Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How Childish Are You?

I am curious...and I like to have the last word.  In response to my post about Arizona's tough new immigration law, I lost a couple of followers.  Big deal, their choice.  In that post I included a link to a previous post where I vented some frustrations about illegal immigration and how it affected me personally. How childish do you have to be to do the following?  Some one commented on that post and asked me a question that I would be happy to answer for them.  Here is the problem...they didn't have the intestinal fortitude (guts) to leave a name with their comment. would you like me to answer a question if I don't know who you are.  Here is the question they asked.

You make excellent points.

I'm curious, did your ancestors have green card or any working document ready to show when they arrived on Ellis Island? I'm guessing no. That is all.

Now, I'm guessing that this was a comment left by one of those who are no longer following me.  I readily admit that I have stopped following some blogs because the author held beliefs that I did not agree with.  Let me also say, I follow many blogs where I don't agree with everything that everyone posts.  The one or two I have stopped following were way out there in my opinion.  Ultimately, if someone doesn't want to follow me, then please leave if you don't enjoy what I write.  I'm fine with that.

Back to the question and my answer.  As a matter of fact, yes, my ancestors had all the proper documentation they were required to have when they came to this country.  THEY FOLLOWED THE RULES. 

And, in fact, my maternal grandmother traveled 4 times back and forth between the United States and Hungary between the ages of 2 and 16.  Her parents came to this country for a better life.  When she was 2 they returned to Hungary to help out HER grandparents.  She returned to the U.S.A.  by herself when she was 15 so she could maintain her American citizenship.  She left her parents in Hungary, her father working hard and her ill mother helping out when she could.  She then went back to Hungary again, BY HERSELF to retrieve her parents.  Unfortunately her mother passed away while in Hungary and her father would not return to the United States without his wife.  My grandmother (now 16) then got on another boat bound for the USA with her cousin who was 18 and a friend who was also 16.  These ocean voyages took weeks.  They didn't have any one traveling with them to insure their safety.  But they filed the proper paperwork to leave and return to this country every time because they wanted to be Americans. 

My ancestors wanted to have a better life.  They wanted to contribute to a nation they believed in.  They didn't come to this country and immediately start engaging in illegal activities.  They didn't try to smuggle their relatives into the country in their steamer trunk.  They worked hard, they paid taxes, they owned property and  they left a legacy that spans several generations.  My grandmother never regretted her decision to come to this country without her father.  She missed him and was sad that she would never see her parents again.

One more point I would like to make before I get off my soapbox.  Many that come to this country illegally -and I know there are illegals in this country who are NOT Hispanic - they claim that they come to this country illegally because the paperwork and the requirements are so stringent and costly and time-consuming.  Wanna know something?  It's much easier to get into this country now than it was 100 years ago.  Do you think that the requirements weren't stringent back then?  Do you think the paperwork wasn't costly back then?  Do you think it wasn't time-consuming back then?  People who TRULY want to be American citizens will do what it takes legally, not matter the cost, the time, the restrictions.

Sermon complete!

"Get Your Glam On" Fashion Show Review - part 2

If you are just tuning in , you are now in the middle of a three part Fashion Show Review of "Get Your Glam On".  Part 1 can be found on Rio Dell Baptist Church's Ruth's Room Blog - click here to go there.
If you are continuing from Ruth's Room's Blog - Welcome to Tally's Place!  Tally is the granddaughter of my wonderful, bestest friend, Cindi.  After reading the fashion show review be sure to come back and read some of Cindi's past posts - she is a talented multi-faceted writer that writes from the heart -
and become a follower so that you won't miss her future posts!
Now on to the "Get Your Glam On" Fashion Show Review............
This next outfit was like a math equation 3-1+1 = a great outfit!
This outfit started out with a matching tunic top - but we wanted to give the outfit a different direction - so it was out with the typical and enter the stylish two-color velour mini dress now top over cotton India pants and a sash wore as a headband.  Ending with some fabulous bronze heels...

Urban Chic - would wear well in the city or enjoying the life in the country.............
A green sleeveless dress topped with a gray button vest, belted together with a green and purple flower design belt - adorned with a wooden bead necklace, scarf and a leather backpack style bag ......

