"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats

Friday, January 16, 2009

Come On Vamonos! Everybody Let's Go! (lalalala)

Unlike many of my fellow friends that have tried everything to get their kiddos out of the family bed, I can't seem to get mine in. One of my kiddos, anyways. That would be...Anna Grace. She has absolutely no interest in sleeping with Mama.

This conversation transpired the other day.

ME: Anna Grace, do you want to cuddle up with Mama and sleep in her bed tonight?

ANNA GRACE: (with an "are-you-crazy-kinda-look" on her face) No, Mama, No!

ME: (whiny sad voice used for emphasis) Why? I love cuddling with you.

ANNA GRACE: (now with hands on hips and with very serious look on her face) Mama! I not a baby! I a big girl. I have my own bed. I sleep there.....every day!

Ummm....ok. So, there she remains. The only thing is that although we have a spare bedroom, she really loves being with the boys. It would be party time in there every night if we'd let them.

After much thought and to Scott's great joy because he gets to keep his office, Anna Grace will be rooming with Kai and AJ for the next couple of years. (I hope to move from here when Amanda graduates high school.) So, as we outgrow the toddler beds and cribs, I am thinking about bunk beds for the boys and a twin bed for her. With that, the cute barnyard motif will be going and I will be needing to come up with a decorating theme that will appeal to both genders. Somehow, Cinderella meets Lightning McQueen doesn't seem to blend too well in my mind.

Too say I'm frustrated is an understatement. All I could come up with is Diego and his upbeat, backpack-carrying cousin, Dora. I've pretty much had my Dora and Diego fill in the past two years, but the kids love 'em. And although I'm not a big fan of TV for kids, they really have learned a lot from watching them, including all three of them learning to count in Spanish. (A feat that their American Daddy has yet to accomplish after living with a Cuban for 11 years.)

I'd love to hear any other ideas you may have about girl/boy room decor that's not too baby-ish. If I can't come up with something soon, then I guess Dora and Diego will be movin' in.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Prayers Desperately Needed!

I was in complete shock yesterday when I went to visit a blog that I truly love, A Place Called Simplicity. Yesterday morning their log cabin home caught fire. Through God's prompting, they had just 24 hours before repaired their smoke alarm system and were able to leave the house unharmed. But with the fire, came the loss of just about everything they had. Thirty years of irreplaceable treasures. Linn and her husband Dwight are very special people. They are both pastors who love the Lord and His orphans. They have 10 children, including 2 sweet angels that have been home from Uganda for less than a month. Their 10th child, Jubilee, still waits for them in China. They've shared their amazing journey with so many and are a true inspiration. Even through this tragedy, Linn posted yesterday praising His Holy Name!

Please, can you join me in prayer for this precious family?

UPDATE: Linn and Dwight's son was taken this morning to the hospital with severe abdominal pains. Right now, he's in surgery. Appendicitis. Thank you to all the faithful prayer warriors praying for this sweet family.
In addition, Linn has requested specific prayers for sweet Elijah and Elizabeth who's world was not only turned upside down just a mere 4 weeks ago when they arrived from Uganda, but now are in the midst of all this chaos. May the Lord settle their precious hearts and that this not interfere at all with their bonding process.

For those of you that have asked or are wondering how you can help. Here's a great place to start: Linn's dear friend, Lori at Joy Unspeakable, has put together
a Chip-in account for those out of the area, in addition to another friend who is asking for application to be sent to ABC's Extreme Home Makeover! You can get the entire scoop at Lori's blog.

May this tragedy be transformed to bring glory to God!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Heavy Heart

Click on the picture above to do YOUR part in saving our babies!

I've really tried hard to stay away from the subject, but those of you that have been reading my blog and that read about my stance on abortion, especially during the presidential campaigns, know that I have to be true to myself. I have to be honest. I can't sit back without voicing my opinion, contradictory or not. You know me. I'm totally terrible at being "politically correct".

January 22, 2009 will be the 36th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the court's legalization of abortions in our country. As I am true to my word, I expect (and sadly know - unless our Lord intervenes with a miracle) that President-elect Obama will also be true to his, "The first thing I’d do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That’s the first thing I’d do."

The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) is set to be signed, if Congress passes it, on January 21-22 of 2009. It's almost like a slap in the face. A celebration of sorts for the passing of Roe vs. Wade. We spend millions of dollars protecting animals, trees and the environment in our country, yet our most prized treasures, our children, are the least protected. There's something terribly wrong with that picture.

