Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Books I Received

I think I could start my own library from all the books I got yesterday for Christmas. (Which of course I am thrilled about! I have thought about pursuing a Masters in Library Science just so I could work surrounded by books, as an aside.)

Following is a list of the newest additions to the Wilhelmsen library.
  • The Confessions of Saint Augustine (I am so excited to read this! It is one I have wanted to read for a while now.)
  • Power to the People by Laura Ingraham
  • The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (I'm reading this with my neighbor.)
  • Blog by Hugh Hewitt
  • What's So Great About Christianity by Dinesh D'Souza (I had to return my copy to the library before I was finished reading it! Yeah! Now I own it!)
  • Becoming Jane Austen by Jon Spence (This is the true story of her life! I'm so excited!)
Also, I got a new Devotional Study called Get out of that Pit by Beth Moore.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Update

Hello from Surprise!

Once again the greeting cards are arriving, and I am reminded that I have not followed through on that promise to Erik of sending out Christmas cards. Every year we talk about doing it, and every year I don’t get around to it. Therefore, the reception of the friends’ cards is more of a reminder of what I have failed to do. I hope you will forgive me… J

Anyways, Erik is still working at Christ’s Church of the Valley. He has implemented a new VoIP phone system for the church and it is going so well. (Can you tell I’m proud?)

I am keeping busy with the girls here at home, as well as undertaking a few odd jobs that supply me with some lunch money. But the real passion is my book club, called Lit n’ Lattes. (The lit stands for literature…) I meet with a group of ladies as Barnes & Noble once a month to discuss the current read. I’ve been a part of this group for over a year now and we’ve read a wide range of books, from Pride and Prejudice to On the Beach. It’s been so fun to talk about books with other people who love to read like I do!

Reagan has had a busy year, too. She took a tumbling class where she learned somersaults, and balance and turns. Also, she graduated to the 3 year old class at church where she gets to attend a more formal Sunday-school type program. They have a puppet show and she even memorized a couple of Bible verses, one of them being “Blessed are those who hear God’s word and obey it.” Of course, that is also one of my favorites for her, too…. Something about obeying…. I could really use that verse sinking into her heart, if you know what I mean!

Matilyn, by far, has had the most intense year. She picked up a few bad habits, along with some good ones. Right as she started walking, she also started biting. Yes, that’s right, biting. Especially at the gym. So, we had to sit out of the gym for about a month this year because she kept using her teeth to get her point across. (And, oh, what a strong point she has!) I keep praying that God will use her excessively strong will to His good purpose, and I’m sure He will. However, that was the worst of it. She has an ooey-gooey center, as we like to say, but it’s covered in a tough candy-shell. Kind of like an M & M.

Erik and I have grown tremendously this year as a couple of our favorite family members passed on this year. My grandmother and Erik’s great uncle are both in Heaven now, but it’s been a little sad for us who are left. Also, with our children reaching the important ages of 3 and almost 2 we have had to center ourselves on God’s wisdom.

I sincerely hope that this holiday season is filled with love and the peace that surpasses understanding.



Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Happiest Place on Earth

We just returned from Walt Disney World where we stayed for a week. As much fun as it was, it was equally as much work. The trip to Florida will be remembered, by me and Erik, as the trip that would never end. Matilyn cried nearly the whole time. And it was in the middle of the night! Reagan did end up sleeping a little bit, but really, is two hours enough in a 24 hour period?

So, we arrived in Orlando at about 9 am, exhausted yet excited to be in Disney World. Since our rooms weren't ready we headed straight to the Magic Kingdom. Our first surprise of the vacation was that our hotel was about a 15-20 minute drive to MK on a bus, that at times, was so packed we couldn't see across to the other seats. We then went to FantasyLand, which is where the majority of the kiddie rides are. We did Small World first, which is lovely. No lines...long a tunnel... Lovely... and the kids loved it. So, we went to Dumbo. This was the first place that I realized that Matilyn Grace does not do lines. She wanted to walk right up to the front, after all she could duck under everything. And when I held her, she threw fits. Once we got onto Dumbo, she loved it!

