Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I love this photo! Right now as I type, she is on the floor of the dining room playing with empty formula cans in a pot and loving the sound. Babies are so easy to entertain. Today, my dear and sweet hubby, is working a half day today. In civilian hours, it will be after lunch. In military hours, and aviation at that, it will be almost a full working day for civilians. Can't wait for retirement. A regular job will be cake walk for him by then.
Our baby girl will be turning the big 1 year in a couple of weeks!! She's almost walking on her own, but is holding off. She's running along the couch, not even holding on, just draping her arm. The other 2 are getting big too. It's true what you always hear your parents saying when you are young. They really do grow up so fast!
I'm still in my pj's and haven't cleaned a thing this morning. Which I need to do. I need to do some laundry today. My projects for today is to bring down the baby dresser and my little girl's dresser to the family room so that the TV and cable box have a place other than the floor. The whole room needs a cleaning and I am rearranging the furniture. The desk is getting moved to the living room and the HUGE entertainment center is going into the garage, which I also need to move things to make room for. It is one of those wall centers that only holds a 37 inch TV. Our TV barely fits. Literally squeezes in.
Big, heavy plans.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

This is part serenity for me. I love the sounds of the ocean and the smell of the salty air. It was chilly this day too. A bit windy for me, but I still like it. This is just a short drive for us. Another short drive this weekend and we'll play in the snow also. Gotta love southern California.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

America at it's finest. I say this sarcastically. This article is for those people who naively believe that you can trust your mind, body, soul, and health to anyone other than yourself.

Survey: Half of US doctors use placebo

HOLD FOR RELEASE UNTIL 7 P.M. EDT; graphic shows results of survey on attitudes AP – HOLD FOR RELEASE UNTIL 7 P.M. EDT; graphic shows results of survey on attitudes and behaviors related …

LONDON – About half of American doctors in a new survey say they regularly give patients placebo treatments — usually drugs or vitamins that won't really help their condition. And many of these doctors are not honest with their patients about what they are doing, the survey found.

That contradicts advice from the American Medical Association, which recommends doctors use treatments with the full knowledge of their patients.

"It's a disturbing finding," said Franklin G. Miller, director of the research ethics program at the U.S. National Institutes Health and one of the study authors. "There is an element of deception here which is contrary to the principle of informed consent."

The study was being published online in Friday's issue of BMJ, formerly the British Medical Journal.

Placebos as defined in the survey went beyond the typical sugar pill commonly used in medical studies. A placebo was any treatment that wouldn't necessarily help the patient.

Scientists have long known of the "placebo effect," in which patients given a fake or ineffective treatment often improve anyway, simply because they expected to get better.

"Doctors may be under a lot of pressure to help their patients, but this is not an acceptable shortcut," said Irving Kirsch, a professor of psychology at the University of Hull in Britain who has studied the use of placebos.

Researchers at the NIH sent surveys to a random sample of 1,200 internists and rheumatologists — doctors who treat arthritis and other joint problems. They received 679 responses. Of those doctors, 62 percent believed that using a placebo treatment was ethically acceptable.

Half the doctors reported using placebos several times a month, nearly 70 percent of those described the treatment to their patients as "a potentially beneficial medicine not typically used for your condition." Only 5 percent of doctors explicitly called it a placebo treatment.

Most doctors used actual medicines as a placebo treatment: 41 percent used painkillers, 38 percent used vitamins, 13 percent used antibiotics, 13 percent used sedatives, 3 percent used saline injections, and 2 percent used sugar pills.

In the survey, doctors were asked if they would recommend a sugar pill for patients with chronic pain if it had been shown to be more effective than no treatment. Nearly 60 percent said they would.

Smaller studies done elsewhere, including Britain, Denmark and Sweden, have found similar results.

Jon Tilburt, the lead author of the U.S. study, who is with NIH's bioethics department, said he believes the doctors surveyed were representative of internists and rheumatologists across the U.S. No statistical work was done to establish whether the survey results would apply to other medical specialists, such as pediatricians or surgeons.

The research was paid for by NIH's bioethics department and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

The authors said most doctors probably reasoned that doing something was better than doing nothing.

In some cases, placebos were given to patients with conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome. Doctors also gave antibiotics to patients with viral bronchitis, knowing full well that a virus is impervious to antibiotics, which fight bacteria. Experts believe overuse of antibiotics promotes the development of drug-resistant strains of bacteria.

Some doctors believe placebos are a good treatment in certain situations, as long as patients are told what they are being given. Dr. Walter Brown, a professor of psychiatry at Brown and Tufts universities, said people with insomnia, depression or high blood pressure often respond well to placebo treatments.

"You could tell those patients that this is something that doesn't have any medicine in it but has been shown to work in people with your condition," he suggested.

However, experts don't know if the placebo effect would be undermined if patients were explicitly told they were getting a dummy pill.

Brown said that while he hasn't prescribed sugar pills, he has given people with anxiety problems pills that had extremely low doses of medication. "The dose was so low that whatever effect the patients were getting was probably a placebo effect," he said.

Kirsch, the psychologist, said it might be possible to get the psychological impact without using a fake pill. "If doctors just spent more time with their patients so they felt more reassured, that might help," he said.

Some patients who had just seen their doctors at a clinic in London said the truth was paramount.

"I would feel very cheated if I was given a placebo," said Ruth Schachter, an 86-year-old Londoner with skin cancer. "I like to have my eyes wide open, even if it's bad news," she said. "If I'm given something without being warned what it is, I certainly would not trust the doctor again."


On the Net:

Friday, October 17, 2008

Good news!

There is a great give-away going on right now! 4 Reluctant Entertainers blog is giving away a Fall Box which includes her homemade apple butter. All that is needed is to comment on her blog. Don't blog? That's okay too. Email her to enter to win. No pressure to start a blog with no intention of blogging! How great is that?! Winners will be announced on Monday.
We lucked out so far this fire season. Only one came close enough for me to evacuate but the fire department had it extinguished fast. Conditions should be improving by tonight. This is predicted to be the last day of red flag conditions. (Although it started out only being for Sunday night through Tuesday and here we are at Friday. Typical weather forcasting at its best.) Anyway. I hope that all of you throughout your worlds are planning a lovely weekend. Halloween is almost upon us again. Fall festivals are happening all over the country.

