Sunday, September 28, 2008

Seventeenth Anniversary

Seventeen Years......

His hands are like rods of gold
Set with beryl.
His body is carved ivory
Inlaid with sapphires.
His legs are pillars of marble
Set on bases of fine gold.
His countenance is like Lebanon,
Excellent as the cedars.
His mouth is most sweet,
Yes, he is altogether lovely.
This is my beloved,
And this is my friend,
O daughters of Jerusalem!
Song of Solomon 5: 14-16

Happy Anniversary, My love!

Love, Candace

My perfectly hottie Love,

For all the time we have been together, it seems so short. For as long as we have loved, it still feels fresh and new. The older I get each year, the younger I feel with you. The more childern we have, the more I want with you. You are the flame that lights my fire, the energizing jolt that gets me going. Not a day goes by that my love for you grows stronger still. God has given me the ultimate blessing. The blessing of growing in his love with you by my side. The blessing of raising the childern God has blessed us with together. The blessing of all the joys and pains we have experienced together. The blessing of having you as my wife for 17 years, and for the rest of my life.

Happy Anniversary my Love!

Love, Greg

(Oh man, I love this guy! After all these years, I'm still his "hottie"!)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Chloe

The Birthday Girl

Today is Chloe's 4th birthday! We had a fun family celebration! When we asked Chloe what her favorite meal was, she said "Ramen!" Well, Ramen just won't do for a birthday meal, so we made her second favorite......Fettuccine Alfredo!

After dinner, she had loads of fun opening up gifts!

A pretty dress from Gramie!

A dress fit for a princess!

Happy Birthday to you..........make a wish!

Chloe asked for a cake with lots of different colors, so I made her this Rainbow cake! She loved it......

Celeste played Happy Birthday for Chloe on the harp, which was pretty impressive considering she just began taking lessons!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Birth Control

Where Do You Stand?

As a mom of many, I always appreciate posts like this one by Jess:

Some Subtle Effects of the Birth Control Culture

Lately, I've been noticing some trends that I think are directly attributable to the rise-- indeed the expectancy-- of birth control use in our culture. I'd like to talk through them one by one so it's clear what I'm getting at. I believe that there are consequences that are a direct result of our culture's embracing of the birth control mindset as normative, and here are a few.

#1: Young couples are thought irresponsible when they get pregnant right away......because, the implication is, any "wise" couple would wait and follow the oft-given advice (even by pastors) that you should "take a few years to get to know each other" first.
This basic assumption overlooks the fact that even with birth control usage, regular intercourse often leads to a pregnancy. Indeed, that is the general plan of God's design for marital intimacy.It also overlooks the fact that children are a part of God's design for sanctification of parents, and that the continuation of a self-focused lifestyle has not served America's "Christian" marriages well.

#2- "Was it planned?" is no longer deemed a rude and quite personal question, but in fact, is seen as a natural question......because, the way our culture sees it, it is up to us to "plan" when life will begin
according to our own time tables and goals. The abortion-on-demand mindset tells us that we can control when life ends, so why not believe that we have full control of when it begins as well?

#3- Children are often seen, and even referred to, as an "accident".
Perhaps you've been fortunate enough to not ever have actually heard someone call their child by such an insulting description (an "oops baby", or "our little accident")... but it's all too common. Linked to the idea above, this whole notion is a natural attitude when we believe that we are the ones in control of life.

#4- Large families are often seen as incredible (and thus, put on an undeserved pedestal) or insane (and thus, sneered at behind their backs)......because once you can control how many "little buggars" you get, someone who has more than the two (or maybe three, if your first two are of the same gender) MUST be either Mother Teresa, or one step away from the loony bin.

#5- Anyone who has clearly NOT bought into the birth control culture at any point is seen as fair game for jokes, criticism, or invasive questions, because (it is assumed) they "chose" something different......because now, the "norm" is obvious: it is assumed that you WILL limit your own family size, shape, and timing according to your own will. The family that has two children 14 months apart gets jokes ("Haven't you figured out how that happens?" hardee-har-har) and eyerolls at their (implied) stupidity. The couple that has struggled with infertility now feels obligated to share that very personal information, because others imply or outright state that they are intentionally avoiding children, calling them selfish or scared. (Talk about adding insult to injury!) And of course, there's the classic
large family comments.

#6- By extension, because they "chose" their family size, the larger-than-average family is often expected to never lack, to never struggle with discipline, to never be tired, etc.... even by Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Don't believe me? Think again.If a two-year-old in a family of seven children has tantrums or is wearing mismatched clothes, it's because "the mom is spread too thin". But if that same child is the only child of two doting parents, it's because "bless his heart; he's a normal two-year-old" and because independent little two-year-olds love to pick out their own clothes.If a mother of three children is exhausted as she's pregnant with her fourth, it's likely to be met with an "I told you so" attitude from those who have already inappropriately shared their thoughts about family size. And she rarely gets sympathy. More likely, she'll get a "you made your bed, now lie in it" perspective from most of the people around her. But a first time mother struggling with morning sickness gets sympathetic comments and offers for how others can help.And lest you think I'm just whining as a mom of four, I'm really not... I'm just stating things the way I've plainly seen them. And these are things I hear from many of you, my friends and readers.

