December 31, 2002
Welcome to the DCLA 2000 Scrapbook! Because . . . we learned seven basic principles—be real, depend on Jesus, share the Gospel, love others, have courage, get connected, and talk to God—that were designed to help us be more effective in our relationship with God and others for the rest of our lives.

One of my New Year's Resolutions is to actually get a relationship with God going.
November 26, 2002
Since Tim won't post here, but he will on the Tun ... I'll post for him :)

Email sent to Tun

Subject: Defense, Defense!

Hi gang -

Now, you're probably all wondering about the title of this little missive.

Well, it has nothing (really) to do with basketball (or any other sports),

military maneuvers, etc...

My daughter, who just turned 7 months last Friday, has been crawling for

about 2 weeks now. With this newly gained mobility, she has set off on a

determined path to demonstrate to Annette and I just how *un*-baby proof our

house is. Fortunately she has not pulled anything down on herself (yet), but I

foresee a considerable amount of time on my belly in the next week or so to

determine what her "effective range" of fire (so-to-speak) is :)

Anyway, shortly after putting all the crawling motions together in the right

order to actually conduct forward motion, she began trying more advanced

skills...such as pulling herself up in her crib or using other furniture to

support herself in an effort to, as our pilot-minded friends say, go vertical :)

Last night, I was downstairs watching the History channel with Joy (it was

a show about Spruance - one must start educating the young properly at an early

age, especially if Joy's going to become the first female CNO ). She had

been using my leg to pull herself up - more or less. Suddenly she's not on my

leg, so I look over to my right..

And there is my darling little daughter, standing up on her own two feet

(!) She was in an almost perfect basketball defensive stance (if the Navy

thing doesn't work out, mabye she can become the first female Michael Jordan,

only better looking ). Alas, I did not have a camera ready, though she

continued to get up (her vertical moments last a second or two, and then she's

back on terra firma trying to get up again). I succeeded in snapping a couple

of shots of her upright...she was able to maintain vertical stability for

almost 3 or 4 seconds one time :)

Annette was upstairs reading the elder child his bedtime story, so I

gleefully showed her one of the photos I had taken of her daughter standing up.

I'm not sure what I enjoyed more....seeing my daughter stand up by herself, or

the look of despair/frustration in my wife's eyes upon presentation of

photographic proof :) I spent a good five minutes convincing my wife that I

had absolutely *nothing* to do with her standing up....I still got "the look"

that threatened me with banishment to the couch for aiding and abetting the

deliquency of an infant....

So there you go...7 months and 2 days (almost to the hour!) after emerging

into the world, our daughter has begun to assert her independence. I think

I'll post a picture on my desktop of her standing captioned "Look what I

did"...and maybe a picture of me pointing to her captioned "Look what I

made" :) [With my wife's help, of coures ]

Ok..back to work for me....../me wonders what his wife's response to this

will be....


And my response some hours later when Joy was finally asleep and I actually got a chance to look at email :)

yes, my darling husband came to me and told me that our daughter had the perfect basketball defensive stance. Not that she moves sideways (yet! Thank God!). And "the look" accompanied not frustration, but intense weariness as the magnitude of the situation hit me. part of me is very proud (look what *my* baby can do) and part of me wants to break down in tears of fear and frustration (can't you stay a baby just a LITTLE while longer, pleeeeeeease!!!!! I'm not ready for this!)

Sheesh! Josh was 8 months old before he started and he had the benefit of a walker! and had been crawling for three months before that!

I knew I should have had his sperm tested......

November 15, 2002
Yup. My little one sure is determined. Josh went upstairs less than 5 minutes ago and left Joy in the living room. She's now here in the office with me looking at the lamp. She made it from the kitchen part of the hallway to the office in about a minute and a half. Yup. Definitely time for some gates. .... And time for me to vacuum the office a bit more thoroughly.
November 11, 2002
Guardian Unlimited Observer | International | Sun's rays to roast Earth as poles flip 'These solar particles can have profound effects,' said Dr Paul Murdin, of the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge. 'On Mars, when its magnetic field failed permanently billions of years ago, it led to its atmosphere being boiled off. On Earth, it will heat up the upper atmosphere and send ripples round the world with enormous, unpredictable effects on the climate.'

After reading The Left Behind Series, I could guess that the above speculation could lead to that one judgement where the Earth/humans are subjected to intense heat. But, like the scientists, it's just speculation.
Guardian Unlimited Observer | International | Sun's rays to roast Earth as poles flip 'Reversals happen every 250,000 years or so, and as there has not been one for almost a million years, we are due one soon.'