More coming soon. Stay tuned as we wait out this fire season to end. (And others for hurricane season to end also.)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What a beautiful fall day we had today! I long for these days after having such a long summer. Days of 100's and 90's I enjoy the crisp coolness of 66 today. Loved every minute of it. I yearn for the day when we retire that we can move back to a part of the world where we actually experience all 4 seasons. Oh but another 8 years to go before that happens. I don't have much to write today, but I have many ideas to share with you in the coming weeks. So stay tuned. This wild and crazy ride is starting... (laughing at myself here.)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

I am sorry for the long absence. As with anyone with younger kids running afoot, you know firsthand how one catastrophe can easily lead to another! Couple that with an absent husband on a trip, and well, you know... more catastrophe. Oh how it easily flows around here! Running rampant it does.
I do want to let those of you that still actually check on me through here, that the lines of communication will be flowing again. I have found some wonderful design blogs to share.
See you on Monday.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A is for Apron

Here is the apron that I am going to sew. And below is the fabric I have chosen.

I love when I get into my crafty phases of life! I enjoy going into a fabric store or a yarn store. The different colors and patterns just please my senses. I could spend hours in there just perusing the isles. I hope to someday have a craft room when I'm old and gray. It's just not feasible with kids underfoot. My lovely 2 year old loves to get the pins and drag them all out of the pin cushion. It's a thousand wonders she hasn't poked her little self already. I am too excited to start. I may start today if the kids cooperate. Who am I kidding? Kids? Cooperate? Hahaha. That is a contradiction in terms! Well, around this house at least.
All you ladies (and men) out there have a wonderfully blessed Sunday! I will keep you posted on the progress or lack of that I make.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

More thoughts and ideas coming soon.
My desk is a mess and I cannot think clearly or creatively.
Our house needs a quick "sweep" throughout.
Our budget needs to be penned so the dollar has been told where to go.

As I was writing this I noticed myself saying "my" this, "my" that. What a horrible way to lead my thoughts. This weekend I am decluttering. Today I bought things to help me get started. In the meantime, I will update you again soon. I'm also working on a knitting project that is almost done. Pictures will accompany the post too. I have been thinking of starting a craft blog so that my crafts can occupy another space. What do you think? Should I keep it all included within this blog or should I separate them? Readers voice your opinions!

Friday, June 20, 2008


Lady Lydia Speaks
Reducing Stress with Peaceful Living
By Mrs. Stanley Sherman
May 23, 2005 - 8:33:00 PM

Rustic Cedar Chair from

In these times, most people have more stress than they can handle. While we cannot always control the demands or stresses put upon us by others, there are ways to reduce the stress we put on ourselves. Here are a few things that might help:

Develop Orderliness: Feelings of anxiety and loss of control occur when the disorder reigns in your domain. Your house, front porch, and yard may need some sprucing up, and the only way to get it done is to work at it. If you lack motivation, just take a tour of some orderly homes and get inspired. You will return with a renewed interest in making yours the best it can be. To prevent further chaos, get in the habit of automatically picking up and cleaning "as you go." Keeping your home hospitality-friendly, will reduce the stress that comes upon you when someone arrives at your door unexpectedly. You won't have to turn your good friends away, if you'll automatically pick up after yourself. Avoid leaving a trail of clutter, and develop the habit of orderliness in every part of your life, including your purse and the car. At the end of the day, put things away, and the next day will not begin with stress.

Reduce Personal Commitments and Cut Back on Your Schedule: Too many outside activities can draw attention away from the real tasks at hand: our homes and families. If you are a high achiever or have a skill in something, there will always be the temptation to take on too much. There will be those who will put pressure on you to do something. You can politely show that you are booked up for a season of time, as you need some rest and recreation. Some women have benefited by giving themselves a month free from activities and obligations, to do only the things that contribute to their relaxation and peace of mind.

Seaside Garden from

Some of the stress we feel has to do with the speed of our modern world. Instant changes from car to stores, back to car, to appointments here and there thoughout the day can create stress. Our minds barely have time to catch up to these sudden movements. By doing more things at home, or making your outings more recreational, you may find that your anxiety and stress are considerably reduced. Our forebears made less trips to town and engaged in fewer social obligations and did not seem to suffer, on the whole, from the stresses we encounter today. It is possible to study and learn at home, shop at home, recreate at home, and eat at home. If home is a source of stress, catch up on your work, reduce the clutter, make it clean, orderly, beautiful, and peaceful. Making your home the most desirable place to be can reduce stress immeasureably.

Put Beauty in Your Life: Get rid of clothing and household things that depress you. Drink out of a beautiful glass or cup. Beauty can be found in many things, from details of a hand towel to the arrangement of a room. Adorn your home with scenes that are soothing, and surround yourself with the colors and objects that bring a feeling of deep, settled peace. When you find yourself irritated or depressed, look around your house and see if there is disorder or lack of harmony in the physical things that surround you.

Pathway by Cao Yong from

Eliminate Unnecessary Noise and Disturbing Reading Material: Not only are radio, television, web-news, machinery, and other noises irritating, but the constant barrage of information can create stress. You may not be aware that just because something makes the news, it does not mean the public needs to hear about it. The news media consist of organizations which pick and choose what they want to report. They often repeat a disturbing story many times, which heightens a feeling of depression or stress. Just as filling the body full of rotten food will make it sick, so allowing the mind to be filled with reports of moral failure, violence, fear of the future, and personal defeat will not result in good mental health or emotional stability. Usually the news reports are followed by various ads for pharmacueticals --perhaps to make us feel better after giving us all that bad news.

Try getting rid of all media for a few days. Notice that you still had to do your daily work and live your normal routine, and that life goes on, even without a steady diet of media news. Bad news and distasteful reports create more nervousness and promote a feeling of hopelessness. Media reports of this type can reduce our productivity and our success in life. If you truly want to have less stress, try "fasting" from media until your nerves settle down. When a stressful thought enters your mind, replace it with a prayer. Some news may be necessary, but we can live without most of it.