"Woodstock" was the first word spoken by the some of the audience when Evelyn came out in this 60's- inspired outfit. A purple suede zip up dress becomes a vest over the red turtle neck with a bit of modern update with the black corset belt.  The blue jeans have red roses embroidered down one leg and the pant legs are tucked into a pair of brown thick heeled ankle high brown boots.

This outfit Callie is wearing displays the use of different textures and layers using only black and white as the colors. The three-quarter length sleeve is a thick, fiber-woven top, with a black and white checked slim skirt over a pair of footless leggings and a pair of black and white vintage pumps.
This equestrian-inspired outfit started with a pair of authentic riding jodhpurs and a grey turtle neck and a red plaid buttoned blouse with elastic at the waist and ruffles on the bodice area and a red and black trimmed jacket and brown leather knee-high boots with buckles.   I think Callie is looking for her riding crop....

I'm seeing spots.....
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!
Genesis is having fun taking a stroll with a polka dotted dresses with an 80's flair. She is wearing a white, button-up blouse with small black polka dots underneath a strapless cotton, dark pink dress with large black polka dots. A thin knit shirt with floral designs becomes a pair of leggings and the ankle high black boots give it a rebel flair.  So Awesome!!!
Miss Evelyn is wearing a pair of black slacks that features a darling vintage appeal with the embellishments in front - styled after a "sailor's " look - there are buttons down each side trimmed in a vanilla white.  The thin strapped vanilla color, sequined tank was too long at first and  hid the front the slacks  - so a knot was made at the side where the tank had a drawstring feature and the strings came out of the middle of the knot..... Black and white bangles with a vintage drawstring bag adorned with beads finish the look.
'Lil Miss Sunshine
Molly appears refreshed in this pale yellow knee length dress.  It has a fitted top with some ruching in matching organza around the top. The full skirt makes it a fun dress to wear.  It is a beautiful contrast to Molly's dark eyes and locks.

Disco Fever
Here is Makala in a shiny out-of-sight outfit.  She is wearing a short-sleeved gold sequin mini-dress.  Her wedge heels were refashioned to complete the look - they started off being espadrilles with crocheted lace in the wedges, this was carefully removed and the soles masked with tape and spray painted in a metallic gold. Next, a thin layer of all-purpose tacky glue was applied to the whole heel, then sprinkled heavily with metallic gold large flake glitter. She was accessorized with silver belt and necklaces to compliment Lexi.
Flower Child - this one was a fun outfit to put together.....
She is wearing a rust-colored sweater mini-dress with Dolman sleeves. Layered under the dress is a burgundy tutu with fall leaves in the hem.  Across the body is a patchwork corduroy messenger bag, a headband of burgundy ribbon with smaller leaves flow nicely with Genesis long hair. Her shoes - which she is holding in her hand because she came out skipping along the runway -  are tall heeled with green straps that buckle around the ankle and are adorned with a purplish flower across the toes.
This darling vintage purple dress came in and it just had to go in the fashion show....
It is a 50's era dress with a straight waist and a full skirt fitted bodice and short sleeves.  To bring it up to date, it was paired with a brown blazer with the sleeves pushed up, brown knee length boots and a vinyl see-through messenger bag. Evelyn's sassy short hairstyle is an asset to this outfit.
Baby It's Cold Outside....
Here Callie looks stunning in this long slender evening gown of black and silver brocade.  Keeping her warm is a black faux-fur bolero jacket.  And topped off with a frosty white rose headband.
Off To The Kentucky Derby and then Tea with the Queen....
Molly is back with another classic outfit in this back with small white polka dot print dress that has layers at the hem to give it a full look.  It also repeats the layered look in the collar and two white buttons at the neckline for accent. A black hat with a scarf tied around the brim, long white gloves and a jeweled bracelet, a vintage black clasp top purse and black sling back heels complete this look. One lump or two?
of course in Hawaiian, Aloha means both Hello and Goodbye so Genesis is the last girl in part two....
...and she is ready to hit the beach and a luau with this authentic Hawaiian made sun dress. Genesis is wearing a red with white hibiscus and palm all-over print design.  Her flip-flops are made from wood.
This concludes the end of "Get Your Glam On" Fashion Show Review Part 2!  To continue on to Part Three and the conclusion of this review - head on over to ReFashioned Threads by clicking here.
Thank you Cindi for letting us invade your blog - *hugs to you*

Arizona and New Immigration Laws

If you watch or read the news at all, you know that Arizona recently passed a tough illegal immigration law.  According to an article in my morning paper that was submitted by the Associated Press, Arizona has "become the center of national immigration debate."  If you don't know what the law is about, to put it plainly, the new law "makes it a state crime to be in the U.S. illegally and it directs police to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are illegal."  Lawmakers and our own coconut in the White House have declared the law unconstitutional and have said it will lead to racial profiling and harassment by the police. 