And by the way, the weather was weird. We all expected about 60's during the day, so imagine our surprise to arrive in 80 degrees and what felt like 85% humidity! (I'm sure the actual humidity was like 10%, but we're spoiled here in Phoenix. It's a dry heat...) Oh, we were hot. And tired. And cranky. So, as soon as possible we went back to the hotel.

I just wanted to be detailed about the first day since it set the tone for the whole week. Over the next few days I struggled with Mati. She wanted out of the stroller to walk, but didn't want to hold our hands. So, I would put her back into the stroller. She would through a fit. On and on... And I saw vision; a child walking with a back-pack type thing on its back and the parents holding what looked like a tail. Not a hand was held. And the child thought he was free. Everyone was smiling and happy. That was what I needed. I attempted to buy one a couple of times off of moms I saw. The conversation went like this, "So, do you like that thing?" Mom, "YES! I love it. And he does to!" Me, "Wow, that's great. So, where did you buy that?" Mom, "Walmart." Me, inwardly, darn it! I should have checked before we left!, outwardly, "How much was it?" Mom, "about $16.99." Double-darn it! I was willing to buy it off people for everything I had on me! (Which was like $40.) But still, I was desperate. And then, one day, I was in the gift shop at our hotel and low and behold I see it! THE TODDLER TETHER! I grab it up and pay for it with a few tears in my eyes. I knew it would save my sanity.

The first time I put it on Mati we were in line for Spaceship Earth at Epcot. (Yes, it is closed but we were fortunate enough to get in for a soft-opening!) And she didn't really like the tether, but I didn't care. I didn't have to hold her! And she couldn't go further than 39" from me!

That was on day 4. The rest of the trip was pretty good. We ate wonderfully all over the park. (And surprisingly, didn't gain any weight!) We rode some great rides like Test Track at Epcot and Mt. Everest at the Animal Kingdom. We had a wonderful time. We must have rode Small World 5 times!

And the weather got cold! All of the sudden the temp dropped from 80 to 50! Wow! This is what we were prepared for!

The return trip was about the same as the arriving trip except that it was at a normal hour. But, yes, Matilyn cried for me from Orlando to Atlanta, and then slept for Nana on the trip from Atlanta to Phoenix.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Food Tidings

My friends Leanne and Lisa created this super website that provides a central place for people to organize meals for those who may have just had a baby or who are otherwise indisposed and in need of some tender loving care. It has a place for the recipient to make known any allergies and likes/dislikes. I wanted to post the link up here so that my friends in other parts of the country can find out about it and use it. It's truly amazing. Here is the link.

I might be voting for....

Mitt Romney. His speech last week on religious freedom might have done it for me. Although our beliefs are very different, he's right on when it comes to the practice of religion in this country.

My favorite part of his speech, which is linked here, was this quote by John Adams.
"Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone."

This is exactly why America stands for freedom around the world. If people are free to worship as they please, then the Gospel of Christ can be shared openly, without threat of persecution.

As to Romney as a candidate, I think he could do it. Although, beating Hilary is going to be almost impossible. But if the Evangelical vote can swing to Romney, then maybe there's a chance.

New Read: Gilead

I started a new book yesterday titled Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. So far it is excellent. I am most especially struck by the use of language. (Which, by the way, is my favorite thing to analyze in literature. I would call myself a grammar-freak.) I love the way the sentences flow together to make a very interesting thought. I would almost classify as stream-of-consciousness writing, but with excellent use of punctuation. I have found myself gladly sinking into the world of late 19th Century Kansas and Iowa as the Rev. Ames tells his young son his life story. Once again I am in a place that I would never have known about without this story.

I will make sure to post back in when I have finished the book. But so far it is good. And on the Would Read list, for sure!

Reagan's Week

Today marks the end of a very eventful week for Reagan. Matilyn and Reagan were all over each other this last week. I guess that is to be expected at this age (and maybe from now on, until makeup and shoes take over...) since they are playing so frequently together, instead of in parallel. However, their closeness isn't without risks (on Reagan's part, especially.) On Monday, Mati bit Reagan so hard on her shoulder blade that an actual chunk was missing. On Tuesday Mati and Reagan were playing outside since it was so beautiful. Of course, there were gardening tools out, and Mati took the weed-digger-thingy and hit Reagan in the face with it. It left a mark that is now fading, thankfully. And to top it all off, on Friday Mati was chasing Reagan around the kitchen to get the muffin that Rea Rea had in her hand, which lead to Reagan tripping and hitting her head so hard on the tile that she has a goose-egg on her forehead. It's still tender to the touch.