Fill your home with good, useful information. Beautiful, high quality books and reading materials will help your mind feast on "whatsoever things are lovely..." (Philippians 4:8). When the heart is filled with good things, the countenance of the face will reflect it. Emotional stability is improved by good reports.

Pro 15:30: The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat.

Summer Hats from

Dress Your Best Every Day: Experiments have been done among people who were depressed. Half of them were given a prescription to dress up, fix their hair, and put on perfume. The other half were left in their pyjamas or lounge clothes. At the end of a few days, those who were dressing better had improved moods and outlooks on life, while the other half were more depressed. You don't have to depend on official "studies" to see if this is true; just try it yourself, and take note. While clothing won't change all the bad circumstances in your life, dressing well will improve your attitude and you'll have increased confidence to deal with problems. And it doesn't take money to dress neatly, simply, and beautifully.

Participate in Calming Activities: Take a good look at the things you do, and decide how you could eliminate the stressful things that leave you feeling anxious or tired, then add the things that give you life and lift your mood. For a time, eliminate those things which put extra stress on you.

Say Lovely Things. Remember that what goes into the mind is what will end up on the face and come out of the mouth. Ugly thoughts can ruin your day. Practice good mental health by thinking good, positive thoughts of praise. On your lips carry prayer and thanksgiving, which produces calmness. You will notice more stress on the days when you have complained or criticised. Each time one of these thoughts enters your mind, there is a danger of entertaining it. The longer that discouraging thoughts are dwelt upon, the more damage they do to your emotional health. Try for one hour to put aside critical thoughts as they enter your mind. Look at your clock every hour and remind yourself to think and say something good. Expand this to a day. Examine your emotional disposition. Put away bad thoughts by substituting thoughts of thankfulness and words of compliments to others.

Summertime II by Carolyn Shores Wright from

Honor Parents: Strained relationships can result in stress. If you had parents whom you consider inadequate, or if you are in some way estranged from them, at least do not say anything bad about them. If you practice only saying good things, it will reduce your stress considerably. As they see your attitude change into a less critical person, they will reduce the tension they direct towards you. (One way to reduce criticism is to remember that you have not been perfect in everything, either.) Notice that the Bible says we must honor our parents. It doesn't say what kind of parents, so it doesn't matter if you didn't have perfect parents. Some people want "made to order" parents who fit all their own requirements, but whether or not they were excellent is beside the point. In many cases where there is stress in a person's life, it can be discovered that there is a dishonoring attitude toward parents. Most of this stress can be eliminated by simple acts of honor: only speaking well of them, complimenting their good points, appreciating something about them, and remembering them not just on their birthdays/anniversaries, but making other days special for them. Imagine yourself having gone to great efforts for your own children, only to have them ignore you in your old age, and you can understand this principle better.

Eat Natural Foods: Eat foods as close to their natural form and source as you can. A sliced apple is better for you than apple cake, and a salad is better than a candy bar. Many vegetables are better in cooked form, as certain nutrients are released during cooking, but some raw produce should be included in your diet. You will enjoy the flavor of vegetables and fruits if you have your own garden. The closest to home that you get your food, the better it will taste, and the better the nutritional value will be.

Our cars require certain types of oil in them, and we cannot just put any cheap thing into them and expect them to run smoothly. Our bodies are more important than our cars. Green vegetables, fresh fruit, and berries are like the oil for the car; they will keep your body running smoothly. Food with additives (sodiums, bleached flours and sugars, artificial flavors and sweeteners) contribute to the stress in our lives. Often, processed foods are so tasteless that it takes more and more of them to satisfy us. This results in weight-gain, illness, and lethargy. Your body is your vehicle, your machinery, or set of tools, that you need for your life's work. Unlike tools, however, it cannot be replaced, so treat it carefully, with the renewing properties of good nutrition, plenty of rest, water, and peaceful living.

Natural food is designed for the human body to process (pharmacueticals are not necessarily designed to go into the body without side effects and often are not compatible with certain foods), and will go a long way to reducing stress. Some people find it helpful to eat cake only at special occasions, instead of having it available at home. If you will see that your plate contains mostly vegetables, your health will improve and your anxiety will diminish.

Splendid Table by Cao Yong from

Be Creative Every Day: If, at the end of the day, you feel frustrated and nervous, recall if you have been creative. Arts, crafts, sewing, and home decorating are wonderful ways to relieve stress if you don't treat them like "must dos" and make work out of them. There are also ways to be creative in something as simple as clearing off a table or washing dishes. There are many ways to do tiresome tasks cheerfully and creatively. To be creative is to allow the hands to busily engage the mind, which takes it off worrisome things. Just moving arrangements on the mantel of your fireplace, re-arranging something to make it more beautiful, or sweeping the front porch can do wonders for an anxious mind. Be careful not to set quotas for yourself or make your creative activities into stressful tasks. Put them away when they become stressful rather than pleasureable.

Don't Make Homeschooling Stressful: If it becomes a source of contention, rather than a source of joy, put it away and focus on learning in a different manner. Quiet time, arts and crafts, exploring, orderliness, and serving others are also learning areas that can be explored. Homeschooling should be a source of great joy for both the parents and the children, as they develop close relationships with each other. Eliminate studies that have no personal meaning, and you will see a reduction in stress.

Momma's Singer by Lorraine Brewer from

Accept the Necessary Stress: There will be stress in our lives, but it can be used to learn the lessons needed to live properly. If we suffer for doing wrong, we must learn from it and not complain. Our houses get messy and our relatives may be out of sorts with us, but if any of it is our fault, we must admit it and change our ways. When one fault is corrected, we may become forgetful and slide back, and the stress will return. Some stress is necessary in order to refine us, and we must bear it without complaining. (Complaining only adds to unnecessary stress.) There is no stress on earth that has not already been endured by people before us. Keep that in mind, and take courage from their endurance. Accept adversity as a challenge, and welcome the stress that comes with it. A certain amount of stress is normal and necessary. There will always be worrisome things going on that we can do nothing about, and learning to distinguish between what is necessary and what is unnecessary will reduce the level of tension we feel.