Wouldn't this be an indication that the Earth isn't as old as scientists would have us believe?????
November 8, 2002
Yesterday was a day of firsts. Now that she has figured out crawling ... I put her in her crib after a shower so that I could dress. I put her against the back of her crib, sitting up. She immediately went to the crawling position, crawled to the other railing of her crib, and PULLED herself up to a standing position. And stayed there for over a minute! just looking at me. I finally closed my jaw and took her out. The floor really is the safest place for her now I think.
WOOHOO! I made a sale. I listed some books at Amazon this past week and some have (ok, 1) has sold. It's a start.
November 7, 2002
Peter Pan is a hard book for me to read, I didn't realize it till we started reading it aloud today. Man, something about that era and run-on sentences. Not that there were many of those, but some of the sentences didn't make sense no matter how many times and different ways I read them. And his metaphors ....... well, it doesn't make for easy reading these days. And here I thought I was an accomplished reader!

Joy is officially crawling! She put it all together just a little bit ago as I was reading Peter Pan. All of a sudden there was a baby at my feet when she had been about a body length and a half (of hers) away when I started). I had been watching her out of the corner of my eye and saw her move hands and knees, but it didn't click that she was crawling.

Josh just came to me with Joy in arms. I said, " I didn't hear her crying". Josh replied, "She wasn't."

"Then why did you bring her to me?" I asked.

"Because she's getting into my Pokemon cards". ....

I told him to get them off the floor (which is now nicely vacuumed) and sort his cards at the table. Now that Joy is crawling he's going to have to be more careful about what he puts on the floor.

Now the fun begins ... Oh hunny! It's time to buy those gates!

November 6, 2002
She did it! Ok, this isn't as big as rolling over, but it's still big for me since I finally got to see the whole process from start to finish.

For the past week or so I have suspected that Joy could sit herself up. I'm pretty sure I witnessed it this past Saturday, but she went back on her stomach so quickly and the bumper was in the way (she was in her crib). But today ... I sat her on the floor, and went to her tummy almost right away (so much for sitting for hours at a time *sigh* -- she's really determined to crawl) and then she was about a roll away to the right and sitting up again!

Usually I see her doing this half sit thing, but never fully going back into the sitting position.... and there she goes. She's sick, and that makes her cranky..... And Josh wants to go play at a friend's house.

More later if I get the chance. But my baby can sit herself up!

Now I am getting tired again. Very tempted to go back to bed, but what would be the point. Alarms go off in an hour. Well, maybe an hour more of sleep will do me some good.
Joy sort of crawled the other night. Monday night to be exact, during 7th Heaven. She sometimes gets very determined.... But, she was on her hands and knees doing the butt-wiggle when all of a sudden, out went an arm, and then the opposing knee... and then flop on her belly. Up she went, and then the other hand, the other knee... flop on her belly. She did this a few more times till she had the item of her desire (I forget what it was, something she probably shouldn't have but wasn't too dangerous I guess :) )

She's getting pretty mobile with just rolling around too. I'll sit her down in the middle of the floor and ten minutes later she's halfway across the room! And it's not even proper rolling (at least, not when I actually watch her, she never seems to move much when I am actually *watching* her) ... I digressed.... oh yeah, she starts out sitting, leans forward in a controlled fall to her belly (she's great at that now) and then rocks and rolls wherever she wants to go.

I can't seem to sleep. I woke up about 3:15 a.m. to give Joy her feeding. Got that done, turned down the heat (actually, told the program to run itself, I had forgotten to do that before I passed out) and then found that I couldn't sleep.

She seems to be coming down with a cold. Probably got it from Maykayla. I love my niece, but I think I will Lysol everything she touched of Joy's the last time she was here. i got the humidifier from Josh's room, set that up, then came down here. I've managed in the last 45 minutes to refill Josh's Rx online, get another article into the Talley Times and get a partial itinerary to my mom. Southwest has a special right now, so hopefully she can get it. If not, I'll be looking for the cheapest fares I can find elsewhere.
October 31, 2002
Today is already starting out different. Josh actually woke up to his alarm, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Even more so after his shower. Halloween really is his favorite holiday.

We practiced getting some of his make-up on. I'm to bring it and the rest of his costume (gloves and such) to school when I go in. I decided that I would get into the spirit of things somewhat and dress as a witch. I'll dress Joy in her Piglet costume and we will be all set.