In signing this policy into law, Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona has stated,
"The new state misdemeanor crime of failure to complete or carry an alien registration document is adopted verbatim from the same offense found in federal statute," she said. "I will not tolerate racial discrimination or racial profiling in Arizona."
I think most of my readers know how I feel about immigration, especially the illegal kind.  If you aren't sure or don't remember, you could read a post about my feelings here.  I applaud Governor Brewer and her courage to take care of a situation in her state that has been all but ignored nationally for generations.  Every president promises to do something about illegal immigration, but none of them actually follow through.  Why?  Because the Hispanic population carries a lot of political weight.  They lobby, they boycott, they are a force to be reckoned with.  And I am not against legal immigration.  I'm all for it.  At one point or another, almost all of us have ancestors that immigrated to North America.

For those that think Governor Brewer is wrong in trying to protect the state she is responsible for, let me share a few statistics that were in that same news article I read this morning.

  • Arizona is home to approx. 460,000 illegal immigrants
  • In the past 3 yrs. Border Patrol agents in Arizona have arrested an avg. of 900 illegals entering Arizona EVERY DAY
  • Federal agents seized approx. 1.2 million pounds of marijuana in Arizona last year.  That is roughly 1.5 tons PER DAY
  • Last week 67 illegals were found crammed into the back of a U-Haul entering Arizona.  This happens EVERY DAY

These figures represent just ONE of the states that border Mexico.  I live in California and I'm sure there are similar statistics for my state.  We can look at this situation in another way.  Although I have never traveled outside of the U.S. I know there are certain requirements for doing so.

  • To cross the border out of the USA I must carry a passport.
  • To travel to MEXICO:
    • If I'm under 18, I am required to also carry notarized permission from my parent or guardian
  • If I'm planning an extended stay to any country I need a visa.
  • I can expect that I will be questioned about my travel plans as I leave the US and as I enter the country I am visiting
  • I can expect that my travel documents will be inspected when I leave the US and I enter the country I am visiting
  • I can expect that if I am stopped for any reason while in the foreign country, I will be required to show identification and the documents that allow me to be in that country.
These requirements are for my own protection, the protection of the United States and the protection of the country I am visiting.  Why is that so hard to understand?  Why should we not require and expect the same of people that are in OUR country.  Why do we feel sorry for those that enter our country illegally?  Why do we think we need to offer them amnesty from entering the country illegally and then provide them with citizenship? (As the coconut in the White House wants to do).  I JUST DON'T GET IT!

By no means am I telling you how to think or feel or vote.  If you support tougher immigration legislation, let your coconut and political representatives know.  If you support more lenient immigration policies, let the powers that be know that too.  This is OUR country and we have elected these people to do what we want them to.  If they don't know how we feel, they certainly can't make informed decisions.

You all know how I feel about it.  I routinely contact my legislators on any number of issues that concern me.  Do I know that they consider my opinions when they vote? No.  Do I know that I have done my part as a citizen to make my opinions known and voiced for what I believe will make our country better?  You betcha'.

For a more humorous look at immigration, you can check this post that was inspired by an email my mom sent me about a year ago.  Hope it makes you smile.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I Just Finished Reading...

...Slaves in the Family by Edward Ball.  This was the first book written by Ball, who is descended from one of the earliest settlers of South Carolina; Elias "Red Cap" Ball.  By doing exhaustive research into oral family history, meticulous plantation records, and even an advertisement in local newspapers, Ball was able to tell a narrative of family history that keeps one captivated.  His writing style flowed easily and the story was told with all the twists and turns of a mystery/action/romance novel.