On the Porch by William Chadwick from

Get Rid of Personal Bitterness: Sometimes we create stress for ourselves by feeling bitter and unforgiving about difficulties in our lives. I once heard someone suggest that when we harbor resentments, we take on the burden of guilt of others whom we are not forgiving. It certainly does add to our stress. Forgiveness does not mean the other person is right; it just means that we are free. Freeing yourself from bitterness will cause a drop in your level of stress.

Avoid Personal Comparisons: Someone is always going to get something more than you or do better than you. There is no such thing as equality, and there never has been. Everyone is blessed by God in a different way. Some people have more property, but they have more responsibilities and less leisure time. Others living in reduced circumstances might have closer families and less stress. Learn not to compare circumstances. Be happy for the success of others, and "rejoice with those who rejoice." Create beauty and order around you and do your very best, in whatever state you are in. Learn to adjust to abundant times and to lean times in your life.

Phi 4:12: I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

Set Aside Quiet Time Each Day: Remove yourself for half an hour each day to rest and be quiet. Your family will come to enjoy these times the most, and you will be passing on to them a good tradition. "...In quietness, and in confidence shall be your strength..." (Isaiah 30:15).

Private World by Dwayne Warwick from

To increase peaceful living, put order in your life, purity in your soul, beauty in your heart, creativity in your mind, and health in your body.

Recommended Reading to Reduce Stress:

Listen to the Quiet by Alda Ellis

Perfect Peace and Rest by Thomas Kinkaid

Daily Strength for Daily Needs by Mary W. Tileston

God's Little Promise Book by Word Publishing

A Shepherd's Heart by Paul Brownlow

Leaves of Gold by Brownlow Publishing

Gardens of Delight by Abrams Publishing

© Copyright 2002-2008 by LAF/

reprinted with permission.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sorry for the long absence. We were without internet for a while. Let me tell ya. After having the convenience of internet and then going without, is hard. We now have internet, but it's the dreaded internet "D" word... dial-up. It works and I still get my emails, but it is very s-l-o-w. But we're back now.
How have all of you been? I'd love to hear from y'all. Let me know what's going on in your neck of the woods. On the homefront here, a couple of my study groups are done for the summer. I am still in the Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey classes. We are on lesson 4, Dumping Debt. If you haven't heard anything about this guy, you should. He can really help out America. People need to learn how to smartly handle money and then teach our kids! America as a country would not be in a financial windfall if the people in the many offices running our country knew how to handle money on a personal level. It starts on a small level.
This past week, the 4 of us have caught the stomach bug. I didn't get it quite as bad as the last time when I was down with the fever, chills, and all that mess. But I did get it and so did my kids. Thankfully none of us got the fever or chills. Just the mess that goes with the stomach bug. My poor Baby Girl got it 2 nights in a row. And Big Man was the first to get it so he was the only healthy one in the house yesterday while we were all not feeling well. I'm sure he's starving at this point! Lol. Our baby even got sick a couple of times yesterday. I'm so thankful that I breastfeed her. She never once even showed and hint of dehydration! I don't have to worry about Baby Girl, because that 2 year old drinks non-stop. Hubby says she pees like the Hudson River.
Alright. It's time to go fix my crew some breakfast. I'm sure they are as ravenous as I am after not eating much yesterday.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

This is the sad state that my house is in now. And now my baby has woken up and is crying her little heart out. This is not how I want to "help" my husband. By not keeping our home clean and orderly. It isn't a place of resting right now.

My littlest one is 3 months now! Wow. My toddler is every bit of what a toddler exemplifies. Although I do have to say that she hasn't had a complete meltdown in a couple of weeks now! Hallelujah.

This is what my house will look like in a couple of months from now. God is showing me where I am failing and what I need to do to fix it. My home doesn't feel like a home right now. It feels like a catastrophe.

I wonder how hard it would be to make a dress like this? Does anyone know?

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Rapists in the ranks

Sexual assaults are frequent, and frequently ignored, in the armed services.

By Jane Harman
March 31, 2008
The stories are shocking in their simplicity and brutality: A female military recruit is pinned down at knifepoint and raped repeatedly in her own barracks. Her attackers hid their faces but she identified them by their uniforms; they were her fellow soldiers. During a routine gynecological exam, a female soldier is attacked and raped by her military physician. Yet another young soldier, still adapting to life in a war zone, is raped by her commanding officer. Afraid for her standing in her unit, she feels she has nowhere to turn.

These are true stories, and, sadly, not isolated incidents. Women serving in the U.S. military are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq.

The scope of the problem was brought into acute focus for me during a visit to the West Los Angeles VA Healthcare Center, where I met with female veterans and their doctors. My jaw dropped when the doctors told me that 41% of female veterans seen at the clinic say they were victims of sexual assault while in the military, and 29% report being raped during their military service. They spoke of their continued terror, feelings of helplessness and the downward spirals many of their lives have since taken.

Numbers reported by the Department of Defense show a sickening pattern. In 2006, 2,947 sexual assaults were reported -- 73% more than in 2004. The DOD's newest report, released this month, indicates that 2,688 reports were made in 2007, but a recent shift from calendar-year reporting to fiscal-year reporting makes comparisons with data from previous years much more difficult.

The Defense Department has made some efforts to manage this epidemic -- most notably in 2005, after the media received anonymous e-mail messages about sexual assaults at the Air Force Academy. The media scrutiny and congressional attention that followed led the DOD to create the Sexual Assault and Response Office. Since its inception, the office has initiated education and training programs, which have improved the reporting of cases of rapes and other sexual assaults. But more must be done to prevent attacks and to increase accountability.

At the heart of this crisis is an apparent inability or unwillingness to prosecute rapists in the ranks. According to DOD statistics, only 181 out of 2,212 subjects investigated for sexual assault in 2007, including 1,259 reports of rape, were referred to courts-martial, the equivalent of a criminal prosecution in the military. Another 218 were handled via nonpunitive administrative action or discharge, and 201 subjects were disciplined through "nonjudicial punishment," which means they may have been confined to quarters, assigned extra duty or received a similar slap on the wrist. In nearly half of the cases investigated, the chain of command took no action; more than a third of the time, that was because of "insufficient evidence."