(You can grab this button for your blog from the sidebar.)

I can't don't believe that the American people are enlightened to the drastic repercussions this act being passed will bring to them. Some, but not all, include:

1) Partial birth abortions (an abortion performed in the THIRD trimester of pregnancy!) would be legal and have no limitations.

2) Parental notification will no longer be required.

3) The number of abortions could increase by as much as 100,000 annually.

4) All hospitals and healthcare facilities, including Christian hospitals would be required to perform abortions upon request, if this Federal law is in effect. (Some U.S. Bishops have indicated they would consider closing down Catholic hospitals rather than perform abortions - more than 30% of all hospitals in the United States are Catholic.)

5) Abortions programs nationwide would compel taxpayer funding of abortions. Therefore, it will be YOU and I would be footing the bill to kill these babies. (The thought of that makes me sick to my stomach.)

We know that a child before birth can be operated on, can be tested, can cry, suck his or her thumb. The only difference between a child before birth and after birth is essentially spatial. Did you become a person just because you left the womb? No. You were a person in the womb. Geographical location does not make a person.

Father Brian Bransfield, USCCB Secretariat of Evangelization and Catechesis, wrote: "At the moment of conception, when the egg and sperm unite, an amazing thing happens. The genetic donation of the father and that of the mother meet. In that meeting, the father donates 23 chromosomes and the mother donates 23 chromosomes, and their union results in an absolutely new, never before seen, human being. The new embryo has a unique DNA structure. He or she is neither part of the father nor of the mother. The egg was previously a part of the mother’s body; the sperm was previously a part of the father’s body. But no more. A new human being has emerged, a vulnerable and unique self-directing self that never before was. It needs nothing but nutrition and a safe place to grow."

Is that not like the toddler or child you have running around your house? Doesn't he or she just need nutrition and a safe place to grow in order to survive?

I know there's not much I can do as one person. But at the risk of being redundant, I can continue to voice what God has so strongly put in my heart. Again, as I've reminded readers over and over, His words clear as a bell state, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations." - Jeremiah. 1:5

We can't give up hope. Christ died on the cross so that we could have hope. These are His babies that are dying in this genocide. We are His body on earth. When we feel weak, remember to stand firm on His words, "Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong." - 2 Corinthians 12:10 Don't allow a "controversial topic" silence you. God's word is the truth and the truth is that He and only He creates life and that life should be protected at all costs from the time of conception to natural death.

When you start questioning, "what can I do?" Ask Him to show you. Ask Him to open those doors. You'll be amazed at what you can do through His grace. "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." - Philippians. 4:13 Together, each of us can respond to God’s call with that same spirit as Samuel: “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.”

In closing, I just want to share something that just came to mind. While we were having our Family Fun Night Friday night and we sat watching Horton Hears A Who, at the end of the movie when Horton was being caged up. They had taken the dust-speck that was so precious to him containing the tiny people in "Who-ville". In his agony and through tears, Horton yelled out, "A person's a person no matter how small". I had never seen the movie before, and that made my heart race and my eyes filled with tears. Yes, Horton! A person's a person no matter how small! What a wonderful lesson for my children to have learned that night!

Please BE A VOICE for the unborn. Click on the button at the top of the post and sign the petition to fight The Freedom of Choice Act. Right now there are over 404,000 signatures. Help spread the word!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

If At First You Don't Succeed....

I've been trying to play around with some software that I received for Christmas 2 years ago, but have been so frustrated learning about layers and masks and vectors and rasters that I just plain gave up. Today, I decided I'm not a quitter. If at first you don't succeed....well. you know.

Finally, after hours of trying to strip down a picture and making manual changes, this is my first finished product. Of course, I gave myself some help by using as the subject my gorgeous nephew, Seth. I figured with a face like that there's no way I could make him look bad.

What do you think of my creative abilities? It's ok. Be honest. Constructive criticism is good. By the way, any pros (which means just about anyone who knows even minimally above what I do about digital editing and that's not a whole lot) out there are more than welcome to share tips.

Monday, January 12, 2009

It's Time For Some Therapy!

Here we are again. Monday. Time to 'fess up and get off my chest all those things that I did not do this week. Are you ready? I am!