I can't remember a more injurious (is that an appropriate use of the word?) week for Reagan. It all happened before I could intervene so as to try and stop it. Needless to say, I have felt a bit of failure last week and hopefully no permanent damage to the girls' characters was made.

We go to Disney World this week for a whole week! I hope you will send up some prayers for our travels and that the girls won't kill each other at the Happiest Place on Earth.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Not-Recommended Reading List

Since I am such a book-nerd, I have come across some books that I would not recommend. There are not that many books, though, on this list. I like to read books that enlighten me as to a time period or culture or that are purely entertaining. I do stick to fiction, although in recent years I have been adding in the non-fiction selections to help further me as a Christian and a mom.

With that in mind, I would like to post a few books that I recommend readers skip.

First, Wicked by Gregory Maguire. I made it through half the book by the time I realized that I was not being edified by this story. The beginning was interesting, but then the heroine starts sleeping with a married man (not sure if he was a human since the book takes place in another world) and I got disgusted. I wanted this girl to have a happy ending, but I didn't like it happening at the expense of a family. I started reading this book after all the hype about the Broadway Show, which is currently running. I tend to think that the show is more enjoyable, since they sing and dance. I have not seen the show or read about it so I don't know if the story ventured away from the original novel.

Secondly, The Source by James Michener. I read this as my first Michener (and only to date) book. I have heard that Hawaii is better. The Source is a little boring and I didn't get all the way through it. Also, since the book was written in the 60's it has some outdated information. I read it hoping to get an idea of the development of the region of Israel, but instead I got a secular and worldly account of how the monotheistic religion of Judaism came about. So, I was disaffected and stopped reading it. I would recommend skipping it as well.

Thirdly, The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman. This has gotten a lot of flak recently from the Christian community because Hollywood has made and is about to release a movie with the same title. I found the book extremely disturbing as it is written with a teenager audience in mind. The themes of religion, science and the quest to be rid of religion were disturbing for me, and I've read a lot of books. I would be cautious to recommend this to anyone.

I don't mind reading things that challenge me and in fact encourage me to think about things and defend my faith against it. I found that The Golden Compass was a good exercise in thinking through why I disagree with the themes of this book. And especially since my non-believer neighbor recommended the book, this book allowed me and her to discuss Christianity in a non-threatening way. (She liked the book, and read all three.)

Gingerbread House

Today we decorated a gingerbread house. I bought one of those kits at Walmart and it included everything, including a stand! Now, normally, I try and go "Martha" with things, like I would try and make my own gingerbread, icing, and then buy decorations. So, to just make this from the kit was something new. Actually, this was the first year that we have done this. And surprisingly, it won't be the last. It was a lot of fun.

From the moment I got the box down (because I had to hide it, of course.) Reagan was jumping up and down. So, I opened it and sorted out the pieces. Then I put the icing on the gingerbread and started forming the house. Of course, this was not good enough for Mati and Reagan. They wanted to eat the house just like that. Fortunately, the kit included a few stand-alone pieces that I slathered a bit of icing on and gave to them so that I could work in peace. Well, they loved that and it kept them busy for a time, that is until I opened the candy. Now I know what the expression 'kid in a candy shop' means. It's like they knew that gum drops and brightly colored little things would taste delicious! They went crazy! Mati slammed about 3 gum balls into her mouth before I even realized they were gum balls. I don't think she's ever had gum before today. (I had a brief moment of panic when I realized that gum is a choking hazard.) Well, she ended up swallowing the gum to make room for more candy and cookies.

In the meantime, Reagan was decorating the house with me. I put some icing on and she put some candy there. But then she realized that the icing tasted good, so she started eating the icing off of the house. This wasn't so bad because it added to the icicle effect that I was going for.

Another thing I realized as I was decorating the house the girls were eating the candy off of the other side. So, every time I turned the house around more candy would be missing.