Ball was able to connect with descendants of former slaves that had lived on the Ball plantations from the early 1600's up until the middle of the 20th century.  These weren't just people who had relatives on the Ball lands.  These were blood relatives, in many cases, to Edward Ball himself.  In reading this family history, I also gained a better understanding of American history.  The history of native people on the soil that would become the United States, the history of the slave trade to Charleston, South Carolina, the history of the participation of slaves in the Revolutionary War, and the history of the Civil War all became clearer to me as I read this book. 

This is the only book written by Edward Ball that I have read so far, however I am interested in reading some of his other books as well.  I'd really like to read his book, The Genetic Strand: Exploring a Family History Through DNA, which takes a closer, more scientific look into the lives of his ancestors that were introduced in Slaves. 

Another of his titles was co-authored with Edwina Harleston Whitlock, a relative of Ball's and an ancestor to the relationship of one of Edward Ball's uncles and his black slave.  This was a relationship that lasted many years and produced several children. This family history is looked at more closely in The Sweet Hell Inside: The Rise of an Elite Black Family in the Segregated South.  The are characters that are introduced in Slaves in the Family.

Since almost all of my ancestors immigrated here from Europe after the Civil War, I don't think there are any slaves in my family, not directly any way.  But who knows, I'm sure there are a few skeletons in the closet I haven't discovered yet.  How about you?  Do you have slaves in your family?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I'm a Bibliophile!

Don't know what that is?  Well, according to Merriam-Webster, a bibliophile is simply a "lover of books."  Ask anyone to tell you one thing that I have lots of, and most will tell you books.  I can't ever remember not knowing how to read.  And even as I was reading on my own, my parents were still reading to me and my siblings.  My mom would read her magazines and romance novels; my dad would read Tarzan and Louis Lamour books.  A love of the written word has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. 

I was looking through my overstuffed Google Reader and came across a post from Faith, Family, and Fun.  It was all about the Top 100 Children's Novels.   She got her list from, which conducted a poll and then compiled a list of the 100 most listed books.

When I was going to college, one of my required courses was Children's Literature.  I loved it!  I still read books that would be considered children's literature.  I read those that have been around for nearly 100 years and things written within the last 10 or 20.  I love books!  I chose a different website for my list of 100 books.  I went to, a site I became familiar with when I was taking that college course.  There are so many different kinds of lists here that I couldn't choose just one.  So, I took a few books off of each of the various lists.   
So like quinnschilling at Faith, Family, and Fun, I have listed my Top 100 Children's Books and Novels.  I have read all of these!  I can't believe it.  In fact, some of these have been read more than once, some many times.  I recommend each and every one of these books.  Some are for younger children and some are for older children.  All are for grown-ups.  They are perfect to read on one's own or as a family read aloud.

If the author has a website or blog, I have also listed that.  Many of these author sites have more than just information on the author and the books their books.  Many have interactive pages for kids (or kids at heart) and pages that provide lesson ideas for using the book as a teaching tool. 