This is in stark contrast to the civilian trend of prosecuting sexual assault. In California, for example, 44% of reported rapes result in arrests, and 64% of those who are arrested are prosecuted, according to the California Department of Justice.

The DOD must close this gap and remove the obstacles to effective investigation and prosecution. Failure to do so produces two harmful consequences: It deters victims from reporting, and it fails to deter offenders. The absence of rigorous prosecution perpetuates a culture tolerant of sexual assault -- an attitude that says "boys will be boys."

I have raised the issue with Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Although I believe that he is concerned, thus far, the military's response has been underwhelming -- and the apparent lack of urgency is inexcusable.

Congress is not doing much better. Although these sexual assault statistics are readily available, our oversight has failed to come to grips with the magnitude of the crisis. The abhorrent and graphic nature of the reports may make people uncomfortable, but that is no excuse for inaction. Congressional hearings are urgently needed to highlight the failure of existing policies. Most of our servicewomen and men are patriotic, courageous and hardworking people who embody the best of what it means to be an American. The failure to address military sexual assault runs counter to those ideals and shames us all.

Jane Harman (D-Venice) chairs the House Homeland Security subcommittee on intelligence.
LA times story

image at

No, you're not a 'young adult'

Parents are abdicating their responsibilities towards children aged 11 to 16

What?! Really? This was my first reaction when I came across this article. I have to be honest, it still is.

The link to the article is here. This is a UK post, but it's not that far ahead of us here either. Those of you who think that what happens in other countries doesn't affect us have been sadly mislead.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

CFL's - worth it?

How to clean up a fluorescent bulb

Before cleanup: Vent the room
1. Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more.
2. Shut off the central forced-air heating/air conditioning system, if you have one.
Cleanup steps for hard surfaces
3. Carefully scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a glass jar with metal lid (such as a canning jar) or in a sealed plastic bag.
4. Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder.
5. Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes and place them in the glass jar or plastic bag.
6. Do not use a vacuum or broom to clean up the broken bulb on hard surfaces.

Cleanup steps for carpeting or rug
3. Carefully pick up glass fragments and place them in a glass jar with metal lid (such as a canning jar) or in a sealed plastic bag.
4. Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder.
5. If vacuuming is needed after all visible materials are removed, vacuum the area where the bulb was broken.
6. Remove the vacuum bag (or empty and wipe the canister), and put the bag or vacuum debris in a sealed plastic bag.
Disposal of cleanup materials
7. Immediately place all cleanup materials outside the building in a trash container or outdoor protected area for the next normal trash.
8. Wash your hands after disposing of the jars or plastic bags containing cleanup materials.
9. Check with your local or state government about disposal requirements in your specific area. Some states prohibit such trash disposal and require that broken and unbroken lamps be taken to a recycling center.

Future cleaning of carpeting or rug
10. For at least the next few times you vacuum, shut off the central forced-air heating/air conditioning system and open a window prior to vacuuming.
11. Keep the central heating/air conditioning system shut off and the window open for at least 15 minutes after vacuuming is completed.

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

get the whole story here

canyon view christion fellowship

30 days to live


This is a sermon you should really be apart of. I will recap the outline for you here. It really is a wonderful topic. More christians should ask themselves these questions.

How do I leave a Godly legacy?

1. Say the words God wants me to say. (Proverbs 4:20-24)

a. What stops me from speaking God's words into others?

i. My life doesn't measure up.

ii. I don't understand how grace works.

iii. I lack confidence in the Word of God.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

b. I need to develop a love affair with God and His Bible.

c. I need to tell other. Who and what?

2. Do what God sent me to do.

Acts 17:28 For in him we live and move and have our being.

a. I must understand my unique SHAPE.

i. S = Spiritual gifts

ii. H = Heart

iii. A = Abilities

iv. P = Personality

v. E = Experiences

b. I must understand what God has put me on the earth to do.

James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

c. When I begin to walk this way I become really alive.

d. How alive am I? What is my unfinished assignment?

Acts 20:24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.

3. Live how God wants me to live. (2 Timothy 4:6-8)

a. What will people say at my funeral?

"The decisions you are making today are actually making the bed you will lie in while you wait to die." Chazown, Groeschel

b. I'm building those stories one day at a time.

c. How ___________ will I be when I stand before God?

1 John 2:17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The day was a long one. It was hard. It seemed as if we were trying too hard to not make it seem too quick. And my poor hubby didn't know what to do on his first day off in 3 weeks. He would walk around the house and look for something to do. Our internet isn't the greatest right now for his online game that he plays so that didn't work out. Then he logged onto our Netflix to watch a movie on our computer, but that didn't work either. Poor thing just wasn't having a very good day.

I have been looking all over for a pattern to make a Hooter Hider. I have found only one. You can find it here. It looks fairly easy to make. So now I can't decide if I want to make an apron for myself or a Hooter Hider. Ah. Decisions, decisions. Oh how they are hard to make. Not that I have the time to make them. I do nurse almost continually to a wee little (almost) 3 month old baby girl. If anyone knows of a way to add hours to my day, or at the very least get all kids to sleep at the same time. Now we're talkin'.

Okay everyone. It is late. Very late. Almost tomorrow. I have a day worth of cleaning to do tomorrow. I also have a baby girl hitting her growth spurt while battling thrush inside her mouth. Till tomorrow night, you have a wonderful day!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Now what do you think she was thinking? I am her mother, and I can't even tell you. What a face! We were waiting to see Daddy's ship. I think I must have asked her a question when she wasn't having it. Who knows with her! She is definitely her own person.

I haven't updated in a while. I have been a little depressed lately. I haven't been taking as good care of my family as I should be and can be. I haven't even been taking that good care of myself or my home. We have been eating frozen foods and drinking crap lately. I know I should be doing better. I just have to find my way. My husband is busy with his career, which travels a LOT. And I am getting use to life with a new baby again. It's always an adjustment with a new baby. Understandably so. But now it's time for me to find my way and get to it.