Finally, the girls and I had had enough. They had had enough candy, and I had had enough of asking them to stop eating the candy. So, we washed up and I broke out the camera. I asked Reagan to come and sit by the house for the picture, and of course some more candy was gone.

Monday, December 3, 2007


I can't sleep tonight. I should be out like a light but here it is, 3:30 am and I am awake. We just got back from Riverside tonight, I feel like I'm coming down with a cold and still I can't get back to sleep.

I took some Sudafed to clear up my ears and help with my drainage, and then I took some Tylenol PM. I think maybe I shouldn't mix those drugs again. The Sudafed already has a bit of an 'upper' effect and it may adversely work with the Tylenol. Oh well.

So, anyways, I thought I would get out of bed and post. We went out to CA for the wedding of one of Erik's really good friends; he was a groomsman. The wedding was a traditional Catholic wedding. Wow! What an experience! A lot of sitting/standing and responses, almost all of which I had no idea what to say. Well, at least I know The Lord's Prayer, I got to participate in that. Also, I took communion. I didn't know if I was supposed to or not, but I thought, why not? I believe in the taking of communion. I am glad for the experience and some of it was really neat.

I was happy to be back though. I love being home with my family. Unfortunately, though, I was looking forward to a good night's sleep, but yeah, that hasn't happened. I keep dreaming that I'm watching The Office. As much as I love that show, not being able to shut my mind off isn't so much fun.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas Pictures

So, maybe you can tell by the picture on the right that we had our pictures made earlier this month for Christmas cards. Well, the intention is to put them on Christmas Cards, but since I've never successfully sent out Christmas cards in the seven years that I have been married, I am not holding my breath.

Anyways, as you can guess, the girls were in poor form that morning. I tried to do everything to ensure a good family portrait. I had the shoot in the morning. I gave them jelly beans for posing. But soon they got sick of jelly beans and didn't want to smile or laugh at my sister-in-laws songs.

Once again I have vowed never to have family portraits done until the girls are graduated from high school. It's just too darn stressful. Of course, we then had a whole family portrait made over Thanksgiving. Man alive, it was horrible. I'm telling you, if you don't have kids, think over the idea of pictures before having them. Just be ready to not get the shot you want. Or to compromise (Well, at least Reagan is looking at the camera, even if she won't remover her fingers from her mouth...)

My sister-in-law is an angel. She takes great pictures and tries to make it fun for everyone. But I still get stressed and angry. (Something about not meeting expectations, gets my blood boiling...)

And the girls are growing so quickly. So, for that reason alone I will keep having pictures made. And someday, when they have kids of their own and lament to me about a poor shoot, I will just smile and nod.

Reading List & What's So Great about Christianity

Below is my current reading list. Right now I am reading What's So Great about Christianity by Dinesh D'Souza. This is a must-read in my opinion for all Christians and also for people who wonder what the Humanist/Atheist argument against God is.

Personally, I have struggled with the idea of how to defend my faith in God to people who do not accept the authority of the Bible. This book, thus far (and I'm in the third chapter) has given me background on the American and British Atheist movement and how they are seeking to eradicate God entirely from the public sphere, mainly through the use of "Scientific" discovery.

I like this book because Mr. D'Souza's view is that of a skeptic as he honestly evaluates the position of Atheism and its fallacies. I am excited for some good discussion about this book. (Chandra, you've got to read it!)

Well, anyways, here's my book list. I will be adding to it since I am a life-long reader. Please let me know if you have any suggestions. I welcome them!

What’s So Great about Christianity by Dinesh D’Souza
My Grandfather’s Son by Clarence Thomas
Until Proven Innocent by Stuart Taylor
The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Munrow
Believing God by Beth Moore
Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes
Daniel Deronda by George Elliot
Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Treasure Island by Robert Loius Stevenson
Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Tess of the D’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy
The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall
Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
The Collected Works of C.S. Lewis
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
The Iranian Time Bomb by Michael Ledeen
Girls Gone Mild by Wendy Shalit
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Friday, October 19, 2007

History in the Making

Sometimes when I am listening to Rush Limbaugh, I get the feeling that I am listening to history being made. A letter was auctioned off in support of the Marine Corp Law Enforcement Foundation. This letter was signed by 40 Democrats of the Senate asking Clear Channel to force Rush to apologize for remarks made about a phony-soldier. (The remarks themselves were not offensive and therefore did not need an apology.) In any case, in an ebay auction, this letter went for $2,100,100.00! Furthermore, Rush is going to match the donation! If you would like to read the letter or more on this, here is a link.