It was absolutely not me who sounded like a school girl yesterday counting down the hours until "24" started. It was also not me who had a whole set up of food, drinks and demanded silence from everyone in the room the second the first "too-toom, too-toom, too-toom" (my version of clock counting down) appeared. And therefore, since those were not me, it just has to be that it was not me that jumped up out of my seat and hollered "Yeah, Jack! You're the man!" when he got his first opportunity to make the bad guy talk! Nope. That would not have been me! That would be totally ridiculous and childish! I am a peacemaker that does not condone violence, so I would never be eggin' Jack on to do those things just because I feel he's always being given a bad rap by our country after he's given up everything for it.

It was not me who left AJ and Kai with our oldest son, Adam, to watch while we went to church yesterday evening. All the while knowing that they are the two wild ones. I sweetly reminded Adam that his baby brothers love him so much (they really do!) and pleaded asked him to take care of them for an hour or so while we were gone. I reiterated to all involved that they will be good boys. It was not me that called from the parking lot at church to see how things had gone and was really not surprised flabbergasted when told that AJ and Kai were wild and that Adam had them both sitting in chairs until I got home. It was absolutely not me that laughed quietly as Adam produced a little video of the "wild ones" he had taken because he knew that I needed proof would have loved to have seen what he was referring to when he said that "they were catapulting themselves from the headrest of the couches onto the floor", as if he were not even in the room. I must say that I was indeed pretty shocked to see my two and four year old doing such a thing, since I know they'd never do it with me or their Daddy. Honestly, they wouldn't. Really.

While at the grocery store the other day, it was not me that asked the AJ if he wanted a free cookie from the bakery (they give kids 12 and under cookies for stopping by) and was totally upset when he said, "No, thank you, Mama!" It again was not me that insisted that he take the cookie anyways, because I was ravenously starving and was drooling at the thought. Furthermore, there was no way it was me that asked for said cookie from the nice lady behind the counter and when she handed it to him and he flatly again said, "No, thank you." snatched the cookie from her hand and said, "Oh, he wants it. He's just embarrassed." as I pushed my shopping cart to the other end of the store so I could gobble down the chocolate chip delight. But it was me that was a nice mama and offered AJ a bite, wishing of course that he still didn't want any. He didn't. :)

There's no way that it could be me that is so darn mad at Kiefer (our dog) for truly being the most stupid least intelligent dog I've ever had. I don't understand why he doesn't see that grass is to pee and poop on and my white tiles floors are not! It is definitely not me that spends her entire day taking him out and literally putting his nose in areas for him to sniff outside hoping that the urge will surge for him to go there. It is not me that finds herself pleading with him to "PLEASE GO POTTY!" while hiding behind the bushes so the neighbors don't see me. It certainly is not me that dances around like a maniac while yelling "Good boy! Good boy!" and fills him with treats on the rare occasions when he does this outside. Any suggestions from anyone with stupid not-so-bright doxies? He's been with us now for almost 5 months and the clean-up duty is gettin' very old!

We did not have movie night on Friday night and gather all six of us under one big comforter to watch Horton Hears a Who! I also did not beg sweet husband for an "intermission" so that we could munch on the absolutely delicious turtle brownies he had made just an hour before. It was not me that sat with a huge glass of really cold milk and a super-duper-sized brownie while asking sweet husband about when will we be going back on our diet. That would be pretty silly! Finally, as I was picking up the plates so that we could all cuddle up again to watch the movie, I noticed that Anna Grace still had left a half a brownie on her plate. It was not me that quickly gobbled it up hoping that she was all done, only to hear her say, "Where's my brownie?" as she returned from the potty! Ooops!

For more Not Me, Monday! fun click on the button at the top!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

"Welcome to Washington, Mr. Bauer"



Is anybody else as excited as I am that "24" is finally back and that Kiefer will be in your living rooms every week? (!!!) The season premiere of the show (Part 1) starts tonight!

After almost two years of being off the air (due to Hollywood's writer strikes) and this time last year serving time in jail for yet another drunk driving charge, Kiefer is back with a vengeance in 2009. He's publicly apologized about his misdeeds. Last month he appeared on Redemption, the prequel to Season 7, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination. He seems to be happy in the romance department with new girlfriend, Siobhan Bonnouvrierm. He recently received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and to top it off, some icing on the cake, he was voted for the 2nd time, Sexiest Man of the Year in Hello! Canada online magazine. Life is good being Kiefer!

We are ready! The Bombardier household (yep, Amanda and sweet husband included) can't wait to see Jack, once again, saving the world! Can I get a "Woot! Woot!"

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