My Top 100 Children's Books and Novels

  1.   Little WomenLouisa May Alcott

  2.   Little Men ~ Louisa May Alcott

  3.  A Secret Garden ~ Frances Hodgson Burnett

  4. The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  5. Black Beauty ~ Anna Sewell

  6. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ~ Mark Twain

  7. Charlotte's Web ~ E. B. White

  8. Little House in the Big Woods ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

  9. Little House on the Prairie ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

  10. On the Banks of Plum Creek ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

  11. Farmer Boy ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

  12. By the Shores of Silver Lake ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

  13. Little Town on the Prairie ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

  14. The Long Winter ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

  15. The First Four Years ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

  16. These Happy Golden Years ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

  17. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase ~ Joan Aiken

  18. Tuck Everlasting ~ Natalie Babbitt

  19. Caddie Woodlawn ~ Carol Ryrie Brink

  20. Ramona the Pest ~ Beverly Cleary

  21. Beezus and Ramona ~ Beverly Cleary

  22. Henry Huggins ~ Beverly Cleary

  23. James and the Giant Peach ~ Roald Dahl

  24. Harriet the Spy ~ Louise Fitzhugh

  25. Diary of a Young Girl ~ Anne Frank

  26. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler ~ E. L. Konigsburg

  27. Ben and Me ~ Robert Lawson

  28. Number the Stars ~ Lois Lowry

  29. The Giver ~ Lois Lowry

  30. Esperanza Rising ~ Pam Munoz Ryan

  31. Amelia and Eleanor Go For a Ride ~ Pam Munoz Ryan

  32. Sarah, Plain and Tall ~ Patricia MacLachlan

  33. Make Way for Ducklings ~ Robert McCloskey

  34. One Morning in Maine ~ Robert McCloskey

  35. Blueberries for Sal ~ Robert McCloskey

  36. Holes ~ Louis Sachar

  37. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry ~ Mildred Taylor

  38. The Boxcar Children ~ Gertrude Chandler Warner

  39. Cheaper by the Dozen ~ Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr.

  40. The Velveteen Rabbit or, How Toys Become Real ~ Margery Williams

  41. The Tale of Despereaux ~ Kate DiCamillo

  42. The Westing Game ~ Ellen Raskin

  43. How to Eat Fried Worms ~ Thomas Rockwell

  44. RoxaboxenAlice McLerran

  45. Miss Rumphius ~ Barbara Cooney

  46. Island Boy ~ Barbara Cooney

  47. Eleanor ~ Barbara Cooney

  48. Hattie and the Wild Waves ~ Barbara Cooney

  49. Ox-Cart Man ~ Donald Hall

  50. Madeline ~ Ludwig Bemelmans

  51. The Old Man and the Sea ~ Ernest Hemingway

  52. Danger: The Dog-Yard Cat ~ Libby Riddles

  53. Storm Run:The Story of the First Woman to Win the Iditarod Sled Dog Race ~ Libby Riddles

  54. My Side of the Mountain ~ Jean Craighead George 

  55. The Stinky Cheese Man ~ Jon Scieszka

  56. The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! ~ Jon Scieszka

  57. Crispin: The Cross of Lead ~ Avi

  58. The Bad Beginning ~ Lemony Snicket

  59. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom ~ Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault

  60. Bad Day at Riverbend ~ Chris Van Allsburg

  61. The Mysteries of Harris Burdick ~ Chris Van Allsburg

  62. Stellaluna ~ Janell Cannon

  63. Verdi ~ Janell Cannon

  64. Crickwing ~ Janell Cannon

  65. The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure ~ Hans Magnus Enzensberger

  66. The Mitten ~ Jan Brett

  67. The Hat ~ Jan Brett

  68. The Legend of Lightning Larry ~ Aaron Shepherd

  69. The Keeping Quilt ~ Patricia Polacco

  70. Chicken Sunday ~ Patricia Polacco

  71. The Outsiders ~ S. E. Hinton

  72. Encyclopedia Brown ~ Donald J. Sobol

  73. How the Grinch Stole Christmas ~ Dr. Seuss

  74. The Crippled Lamb ~ Max Lucado

  75. Olive, The Other Reindeer ~ Vivian Walsh

  76. Love, Ruby Lavender ~ Deborah Wiles

  77. Each Little Bird That Sings ~ Deborah Wiles

  78. Yonder ~ Tony Johnston and Lloyd Bloom

  79. Olivia - Ian Falconer

  80. Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ~ Doreen Rappaport

  81. I Have a Dream ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., introduction byCoretta Scott King

  82. The Wall – by Eve Bunting

  83. When I Was Young in the Mountains ~ Cynthia Rylant and Diane Goode

  84. Bud, Not Buddy ~  by Christopher Paul Curtis

  85. Snowflake Bentley ~ Jaqueline Briggs Martin and Mary Azarian

  86. Miss Nelson Is Missing! ~ Harry G. Allard, Jr.

  87. Amelia Bedelia ~Peggy Parish

  88. I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! ~ Karen Beaumont

  89. Through My Eyes ~ Ruby Bridges

  90. A Cool Drink of Water ~ Barbara Kerley

  91. N.C. Wyeth's Pilgrims ~ Robert D. San Souci

  92. Hannah and Jack ~ Mary Nethery and Mary Morgan

  93. Owl Moon ~ Jane Yolen

  94. How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? ~ Jane Yolen

  95. Out of the Dust ~ Karen Hesse

  96. Where the Wild Things Are ~ Maurice Sendak

  97. Grandfather's Journey ~ Allen Say

  98. The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot ~ Alice and Martin Provensen

  99. Talkin’ About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman ~ Nikki Grimes

  100. Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky ~ Faith Ringgold


Are you a bibliophile? 
What is your all-time favorite children's book?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

What's Your Body Image?