I love this country! Where else in the world would a letter from a bunch of Senators raise that much money for a charity? I don't think it would happen anywhere but here in America. Obviously, the Dems in the Senate who signed that letter didn't imagine this would be the outcome. But, I guess the unexpected is what makes history.

By the way, Rush challenged the 40 Senators to match the winning bid. Do you think any of them will?

Monday, October 1, 2007

Hmmmm, almost two months now

Yes, I'm a slacker. I could say that I've been busy, but that wouldn't be absolutely true. I've just been lazy. Good thing I'm my own boss with this here blog!

Well, the last two months have been enjoyable. I took the girls to their pediatrician appointments and discovered that Matilyn and Reagan weigh the same amount. No kidding!

Also, I found out that I probably need to start getting Reagan to stop sucking her two fingers. Well, I don't know if I'm going to rush that... I'm scared, okay? I'll just admit it...

Matilyn was suspended, again, from the gym for biting. (Oh what fun...) Therefore, we are staying home from the gym while she outgrows this phase. I have only taken her once since the last suspension, and she did alright. But, I'm not going to push it. I have figured out that she will bite when she is tired. So, at least I have figured something out. As to 'curing' the biting, no such luck. (And I've tried almost everything...soap in the mouth is next...)

We took the girls apple picking up north of Wickenburg last month. It was a lot of fun and we brought home a lot of apples. Between all the apple desserts I made and the lack of exercise, I am lucky that I still fit into my pants! :) Here's a picture of my with Reagan and my friend's son, Ryan. We went to the orchard with my fabulous mom's club, 2 Hour Time Out. It was a very fun outing.

Erik is busy, though. His work is going well and he's doing a great job with implementing Asterisk at CCV. I am excited to see where he will grow next.

Right now he's in Vegas for a (much-needed?) man-cation. Thankfully, he paid the bills before he left! HA! (Just kidding, he's very responsible.)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Reagan is 3!

Reagan Kee turned 3 years old last week! She is such a big girl now! I am amazed by what she is learning, how well she speaks, and her sweetness!

We celebrated her birthday by taking her to get her ears pierced. She was excited to be able to wear earings, but she didn't really know that it was going to hurt. I did my best to explain that there was a little pinch associated with getting pierced. However, I'm pretty sure she didn't understand.

We went to the jewelry store, and she picked out some pretty pink flowers for her starter set. Since there was only one worker there, she had to pierce one ear at a time. Unfortunately, I was hoping to have them both pierced at the same time. You know, make it easier on me. I mean her...

So, the manager pierces the first ear. It surprised Reagan at first, and then she was crying. She wasn't crying real hard, but it did kind of hurt. Then it was time for the second ear. Oh boy, Reagan was not going to have that! I told her that I would buy her an ice cream if she got this one done, she said okay, and then started crying once the manager came towards her with the piercing gun. So, I held her, tried to comfort her and find a way to encourage her.

And then the most wonderful thing happened. Reagan turned around and said, "Alright." It is an understatement to say that I have never been more proud of her. You see, she knew it was going to hurt, and she still chose to do it anyway. WOW! Can you believe that she, at 3, exhibited courage? I didn't know that would be the best part of her birthday. What an unexpected gift that was. As soon as the piercing was over I said, "Good job, Reagan. That was very brave of you. You knew it was going to hurt, and you still went for it. That was called courage. Good job!"

I am amazed by how she has grown in 3 years. And the bonus was the lesson on courage.

I pray that she will always have the courage to do what's right.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday, July 27, 2007


This is exactly how I feel about crocs...

Just in case you wanted to know, no Crocs are not fashionable!