#7- A young professional women is "throwing her career away" if she opts to stay home with her new baby.... ...because she could have controlled that for another 10 years, and really DONE something with her life, don't ya know?

#8- Couples are often shocked and dismayed when they struggle with infertility... ...because the whole issue is so framed by an "in control" attitude. It seems so easy to NOT have children, and thus, it should be easy TO have them, right? Sadly, many modern couples either aren't even marrying until less fertile ages, and then may find themselves desperate to have children... or they have followed the common advice to take some time for themselves, only to find that once they finally get off the pill, they struggle to get pregnant at all.Even the couple who would love to have children and hasn't put it off or waited gets rude comments from family and friends because our culture has such an "if you want it, you can get it" attitude about everything, including children. And underlying all of it is the cultural idea of "rights"... that we have the right to have children or not have them, whenever we so desire.

#9- OTHER EFFECTS I won't even go into the rise in casual sex (a.k.a. fornication), affairs (a.k.a. adultery), and abortion (a.k.a. murder) due to the ease of birth control procurement and use.SO WHAT'S THE SOLUTION???The answer isn't that we bang down the doors of the courts and seek to legislate birth control usage. That ship has sailed.In my view, the answer IS that Christian couples should seek God's face and become that peculiar people-- a people that stands out as set apart and different from the world around us-- in this area of how we view children. A people who see children as blessings. A people who
discipline our children in the Lord, so that we aren't so bowled over by our disobedient, bratty children that we can't STAND the thought of more. A people who aren't afraid to live as strangers in this world that kills and throws away imperfect children, medicates children instead of offering loving discipline, and that acts and thinks as though we are the ones in control of life. Heaven help us!

If you're a part of a big family, I'm sure you can relate to this. If not, what are your thoughts or perspective? Have you been guilty of some of these thoughts? Please chime in.........

HT: Granny

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Food Slicer

My New Baby

As our family has grown, we're always on the lookout to find things that will help our large family run a bit more smoothly or save us a little time. For obvious reasons we buy in bulk, which saves us money, but not so much on time as we have to process some of our meat, cheese and bread so that it is ready to be used.

Indeed, this new kitchen tool has proven to give us back a little of that time.
A couple of months ago, Greg bought me this food slicer. It's something I've wanted for a while, but patiently waited for the budget to allow! I can't tell you what an asset this has been in getting some of our food processed. We buy our cheese in 5 lb. bricks and we bake most of our breads. We also buy some of our lunch meat in whole pieces to serve multiple functions. Before the slicer, we spent a lot of time trying to cut and slice and trust me, it wasn't a pretty sight! Let's just say I'm not exactly the best free hand slicer in the world, and leave it at that! :-)

But now........we can turn this..........
Into a matter of seconds..........
I give you.........our new and improved (looking) bread.......
Now bag those babies up............

Ahhhhh, life is good.........and a bit easier! Thank you, honey, for our new baby! :-)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Happy Eight Months Genevieve!

We LOVE her gummy smile.........

And her big blue eyes...........

She loves to dig in the toy box....

Already a little mischievous.........

Genevieve is so sweet, we could just eat her up! She's crawling, clapping, walking along furniture, says Mama, and makes a knocking sound with her tongue.

Happy eight months, baby girl!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Pro-Life Thoughts

I have been mulling over this concept of Palin's pro-life stance and how it has raised her to "hero status" in the eyes of evangelicals. Obviously, I share this pro-life stance.  However, I've had trouble putting my thoughts into words concerning this sudden glorification of she and her daughter.

I just read an article that puts this issue into perspective; here is a small portion of the article. Dr. Voddie Baucham writes:

"I think the approach conservatives are taking with the Palin issue is problematic. Christians are calling both Sarah and Bristol Palin heroes for choosing not to kill their children in the womb simply because the rest of the culture seems to have little problem with it. This is the wrong argument. This is like saying a police officer is a hero for not shooting an unarmed man. That’s his job! It is not heroic to stay pregnant; it should be expected. This is a sort of lowered expectation argument. Sure she got pregnant out-of-wedlock, but that is common; that makes them ‘real’ Americans (this is an actual argument I have heard no less than half-a-dozen times from “Christian” conservatives). But look at what happened next; they didn’t kill the baby... that makes them super human moral giants. What grit!

This line of argumentation makes the abortion debate sound pragmatic. The Palins did not make a tough choice. They made the only logical choice given their profession of faith. In fact, there was no real choice to make. We mustn’t lower the bar just to make ourselves look good. In fact, the conservative Christian response to the Palin pregnancy actually makes abortion sound like a reasonable option that the Palin family heroically chose to forego."

I know that her pro-life stance can certainly make an impact on those who struggle with pro-choice vs. pro-life, and I'm thankful for this. But I'm talking about conservatives who are basing their whole support system on a concept that should be a no-brainer issue among us!  What do you think?

To read the complete article click here! (Framing the Abortion Debate)

Monday, September 01, 2008


The Results

I can definitely say that I'm POSITIVE I'm not pregnant! Let's just say that I didn't need the test after all, if ya know what I mean! ;-)

Thank you so much for joining in on the was so much fun and we were blessed by the excitement from others of a possible pregnancy! You all are the best!

Have a GREAT Labor Day!
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