I will be the first to admit that I have suffered from a poor body image complex.  All through high school I thought I was fat and my larger-than-average breasts earned me all kinds of nick names (most notably, Knockers.)  Yeah.  I have looked at pictures of myself as I have aged and um...grown and always made jokes and felt disgusted.  But looking back on my teen-age years I realize I wasn't fat.  I was a normal girl that had curves.  Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, curves.  My high school sweetie, who is now my BunBun always told me and still does, that I'm beautiful.  Why do we not listen to those around us who tell us these things?  Is it because they tell us positive things about our bodies and such, but look negatively at themselves?  Do we continue to do this with our own children?  I know that there have been many times I have told my children they are beautiful, aren't fat, etc. while saying the exact opposite about myself. 

I do have a more positive self image than I did in high school.  I have learned to appreciate and love the curves God has given me.  My husband tells me I am beautiful inside and out and...let's be honest here...loves my body too.  Well, it's time to do my part to promote positive self body image.  Here goes it or not, this is me.  And I'm beautiful.

At our wedding rehearsal

Wedding day with my beautiful mom

My beautiful daughter Callie helping me put on makeup


A month after we got married...moving in to our "new" place

Yeah...Maisey is thrilled...Not!

These are my calves, which I may or may not have referred to in the past as "full-grown cows" and "turkey drumsticks."  But they help me climb stairs and hills like no body's business.

So what brought all this on?  Did I watch one too many Dove soap commercials promoting real women and true beauty?  Did I watch one too many episodes of Intervention featuring anorexic and bulimic girls?  Nope.  I read the blog Mom Tried It and her post about the image we have and promote to our children and others around us.  Kim hit the nail on the head and said what she had to say so succinctly.  She has a blog hop going on.  Go check it out if you are interested.

 And look in the mirror and tell yourself you are beautiful.  It's true, you know.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Did You Know.... can recycle infant car seats?  Yep, it's true.  I just read it over at The Snyder 5.  Molly Snyder does a regular post on recycling "cans" and "can'ts" and she just posted about this great company called Baby Earth that will accept all kinds of baby items like strollers, high chairs, and car seats and will recycle them.  It's free and you get a $5 gift certificate to Baby Earth.  They carry all kinds of eco and organic baby items.  Wow...this is really exciting!

...that aprons are really big right now?  I posted about the adorable ones Starla had made.  And her and I have been adding all sorts of  "stuff" to our pile-to-keep at Ruth's Room to turn into too stinkin' cute aprons.  And....Disney over at Ruffles and Stuff just posted a tutorial on how to make an apron from a t-shirt.  Way Cute!  I love aprons and I think they add a bit of femininity and nostalgia that is so needed in this day and age.

...Piper, the daughter of one of my besties had a well-written Letter to the Editor published in our local newspaper?   This girl is a testament to what a loving, stable, God-fearing, Christian family can accomplish if they set their minds to it.  Piper is a college freshman who was recently told by her Public Speaking teacher that she COULD NOT give a persuasive speech against abortion, although someone else in the class is being allowed to give a speech on the benefits of assisted suicide.  Piper decided to change the topic of her speech to the benefits of adoption.  And then she wrote this letter to our local paper.  Way to go, Piper!  You make us all proud.

...that I'm so appreciative of all of you that read my ramblings and say prayers for me and my family and leave comments of encouragement and support on this blog?  You are all such a blessing and I thank God each day for those of you that have made me feel extra special.  I pray for blessings of heaven to rain down on each of you.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Christians and Earth Day

Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that Earth Day is on April 22.  For many of us, it a chance to educate our children about being good stewards of what God has provided to us through nature.  We might pick up trash on the beach or plant flowers and trees.  But I also know there are other views out there.  While attending Humboldt State University Earth Day was a huge ordeal with all kinds of drum circles and speeches and general "good vibes."  I have never really celebrated Earth Day and so I wanted to see what its origins were and how Christians should respond to it.  Here is what I discovered.