Carbon Footprints

Have you heard the buzz about carbon footprints? As you can imagine, I think the idea is such a scam designed to make people feel more guilty about their lifestyles. Come on, people! Be wise with our resources, and don't buy into the guilt! Literally, don't buy! Because of this carbon footprint idea, companies have started selling carbon offsets, pledges to buy and plant trees, investing in renewable energy companies, and other such eco-friendly activities. It's a lot like buying off your guilt for living a lifestyle that you feel unworthy of.

This reminds me of the indulgences practice of the Roman Catholic Church. "In Roman Catholic theology, an "indulgence" is the remission of punishment because a sin already committed has been forgiven; the indulgence is granted by the church when the sinner confesses and receives absolution." ( So, if a person buys, ahead of time, a certain amount of carbon offsets, then they can drive their SUV without feeling guilty.

What makes me so frustrated is that we already have a way to live guilt-free. It's through the blood of Jesus Christ! We can live the life God has given us, without feeling guilty for it! Hallelujah! Furthermore, I understand that we are stewards of what God has given us, meaning that we are responsible for the development and care of the blessings. But I am held accountable to God, not Al Gore.

While discussing this idea, Erik came up with the saying, "My Carbon Footprint is Bigger than Yours." I thought it was so cute, that I had to make a shirt for his Birthday. Thankfully, he loves it!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Thoughts on Christianity & Harry Potter has an article regarding the Harry Potter movies and books and James Dobson's take on them. In the article, the Focus on the Family Founder, says the books are not endorsed by the organization, and went so far as to renounce them. This is due to the story's main focus on sorcery and magic.

I confess, I have been a little concerned about my enjoying something that is so against what God's Word says. The Bible speaks very directly about sorcery and that it is not tolerated by Him. So, by reading a story, am I practicing sorcery? No, indeed, I believe what the Bible says about divination and I do not subscribe to it's practices. I believe what God has set up in the Bible is to protect me from sin and eternal seperation from Him, and also how to live so that I become more like Jesus.

However, does that mean that an entirely fictional story is off limits for those of us Christians? I don't think so. What I think is important to keep in mind is whether or not the story is replacing God, or consuming the thoughts? Unfortunately, I am easily sidetracked by what I read. Although I am careful about what I read, I do have the potential to only read my books, instead of spending time in the Word. But, again, I confess, these Harry Potter books do consume my mind, but it's not just this series. I love Pride and Prejudice and have very much the same feelings when I read that book. I am not proud of this weakness. And in saying that, maybe it's fair to realize that I should be careful with those books that can replace the Lord in my life.

Nothing will take me from God; I am His and His alone. But I need to be careful about where my energies are spent, because there may be a problem in spending 15 minutes with God, and 3 hours with Harry.

Now, as far as sharing the book with my darling daughters, I will wait until they understand what the Bible teaches about sorcery. And I will read with them so that this discussion of Christianity versus the world is carried into another generation.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I just finished the final installment in JK Rowlings' series and I want to let it be known how happy I am at the ending. Although I am sad at the book being over, it was satisfying. But I still wish it could have gone on. It's a little sad when something is over, but I know how it ends and I am still happy.

Last night I didn't sleep very well since I was thinking about the book. And now I don't know if I'll sleep very well tonight for thinking it all through.

I can't wait to find out what my friends thought of the ending. Hopefully we will talk soon!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Watch Out-She Bites

Matilyn was recently reprimanded for biting a neighboring boy at the gym where I take the girls in the mornings. He was playing with a train, she wanted it. So, she bit him. Broke the skin, too!

About 20 minutes into my workout, the childcare manager calls me out to discuss this new behavioral development. I was so angry, I needed to work out. So, I get my kids and put them into their car seats and proceed to find someone who would take Mati off my hands for a good couple of hours. I was so mad at her, and at the gym, that I didn't want to be around her.

The gym suspended her for two weeks! A 17 month old! How silly! I wonder if the childcare manager understands that toddlers have the attention span of a gnat. Anyways, I tried to negotiate the punishment down to one week, but she wouldn't budge.

After I left the gym, I took the girls to Barnes and Noble. Shopping helps me with anger, and B&N is my "happy place". I bought two books; one for Mati "Teeth are not for Biting" and "Creative Correction".