We are getting ready for hubby to visit for a few days before he's off again. Kittens are going to be joining us soon also. How fun is that going to be?! I am also planning a 6 month trip. This trip is going to be without my husband and with all 3 kids and all animals. When I say it aloud, it sounds impossible, but when I think about it in my head, I don't see what the problem is. I will definitely be blogging this trip! Stay tuned to see all of us lunatics taking this trip!

Friday, March 14, 2008

My Huney

This is my huney out saving the world! No, really. This is him being a goof. But I love my goof.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

I won!

Yay! My fist contest that I win. I have entered my fair share of blog contests on my fellow blogger's sites. Never have I won. Until now. My tides are changing like the tides of the ocean. I am now on my way towards high tides. Now if you have a moment, I recommend checking out this amazingly talented woman's blog over at Ocean Breeze. Now this amazingly talented (I know I've said amazing a few times already, but she is amazing...) woman has her own Etsy shop. Check it out too. Beautiful (see another word besides amazing) work!

Now I know that some of you throughout the United States are having ridiculous weather lately. Some Texans are experiencing snow! But not to rub it in, but we are having amazing (there we are again) weather! I think our high hit up to 75 F. The sun was shining and we went to the pool. The pool was suppose to be heated, but I highly doubt that it was. The water was ice cold! Must call the maintenance people to have that checked out. Because we know that when it's snowing in other parts of the states, we MUST have our pool heated! We cannot just enjoy the fact that we live in a sunny climate and it was warm outside. A great day to spend at the park, which we also did. Oh no, we must make light of what is wrong with our environment too. But it was a really nice day that we enjoyed! (shhh.. don't tell, but I am just slightly jealous of those of you that are having snow.)

Friday, February 29, 2008

This photo was taken yesterday. This kitten happens to be only 1 day old here. I am thinking this is the one that I will be taking. This kitten happens to be a male. I was wanting a male. There is also a solid black male that I am thinking of getting also. I don't want both of them, so I need to decide. I am thinking that I should wait until they are a bit older to see their personalities first. Big Man is so excited that the momma cat had her babies! He is dying to go see them. He hasn't seen them yet. This Sunday we are all going over there for dinner and a game. He will be able to see them then. Poor momma cat had a long labor. She was overdue also. The first kitten, the solid black one, was born butt first. My friend's roommate had to pull the head out. I am thinking that this is why she was overdue. The first one wasn't in position yet. They are beautiful kittens.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Can you tell yesterday was like christmas for me here?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Falling In Love with Photoshop

I took the photo above with a point and shoot digital camera on it's automatic setting. There wasn't any trick photography. Not that my photography skills are worth mentioning here. There wasn't any tricks with Photoshop. This is the picture just as the camera took it.

Now here is the same picture. I played with it in Photoshop some. I just got my Photoshop Elements 6 in the mail the other day. It took me a while to get all of my photos organized but I am ready to go now. I am such a newbie to the world beyond p& s photography, but it so fascinating!

Lookout bloggy world!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Your Candy Heart Says "Cutie Pie"

You always seem to have a hot date, even though you never try to meet anyone.
A total charmer, you have a natural appeal that keeps you in high demand.

Your ideal Valentine's Day date: multiple dates with multiple people

Your flirting style: 100% natural

What turns you off: serious relationship talks

Why you're hot: you're totally addicting

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Today my goal is to get my laundry done and to put away my maternity clothes in a bin and stack in the garage. I am almost to my pre-pregnancy size, but not quite. I still have about 2 more sizes to go. Although I do not have any jeans that fit me at the moment. And I cannot find the other pants that do fit! That's how you know you really need to do some laundry! Now my question to you fellow bloggers out there is, how do you do laundry when you have a newborn stuck to you nursing almost non stop? I have heard of some of you mommas out there that wear your babies in a sling or carrier, do your babies not get frustrated of the bending over the washer and then the dryer? Please, if any of you mommas out there have any suggestions I am more than willing to give them a try!

Be right back. I need to get Big Man dressed for school and myself to take him to school.

Okay. I am back again after having changed the baby's blow-out diaper, clothes, and my own clothes; filled up Baby Girl's cereal snack bag which I just saw is now all over the floor (:<); and not having ate anything this morning so now I'm starving. But, of course, the baby is hungry again so guess who eats first?

My growing list of things to do is getting longer fast. I now have to vacuum for the umpteenth time this week, clean up the kitchen (not bad yet), fold laundry, stuff diapers, start my and my husband's clothes to wash, and wash the floors. I also have to clear out the clutter that is getting worse.

Baby Girl has found the hammer as I hear her banging it along the wall as she brings it to me. Of course I'm stuck sitting down nursing and cannot follow her around. Baby is almost asleep nursing so I'll be able to lay her butt down right shortly.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

I have come across a lovely blog! This woman takes wonderful photos, makes delicious meals, and writes beautifully! What a combination. I can see now how so many people are addicted to her blogs. She has two. Her main blog is where she writes her love story. Her second blog is where she shows us her wonderful recipes! I have spent my whole morning and most of last night reading both of these wonderful blogs! I am inspired by her, but yet cannot pry myself away long enough to get any cleaning done. Even with a newborn, I have a wonderful excuse to not get up. I can sit here and nurse my wee one while reading her blogs! Thank you wee one! If you get a chance, no scratch that. Take some time to go check out Ree as Pioneer Woman. You won't regret it! Just looking at her photos makes it all worth it.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I am really tired this week. Yesterday afternoon I just could not keep my eyes open after picking up my son from school. I took a nap on the couch for about an hour and a half. I am tired again this morning and thinking about taking another nap and it's not even lunch time yet. What does that say about me? I just cannot keep my eyes open! I know that my iron levels are low, but are they getting lower? Is that why I am so tired lately? I might have to up my dose of iron. I currently take a liquid supplement of iron. The last time I had my iron levels checked a week ago, my level was at 10.3 and the normal range starts at 12. So I know that I am low. I also found out that I can buy an iron level checker from Amazon. So that way I can check my own iron levels at home.