Earth Day was started in 1969 by a peace activist by the name of John McConnell.  As a young adult in 1939, McConnell was working in a plastics factory.  His experiences there helped him realize how much pollution happens from just one factory.  Before initiating Earth Day, McConnell was active in peace and awareness movements around the world.  His focus was often on providing food for hungry and peaceful communication and cooperation among nations in regards to space exploration and education.

In the fall of 1969, Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin gave a speech to a conservation group in Seattle.  His vision of Earth Day would be a nationwide teach-in on environmental issues.  Nelson was hoping that a grassroots effort would take hold and prevail on Washington D.C. to bring to light how the average American felt about environmental issues and thus affect change in policy.  Nelson's efforts paid off and Earth day "went global" in a short period of time.

However, lest you think all was rosy and with good intentions, let me share some quotes from the essays written for the sole purpose of distribution in support of Earth Day.  These were created with the encouragement and support of those who initially planned an observance of Earth Day back in 1969/70.  The following information was gathered from several different sites.  Each one is listed with the info I gathered there.

From the April 2009 issue of Forcing Change, the following quote was used to encourage leaders to promote Earth Day.  Does it sound anything like Al Gore and his global-warming fantasy?

Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb, contributed a doomsday scenario to ignite impressionable minds: By 1973 air pollution would be choking cities, causing single-event smog disasters with death tolls in the hundreds of thousands – all heralding the advent of a global air quality collapse that would make the “planet uninhabitable” sometime before 1990. By the mid-seventies, the US grain belt would be turning into the great Mid-western desert, wiping out food stocks. During this time period, Ehrlich speculated, America’s resource sector would be collapsing and a national “family planning” program would have to be set up alongside an international agenda to curb the human population. By the summer of 1979, the world’s oceans would be dead and all sea-based animal life extinct.13

When it comes to Earth Day and religion, the teaching materials in Forcing Change were radically non-Christian/Judeo based.

“Christianity, in absolute contrast to ancient paganism and Asia’s religions…not only established a dualism of man and nature but also insisted that it is God’s will that man exploit nature for his proper ends.

"At the level of the common people this worked out in an interesting way. In antiquity every tree, every spring, every stream, every hill had its own genius loci, its guardian spirit. These spirits were accessible to men… Before one cut a tree, mined a mountain, or dammed a brook, it was important to placate the spirit in charge of that particular situation, and to keep it placated. By destroying pagan animism, Christianity made it possible to exploit nature in a mood of indifference to the feelings of natural objects.” [p.20-21, Lynn White Jr.].
“No new set of basic values has been accepted in our society to displace those of Christianity. Hence we shall continue to have a worsening ecologic crisis until we reject the Christian axiom that nature has no reason for existence save to serve man.” [p.25, Lynn White Jr.].

"Wilderness is a bench mark, a touchstone…New perspectives come out of the wilderness. Jesus, Zoroaster, Moses, and Mohammed went to the wilderness and came back with messages…This handbook, and the teach-in it serves, have their beginnings in wilderness.” [p. 148, Kenneth Brower].
There is worship that should be celebrated however(according to Earth Day proponents), the worship of Gaia-Mother Earth.  And, according to these proponents, we should not be angering "our mother."  The Dalai Lama said
“Until now…Mother Earth has somehow tolerated sloppy house habits. But now human use, population, and technology have reached that certain stage where Mother Earth no longer accepts our presence with silence. In many ways she is now telling us, ‘My children are behaving badly.’ She is warning us that there are limits to our actions…”
From the website of the American Policy Center I found the following quote.
One of the prime spokesmen for the Gaia earth religion is Father Thomas Berry, a dissident Catholic priest and a leader of the Temple of Understanding, located in New York City. Father Berry contends that Christianity promotes "deep cultural pathology of human greed and addiction." He advocates that the earth is disintegrating and that Christianity is mostly to blame.

Father Berry believes that we are now entering an era of "earth consciousness" and he heralds a new era he calls the "Ecozoic Age" that will transcend God. Father Berry suggests that we will have to remove the idea that only humans are created in the likeness of God

So am I saying that as Christians we should just go about the business of living and not care a hoot about pollution and the condition of natural resources?  Definitely not!  God expects us to be good stewards of all that He provides for us.  This includes our family, our money, our time, and our earth.  But the earth was created by an all-powerful God for use by His ultimate creation, man.