One of the big things I've learned this week is that I have as much of a temper as Matilyn does. So, we're both having to learn about this. Of course I have about 28 years of experience with controlling it, but my temper flairs almost as quickly as hers does.

I have tried different approaches, different punishments, but nothing works every time. I know I have to be consistent, but it's pretty hard.

Anyways, I pray that God will use her determination and fierceness for His Glory. I pray that she learns how to harness it so that it will further the Kingdom. I pray that where she sees injustice, she will be determined to stand against it. If you have read this, please pray that for her.

Here's a picture of my little Mati Grace. Who has so much joy and love, and is equally tough-skinned!

I have a new Nephew!

Please welcome Matthew Durham into the family! He was born on July 15th, and he weighs 8 lbs and 10 ozs! :) What a cutie!

After a very long labor, Patti had a c-section, but today both baby and mom are doing great!

Isn't he adorable? Okay, I know that's a big picture of me, too, but seriously, isn't that perhaps the cutest nephew, EVER?

Anyways, I have to tell you how good God is in regards to this trip. My oh-so-wise husband suggested on Saturday that my mom and I drive to San Diego to see my brother. And we talked about it, made the decision, made the hotel reservation, and took off! Sure enough, by the time we got here, my sister-in-law was in labor and being admitted into the hospital! I have to thank Erik for being so open to what God was urging.

We had no idea if we would be able to see the baby when we left, we just wanted to be with the family for a visit. What a fortuitous trip

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Conspiracy Theorists, Refuted!

Here is an interesting article about conspiracy theories, and why people believe in them. I usually find the theories themselves interesting, but usually don't have a lot of faith in them.

They are, however, enjoyable to hear. I tend to think that the crazies who believe them only confirm their craziness! Admit it, you think it's fun, too. Have you ever listened to Michael Medved's Radio Show on Conspiracy Day? Some of the funniest things come out of people's minds! Of course Medved refutes all of them with facts. Which is how most conspiracy theorists lose their arguments; against the facts, their theory just doesn't hold water.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

A Prayer for Owen Meany & Thoughts on Fiction

My book club is reading A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. I am through the first 100 pages, the book is 300+ pages, and I have learned so much about the characters, I can't believe there is more to the book!

This is a good book, I'm just shocked by how detailed this author is getting. I do not have anything against details, in fact, I'm grateful that Irving is so thorough. When Irving writes "Episcopal priests have made quicker decisions than you." the next four pages are filled with the narrator's anecdotes regarding the Congregational church's pastor and the Episcopalian rector, including how the narrator prefers 'pastors' over 'rectors' because of the connotation of 'rector'. So, while the book is detailed, the anecdotes and back stories are so engaging I hardly realize that one particular aside has gone on for four pages!

I prefer fiction, as anyone who knows me knows. It's not that I don't appreciate self-improvement, and non-fiction books, I just look at those as work. With fiction I get a mini-vacation from current time and place. While recently reading The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis I was transported to early 20th Century London and then onto young Narnia. What a wonderful trip I had!

I really feel that people who read only non-fiction are missing so much in life. The imagination keeps us young and lively. I always learn a little something about life and people from reading fiction, especially literature. But even the shallow-fiction that I read every so often provide me with such enjoyment that I can hardly not talk about it!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Reagan & I go to the movies-First Time!

I took Reagan to a movie today. We saw "Curious George". This was her first time to the movies. She did pretty good. We went potty before the movie started, but after chugging her drink to wash down the mountain of popcorn, she needed to go to the bathroom before the movie was entirely over. And then she had a total meltdown because she a) didn't get to say good-bye to her friend, Ryan, and b) had to walk to the car. I learned a couple of things from this first visit.

1. Make sure your child wears comfortable shoes.
Why? Well, although the theater is designed for sitting, it does require a bit of walking from the parking lot. And then all that walking/running down the aisle and stairs and the trips to the bathroom and then back to the car, well, let's just say, comfortable shoes would have been a good forethought. Although I understand the importance of dressing for fashion, Regan's not quite that accepting yet. Actually, I should have realized that her shoes didn't even fit! Let alone were they comfortable. Let this be a lesson for all of us parents.

