannot believe that congress deserves to get paid while our soldiers do not, especially when it seems to me like maybe they are incapable of actually doing their jobs.  My husband will still be required to do his job whether or not we're paid for it.

06 April 2011

The Love Dare Day 22

Today's dare is to make a commitment to choose to love our spouse even if they may not return our love.  This kind of love is impossible without the love of Jesus Christ because the only way to experience unconditional, eternal love is to know the love of the Lord.  It's hard sometimes to follow God's example in the way we love, but God blessed us with Jesus, to show his unconditional eternal love for us, and so I strive to show that love to others, and especially to my husband.

05 April 2011

The Love Dare Day 21

Today's dare is to commit myself to dedicating more time to the Lord.  I will try and read more scriptures a day, and pray more often throughout the day.

The Love Dare Day 20

Today was about reflection.  The dare as to reaffirm our commitment to Jesus Christ and living a life in His name.  I have felt very fortunate in my life, that even through my mistakes I still have His love, even though I am completely undeserving.

I see the Lord in my life daily, in the actions of my children, in my neighbor Sarah, and in many of my friends.  I have been blessed with good friends, a loving family, core and extended, and an amazing church family back in FL.

03 April 2011

The Love Dare Day 19

Today's dare is just just reflect on the past dares and see if God is calling us to change within ourselves to better our marriage.  My goal is to put things in God's hands more often, and realizing I can't do it all. I am not capable of anything without God in control.

The Lord is my strength and He is the only one who can bless me.

I'm glad to be doing the love dare. I've never thought that Michael and I had a horrible relationship, in fact I'm satisfied with our marriage however I always think things can be improved, and I believe in strengthening our marriage.  This has shown me that our relationship is really solid and it makes me proud that most of these dares have been easy for me to do, and that I already do most of the dares on a daily basis.

The Love Dare Day 18

This dare is put on hold because it involves going to dinner with your spouse, which I obviously cannot do at this point in time.  I will come back and edit this entry when I am capable of fulfilling the dare.

02 April 2011

The Love Dare Day 17

Today's dare was to guard your spouse's secrets.  I generally do not talk about Michael's problems with other people, so this dare is fairly easy.

31 March 2011

The Love Dare Day 16

Today's dare was to pray for our spouse, in three specific areas we wish God to work in their life and in our marriage.

I believe in the power of prayer, and I pray for Michael daily anyways, so this wasn't hard to accomplish.  The three things I chose to pray about were:
1. That Michael's heart is opened to the love and truth of Jesus Christ and that he would come to know Him the same way that I do.
2. That we could have a spiritual marriage, one that allows God to be the center of it.
3. That Michael could open up about his deeper feelings easier to me.

30 March 2011

The Love Dare Day 15

Todays dare is to choose a way to show honor and respect to my spouse that is above normal routine.

I will come back to this dare when Michael is home. I plan on spending a few hours pampering him.

The Love Dare Day 14

Today's dare was to purposefully neglect an activity I would normally do so I can spend quality time with my spouse.  I chose to ignore everything else on the computer while I was on skype with my husband.  It was nice to not be distracted while I was talking to him, well at least no more distracted then having 4 kids vying for my attention too.

28 March 2011

The Love Dare Day 13

Today was to make rules of engagement for fighting.

My personal rules are:

To use a soft tone, and keep my voice calm.
To not interrupt and really try and listen to the other side
To keep the fight on subject and to not bring other issues, past or present into the current issue.

I think these rules will help a lot.

The Love Dare Day 12

Today was to give in to an area where my spouse and I had a disagreement.

I chose to give in on an area of our vacation during block leave.  I don't want to travel as much, but I know it means a lot to Michael since he's been gone for the past year I'm willing to give in now. I enjoy making my husband happy.

27 March 2011

The Love Dare Day 11

Today was about cherishing our spouse.  We were supposed to do something that shows them how cherished they are.  I cherish my husband, and the only thing I could do today was listen to him when he talks.  It's something I do anyways, but I tried to make an extra effort to let Michael know how much I love him and desire to hear what he has to talk about.