Today, my son is going on his first field trip with his class. Last night he cried though. He said he was scared. I remember being scared on my first field trip also. I made him a palet of blankets at the side of my bed so he could sleep in our room. Poor guy. This morning he was back to normal. I made his lunch, got his hat ready, and him all dressed and out the door. He is all ready to go. They left about a half hour ago from the school on to his trip. They are going to have fun. I just know they are.

I am not taking this time while the baby is sleeping to clean. I know I should. I am tired so I am going to get off the computer now and take a short nap. You remember how it was after having kids and breastfeeding. You can get tired really quick.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sorry I haven't been on to post lately. I am still getting use to the new routine with new baby. And I wouldn't necessarily call it a routine yet. We are starting to figure out each other. In the mornings, she likes to sleep. In the evenings, she likes to be wide awake. Gotcha. Also, the first out of three kids, but she does NOT like to be in a wet diaper! Our previous two didn't mind it one bit. But with this baby girl, she lets me know right away if I've not noticed quick enough that her diaper is wet.

Hubby went back to work this Monday. So I have not had his help during the day. It has been harder. Also, Big Man went back to school also. So he isn't even here to be mommy's helper. Just us and Baby Girl and she's 2. Not likely to be helping me by behaving. She is behaving just like a typical 2 year old is suppose to behave. Like a crazy girl!

I'm getting ready mentally for spring. Being in southern California, the weather is nothing like it is up north! We are getting warmer here with our rain moving past us. Actually, we have gotten more rain this year than we did last year. Rather surprising! I'm planning my garden. I'm going to plant some vegetables, herbs, and flowers this year. Not too many of each though. I will most likely have more flowers than anything! I do not have much of a yard that gets full sun. And most vegetables require full sun. However, last summer when I grew my tomatoes, they were getting dried out and burnt if I didn't water them each and every day! So here, full sun, means be careful just how much afternoon sun! Our sun is rather strong!

Have a wonderful Super Bowl weekend! We do not have any plans as of yet, but that always changes come up till the day of.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Birth Story

Welcome Baby Ariannah!

She graced us on Friday, January 11th at 10:14pm. Here is our birth story.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday night I was having very mild contractions while lying in bed trying to go to sleep for the night. They went away in the middle of the night and didn't return until the next night when I would lie down to sleep. Thursday night, I opened our back door to get our dogs some fresh water and our Rottweiler tried to come into the house. I kicked at her to back her up, not to actually kick her, and the action of forcing my leg out at her pulled my groin muscle fierce! I could not move! I had to get my 5 year old son to feed the dogs at that point and to help me. I called my husband, who was at work (works nights), and he could not get off of work for a couple of hours to help me get the kids to bed and myself into a hot bath to help my leg feel better. So I semi-crawled/slithered up our stairs to our bedroom so all of us could just go to bed right then. Being just one night shy of 10 months pregnant, I was already having a hard time getting in and out of the bed. Add this to my pulled groin muscle and I couldn't even move to get on the bed. I somehow made it on the bed after making sure that I went to the bathroom, even though being this pregnant we tend to go throughout the night anyway. Around 2 am, I call my husband on his cell phone, who is now home and downstairs, to come upstairs to help me go to the bathroom. Still in pain from groin.

Woke up in the morning with contractions that did not go away in the night this time. Still in pain when trying to get off the bed from groin muscle but can actually walk with a limp. The contractions are very mild and not the typical contractions. The whole time I got them they were more of cramps along the bottom of my belly. They were more like cramps. Still very mild. I did decide to time them out of curiosity and they are about 6-9 minutes apart, but still mild and not getting regular. So I decide to tell DH that he should not go to work. He was suppose to go in early this day at noon. It is Friday now and my actual due date. We stay busy. We clean some, walked around the block. Could only walk around once instead of twice though because my groin muscle still hurts. I am drinking my water and trying to stay fed. I don't have much of an appetite but I know that I need to keep myself well fed. I don't eat big meals, but I eat something. Mostly peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I start repacking my bag and the snack bag that I am taking with me. I already have baby bag packed. I start getting all of our stuff together to load into the truck. We take out the kids seats and put in the baby car seat. I have by now taken about 2 hot showers to help me get warm and comfortable. The cramps are still not getting any stronger but are just strong enough to be annoying and still not any closer together or further apart.

I decide that I should probably get some rest, seeing how I don't know exactly how long this will last and do not want to tire out early! I take a hot bath (shouldn't have done this probably...) and lie down to nap. I took a good couple of hours! About 3 or 4ish, don't exactly remember which, we decide to take the kids to the park. It is a nice warm, sunny day out! We stay out there about an hour. The kids have fun! We come back home and sit for a while. About 5ish, we decide to start supper and see how things go. I go upstairs to take another shower, but once up there decide that I am not going to shower. If I get in the shower I am not going to want to come out. It is at this point that I decide to call the midwife to see about coming in. The cramps have started to get stronger but still not closer together for about a half hour now. We decide that we are going to eat dinner and then see if I want to come in. We eat. They are getting strong enough that they are actually getting painful now. Now my groin muscle still hurts also. Walking is not fun. After we finish dinner, which I actually had enough of an appetite to eat all of, I call the on-call midwife and we decide to meet at the birth center. So we get the other 2 kiddos set up with their night night clothes and some movies and pillows and head over to our neighbor's house so they can all chill out over there. We get to the birth center about 7:30pm. My midwife checks me out of my own curiosity and I am at 5cm dialated and 90% effaced. Not bad. I was really hoping I wasn't a 2 or a 3! I would have just turned around and came home, but I am far enough along in my own opinion to stay. I need some new techniques to help me handle the cramps. They are still not the typical contractions on the belly. I don't have any contracting feelings on my belly at all still. Baby has been at a +3 station for about a month so we are really just waiting to see what happens as labor progresses. The midwife sets me up on a birthing ball for the time being and it helps so much with handling the cramps now. I didn't have this at home. I spent a little over an hour on the ball. The midwife comes back in after hearing me get more vocal with each cramp and checks me again to see if I can get into the tub. I am dialated enough now to get into the tub! Yay!