2. Bring snacks, and stick with them.
I knew I didn't want to buy the popcorn, but when my friend's mom gave Reagan some of hers, I didn't have the heart to say no. However, I should have either rejected the nice offer, or rationed out the popcorn. I missed the ending to the adorable movie because of another trip to the restroom. Oh well, parenting is all about sacrifice.

Those are really my two rules to live by when going out to a movie. We will be going to movies every Tuesday for the next 9 weeks. This should be a fun summer!

Funny Video Clip

Let it not be said that I do not have a sense of humor regarding the War on Terror taking place in Iraq. Here is a video clip from "Mad TV". Very funny!

Althought entirely wrong, it's so funny, I couldn't help laughing out loud!

Let this be evidence that this Conservatives does not take herself too seriously!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Settlers of Catan

Settlers of Catan is perhaps one of the best board games since Risk. Everyone who learns it loves it!

Our friends the Gordons came over last night and we played a round. For the second time, one of the Gordons beat Erik and I. We have been playing this game for over 5 years! And they just learned it!

Oh well. It is fun and we love to play it with our friends. Thanks Michelle and Ryan for coming over and beating us at our own game! Of course, here it is, almost 10 am and I'm still tired. We've got to get faster at this game! I'm exhausted!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Republicanism and I are going Separate Ways

I can no longer call myself a Republican. I can not believe this!

I am a CONSERVATIVE! I hope that eventually the Republicans come back to their Conservative Roots, but until then, I will not give money or time to any Republicans.

I'm especially disappointed in Jon Kyl. And this just breaks my heart to say, but he has let down the Conservative base. By being for this immigration reform (yeah, right, let's just call it amnesty), he is going to be hurting next time around. His campaign this last November was about standing up to the Illegal Immigrant crowd. What happened? Here is a link for the exchange between Jon Kyl and Hugh Hewitt.

I will now be identifying myself as a Conservative! Not a Republican...

Immigration Reform, Sure it is...

Well, I am in an uproar! What is going on in the Republican party?

[Here is a picture of the bill, not yet completed. It's almost 1000 pages! Yikes! What a waste of time and paper! (I don't think that looks like recylced paper-any environmentalists up in arms?)]

First, the Congress is going to jam down our throats, without following any of the Senate procedures, something called Comprehensive Immigration Reform. What it does is grant legal status to illegal immigrants. So, it doesn't grant citizenship, but it provides for a short-cut to citizenship!

What about all the other people who have immigrated through the proper channels? What about the persons who have waited in the lines and hired the lawyers and went through the monster INS? They are being, dare I say it, disenfranchised! This bill tells them that they wasted their time and money following our laws! Furthermore, this bill CHEAPENS those of us who are already citizens. American Citizenship is open to EVERYONE, as long as they go through the proper procedures. Why don't they fix the procedures?

And really! What about our own laws? Do we even care that everyone on Capital Hill seems to think that it's okay to break laws? I DO!!!! What the devil? Who are the Republicans talking to? Surely they are not talking to the base.

Newt Gingrich said (I'm paraphrasing), we are allowing people to become citizens, persons who have first broke our laws. I'm asking, if these people already have no disregard for the law, why are we letting them in????!!!!! They will probably continue to have little to no care for our laws. Our prisons will be stuffed (which I think they already are). Now, that is not to say that all illegals are vagrants, but you see my point. You can not be a subjective rule breaker! The law can not work that way. A law not enforced has no power and loses all effectiveness.


So, blogging is in. I've signed up for a myspace page, but I guess that's just not good enough. I don't really spend enough time in myspace to make it worth doing the blog thing there. Besides, I like Blogger. It's very easy and I can keep it separate from my page on myspace-should I desire some anonymity.

Blogging is what I need. At least that is what a good friend of mine told me yesterday. She said she would read my blog to see what I'm thinking about certain issues. I thought she had a point. I have been blessed with a passionate disposition, and in order to avoid ticking off every friend I have, a nuetral place to post my opinions is a good idea.

This is my main reason for blogging. I have extremely hard-core views and don't believe that I should abstain from having them. I am looking forward to having a place where I can get things off my chest!

Welcome friends and searchers, alike.