25 March 2011

The Love Dare Day 10

Today's chapter talked about 3 kinds of love, friendship, sexual and unconditional.  It's about making the choice to be in love, even if your spouse doesn't show you the same love back.  It's the kind of love God shows us.  I feel that I'm already there, with Michael, and he with me.  We've both seen the worst of each other and we've worked through it.  Our dare today was to do something for our spouse to show our unconditional love.  The suggestions the chapter gave I do anyways, so I went ahead and used cleaning up as one.  I also maintain our house while my husband is gone, and taking care of our bills.  I raise and teach our children, and part of that is out of love for our entire family.  I wake up every morning with a desire to serve my family in the best ways I know how, and make it the best it can be.  I chose to be with my husband, and love him on a daily basis.  Of course Michael makes it pretty easy the majority of the time, but even when I'm upset at him I still love him.

24 March 2011

The Love Dare Day 9

Todays dare was to think of ways to greet your spouse to reflect your love for them.  I normally try and greet Michael with a smile and happiness (which is easy because I'm genuinely happy to hear from him) so this dare is a pretty easy one, and one I do normally anyways.

I will continue to show my happiness at seeing and hearing from my husband, so that he can be welcomed home with love. :)

23 March 2011

The Love Dare Day 8

Today I was supposed to burn my list of bad qualities.  I didn't burn it but I did tear it into small pieces and threw it away. The questions ask if it was hard to get rid of that list, and my answer is no, it was not.  I know Michaels flaws and I love him in spite of them.

It also asks how we can celebrate positive experiences in our spouses life, and how we can encourage them in future successes.  I try and motivate Michael and I help him where I can.  I try and let him know often how proud of him I am, and how I have faith in him.

22 March 2011

I've known

I can tell you the exact moment I decided I was going to marry Michael Strickland.  It was January 10, 1999.  I can even remember what was going through my head at the time.  I was looking at him, and I just thought, how wonderful the man in front of me was.  We'd already had a rough time, and it got even worse after, but I knew in that moment that I was in love with him for the rest of my life and nothing was going to change it.

When we hit our worst patch, when I felt like nothing we did would ever make us work I did try and move on.  I tried to love someone else but I was never able to give him my full heart.  I loved him, but not completely, because no matter what Michael was still there, enforcing his ownership over at least a tiny bit of my heart.  Michael, no matter what's going on between us, no matter how destructive we had been to each other was always my best friend.  He could be mad at me, and if I needed a friend he was there, he would listen to me rant and rave and cry and scream and talk for hours, or he'd hold me while I cried in his arms, even if it was all about him.  He didn't seem to judge me, he didn't insult me, or leave me on my own, he was there through my huge emotional messes, some of my own making, some just circumstantial and some he'd create for us too.

There are many things I'm not proud of in our relationship, some of the selfishness I showed, but he doesn't hold it against me.  He loves me anyways. There have been times I've doubted it, and I've thought he moved on even when I didn't seem to be able to.  I know I blamed him in those moments, cursed him because he seemed capable of forgetting what we had meant to each other when I was unable, but I know now that he couldn't either.

I trust in his love for me, in our family.  I am thankful that we could find our way through the storm that was our teenage years, and I'm most thankful that even though Michael has completely seen me at my worst and most horrible that he still loves me and wants to be with me.  I am thankful that he decided to pledge his life to me above anyone else.

I'm glad I chose him too.

The Love Dare Day 7

Today's dare was to make a list of our spouse's good and bad attributes, then to pick something from the first list and thank our spouse for having that characteristic.

The questions ask:

Which list was easier to make? The first list, the good attributes was easier to make for me.  I can think of many good things about Michael.
What did this reveal about your thoughts? I think this shows that I realize that Michael has some flaws, he is on whole a good and wonderful person.
What attribute did you thank your spouse for having? I was able to do this when we skyped earlier, and I thanked him for being caring, both as a husband and a father.