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

Genesis 1:28-30 (KJV)

The Bible also provides very clear and precise instructions when it comes to who and what should be worshiped.

"You shall have no other gods before  me.  You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments."
Exodus 20:3-6 (NIV)

So what should Christians do about Earth Day?  If your child's class or school is having an Earth Day celebration (which most do), make sure your child understands that we don't worship the earth but we do take care of what God has given us.  This is a lesson that can be taught at anytime.  I see no reason we can't take part in keeping our earth healthy by recycling, shopping responsibly, planting flowers and trees when possible, and following the laws of our government in relation to pollution, etc.  But these are things I strive to do all the time anyway.  I don't need a special day to tell me to do these things.  And I certainly won't be saying a prayer for Gaia, or beating a drum, or having a party to celebrate earth's gifts to me.  God has given me all that I have and I give Him the glory for the gifts He has given me. 

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17 (NIV)

Monday, April 12, 2010

You're All I Am

If any of you are Foreigner fans, you may know their song of the same name.  It was on the Double Vision album and although it was never released as a single, I think it should have been.

If you haven't heard it, you can click play on this YouTube video.

For those like me who want to read the lyrics and sing along... here they are.

I never knew a man could be so lonely

That life would treat a man so wrong
But when the odds were all against me
You gave me the strength to carry on

You gave me a new start, so I will give you my heart

You, you are my life, you're all I am
Only you can understand the way I am

You never give me enough of your love
I need more and more each day
Honey, can't you see the only thing I can be sure of
Is that something real has come my way

Oh, so I believe my heart, though sometimes it tears me apart

You, you are my life, you're all I am
Baby it's you, you are my life, you're all I am
Only you can understand the way I am

You know I live my life for you
You are my life, you're all I am

Ooh baby it's true, you are my life, you're all I am
Only you can understand the way I am

So....why am I sharing this with you? You mean, aside from the fact that this is 80's music and it's Foreigner?!? 

This is one of the first songs BunBun played for me when we got back together after our 20+ years apart. (I really need to tell that whole story sometime.) I had never heard it before.  I don't know how I didn't, but I didn't.  Anyway, now every time we hear it or we are playing 80's music and it comes on, we stop and dance.  Sappy?  I don't care.  I'm totally and madly in love with this man and I don't care how sappy I sound, look, or act.  I'm so thankful God chose to bless me for some unknown reason with this man.  I have made many mistakes and committed many sins and I'm so thankful that God forgives me again and again.  We will never be worthy of the love of the Father and I don't feel I deserve the wonderful husband I have.  But thank you LORD for loving me enough to show me unconditional love with Your Son and with the gift of my husband.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Random Thoughts

Since I have been trapped in the house with the Crud, I've had a lot of down time.  I recently found my Ipod Shuffle that my daughter, Callie gave me a couple of Christmases ago.  I don't really listen to much of today's music, so there is mostly 80's music on my Shuffle.  Thrown in with that is some Maroon 5, Jason Mraz, and even some Veggie Tales.  (I'm a little different).  Gimme some Stevie Wonder and Frank Sinatra too.  I also have some great Christian artists on there.  Steven Curtis Chapman, Third Day,Point of Grace, Francesca Battistelli, and Keith Green.

Keith Green, for those of you that have never heard of him, was a musical artist called home to his Heavenly Father in 1982.  I was 15 at the time and didn't even know Keith Green existed.  My cousin had given me his So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt record and I probably had it laying around for a couple years before I actually listened to the whole album and what the songs were actually saying.  It changed my life. 

I know people have said that about music before, but I can't describe it any other way.  God spoke to me through Keith's music.  The songs helped me see my need to follow GOD completely and totally.  The songs showed me how much GOD wants a relationship with us.

Soon my record player died and life went on.  But every time I thought of those songs, they touched my heart.  Sometime in the early 90's I  came across No Compromise, the book written by Keith's wife, Melody Green.

This book told about Keith and Melody's conversion to Christianity and their journey to live out the Christianity of the Bible.  It is an amazing story.  It also showed my things about myself I hadn't realized before.  Since I only had the one record of Keith's and record players are now dinosaurs, I wasn't sure I would ever hear those songs again.

Thank goodness for technology!  I can now listen to these songs again thanks to iTunes. 

God is good.
All the time.
All the time.
God is good.


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