I am a water girl! I love hot baths! So this is like heaven to me! And as an added bonus, my groin muscle does not hurt that much in the hot water! I can actually manuever it to get comfortable! So after spending a little more than an hour in the tub, my water still has not broken. And cervix has moved down enough that my midwife now feels that she can actually get to it to break it even with baby's head that far down. So as soon as the cramp stops I say, "Okay, 1,2,3, go!" real fast and I get up and they help me out of the tub and onto the bed so my groin muscle doesn't pull and she breaks my water on the bed. Not much water comes out. And they help me back off the bed and back into the water before the next cramp hits. As I am on the bed getting my water broken, the birth assistant is filling the tub up with nice hot water again for me. Now I ask for my water to be broken. My cramps were getting very intense that it was hard for me to deal with. I could feel the water bag pushing out in a spherical sensation that pushed against the inside of the crook of my legs and my butt at the same time. Like I was going to explode! I was almost begging them to break my water. We all knew that as soon as my water broke, the game was going to be over! And sure enough, I had one full cramp. The very next cramp, I made it half way and then all of a sudden the baby came all the way down the birth canal so I didn't have any break in between cramps. No break! No breath! She came down so fast that I went straight as a board in the tub. I could not release my muscles to feel baby's head or to bend my knees so baby could come out! I was stuck! I think I finally released one of my legs so it could bend and baby's head came out and then the shoulder's got stuck for a minute. The midwife turned baby and then she came all the way out. Exactly 9 minutes after they broke my water. My whole labor from the time I got to the birth center was a little over 3 hours. My third baby was my first drug-free, natural birth. All three of them were vaginal births. It stung a little pushing her out, but I am tear free! I had a little skid mark and that was it. We stayed at the birth center our 4 hours and was cleared to go home.

I am still processing the whole experience and it's been a week now. Ariannah is doing great! She was 7 pounds 11 ounces born on her ultrasound due date. She was 20 inches long with a head circumference of 13 inches. She latched right away in the tub and then again in the bed. She pretty much stayed latched on the whole time we were at the birth center! She comfort nursed a lot. But then again, so did my other 2 kids. So that was nothing new.

We came home about 3 am and slept until about 9am when Hubby went and got the kids from our neighbors. They immediately loved the new baby! It was so cute how they hugged and kissed the new baby! After this, Ariannah had latch problems for a few days. She would slide off a little. Just enough to leave blisters. Ouch! Then after a couple days of fixing that, we got Thrush. Ugh! Made a home remedy and applied diligently for a couple of days and we are now doing wonderful!

So now we are enjoying our new bundle of sleeping joy!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Gotta love those pregnancy midnight snacks! I am up at what is now 1am eating a bowl of cereal. I originally woke up to go to the bathroom for the 3rd time since going to bed about an hour before. Ahhhh, the end weeks of pregnancy are always the most comfortable and resting!! In fantasy land maybe! But not in my world.
I am now 39 weeks pregnant. I have about another week to three weeks to go. This baby is feeling like maybe he or she will weigh more than Big Man did when he was born. He was my first and he was born at 40 weeks and 5 days weighing 9 pounds and 15.4 ounces at 21 inches long. I can't wait to see how big this baby will be. My belly button is starting to pop to an outie, which I have never had with my previous 2. Even with me getting so huge in pregnancy with Big Man. I have just about surpassed my weight with this pregnancy, but do not look half as big than I did with Big Man. My final weight with him was 167 pounds and I am now sitting at 166 pounds with this baby. And 2 weeks earlier than Big Man. This pregnancy was much more healthier than his though. Being my 3rd, I would think I should learn by now how to have a healthy pregnancy! Some women though, never learn. Or don't care, which is even more sad.
Well, off to bed before I freeze my patoodie off! I have the air conditioner set at a cold 63 at night because otherwise I wake up and cannot sleep because of it being too hot! My poor family sleep all bundled up under the covers. Then when we wake up I set the heater on to 74 for during the day. Gotta love those pregnancy hormones. My heater works too well at night, but not well enough during the day. The last 2 weeks, I haven't been able to shake the coldness off after I wake up. It takes me half the day to warm my insides back up even though during the night I'm borderline too hot. Doesn't make sense to me. I'll be glad to be back to my normal body temperature again. And I'm sure my family will be too!!

Good night all!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy New Year!!

We are starting a new year for us! We don't do resolutions. There are a few changes we will be making in our everyday lives though. I am going to get my garden started. I am going to start small though. Only about a few vegetables and a few herbs. I might throw in a few fruits also. Something like strawberries and something else. Not exactly sure yet. I have been wanting to do a garden for some time now but just haven't committed myself to getting it done. A raised garden bed is going to be the best bet for us. I would also like to start composting also. We will see about that. That may not be in the plans for this year yet.

We are also waiting on baby to be born. We thought that baby would be here by now. I don't think any of us were counting on baby making it to January. If baby needs to be baking a little longer, then that is okay with me. Maybe that will be fewer newborn problems like I had with Baby Girl. She was induced too early.

This is going to be a hard year for us emotionally. DH is going on a long trip. So we may decide to do some traveling. We will see how it goes. I still haven't figured out how we would travel with our two dogs in tow. It's easy to travel with small dogs, but we have extra large breed dogs. Well, one is a large breed and one is an extra large breed. I have a truck and the whole back seat is car seats. It will be filled with 2 car seats and 1 booster seat. So no room for doggies in back! They will have to be in the bed of the truck and I'm not really liking that idea. We use to have an extra large crate that they could go in, but our friends borrowed it and their dog got it infected with the herpes virus. So they are going to buy us a new one.

I look forward to this year! A first for me. I see a lot of healthy and wonderful changes for us! Hopefully, at the end of this year, we will be done with our bankruptcy also! That will be so huge for us!! We will be trading in our truck for a different vehicle that will get better gas mileage and hold more people. I was intent on getting a Ford Expedition. When you look at the rising gas prices, I have finally conceded my Expedition. We will most likely be getting a minivan. Not quite sure on that. I am not a minivan person, but when you want a large family and not the gas bill every month, you do what you have to. We still have the whole year to look at our options. I don't want to be buying or trading vehicles every 2 or 3 years. I want one that will last with us for a while.

I hope every one of you has a wonderful and blessed year this year!