Tim got up around 6:30/6:45 (joy was waking). He played with her and kept her occupied till I

Now ... anyone have any ideas for weaving patterns?
October 30, 2002
Though, before I can do anything really productive, I need to clean my desk, something that I have been trying to do off and on for about a month now, if not longer.
Man, it is COLD and WINDY out there today. Just reinforces my thought that it's time to get Joy a hat and jacket. Blankets just don't cut it when the wind is trying to blow you down the street.

But on another note, it does make for a beautiful and sunny day with a windswept clear sky.

Time to bring in a ton of stuff from the car. Had an Art Lit meeting this morning and actually left early, hard to put down a fussy sleepy baby with some many things going on. I get to learn how to weave. And i'll be doing a weaving for the Art Fair in spring. Aiya, have I bitten off more than I can chew?

An oldie but goodie that made me smile today ... (like early this morning before I had to go to the car dealer)

How it all began

In ancient Israel, it came to pass that a trader by the name of Abraham Com did take unto himself a young wife by the name of Dot. And Dot Com was a comely woman, broad of shoulder and long of leg. Indeed, she had been called Amazon Dot Com.

She said unto Abraham, her husband, "Why doth thou travel far from town to town with thy goods when thou can trade without ever leaving thy tent?" And Abraham did look at her as though she were several saddle bags short of a camel load, but simply said, "How, Dear?" And Dot replied, "I will place drums in all the towns and drums in between to send messages saying what you have for sale and they will reply telling you which hath the best price. And the sale can be made on the drums and delivery made by Uriah's Pony Stable (UPS)."

Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with the drums. The drums rang out and were an immediate success. Abraham sold all the goods he had at the top price, without ever moving from his tent. But this success did arouse envy. A man named Maccabia did secret himself inside Abraham's drum and was accused of insider trading. And the young did take to Dot Com's trading, as doth the greedy horsefly take to camel dung. They were called Nomadic Ecclesiastical Rich Dominican Siderites, or NERDS for short. And lo, the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the deafening sound of drums, that no one noticed that the real riches were going to the drum maker, one Brother William of Gates, who bought up every drum company in the land. And indeed did insist on making drums that would work only with Brother Gates' drumheads and drumsticks.

Dot did say, "Oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken over by others." And as Abraham looked out over the Bay of Ezekiel, or as it came to be known "eBay" he said, "we need a name that reflects what we are," and Dot replied, "Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner Operators." "YAHOO", said Abraham. And that is how it all began; it wasn't Al Gore after all.
Can anyone be more mentally smashed than I am at the moment? It's been a long day, and I swear, there is something about car dealerships/salesmen that gives me a raging headache and tenses me up like nothing else.

Even leaving the place didn't help. Made me late picking Josh up, so I was going a little faster than I should have been down a residential street ... which happened to be patrolled by a policeman because of an accident (I think) on the major street next to it (the were redirecting traffic). So I got a speeding ticket. The officer asked me if I had a reason for going 41 in a 25, I said " I'm really late picking my son up from school" he said "Ok, we'll have out of here in a few minutes". Ten minutes later I had a ticket for over $100 and was now 45 minutes late picking Josh up. That was a very long ten minutes, officer, thank you. And because of the accident and resultant traffic backlog ... instead of being a mere 1/2-hour late picking up the child, I was an hour late.

And that led to complaints from him because he "was the last kid left at school". Then home to eat (I really should eat better/bigger breakfasts, but I didn't think we would be at the dealer for 5 hours). Then, oh no! I had forgotten about an appointment I had made, and have I gotten any of my paperwork done yet for this week .... no...

Well, done ranting for now, have to read the kidlet his bedtime story.

The rest of the evening went a little better than the morning and early afternoon and Lord knows I'm tired enough to sleep till 10 tomorrow morning. But, I can't do that, got an Art Lit meeting at Josh's school at 8:15 in the morning.

How did this week get so darn busy??????
October 25, 2002
Tonight I am scanning the photos for the family newsletter. Putting out a newsletter like this is more work than it should be ... at least for someone as disorganized as I have been lately.

I really need to get my act in gear. I haven't even had time to blog properly lately :( Tim complains because then he has nothing new to read at work. As if he doesn't have enough with all the books he's been devouring lately. Love you, hunny :)

(at least I know one person hits this page regularly)

Just a few more photos and then I can go to bed.
October 23, 2002
The last two weeks have been unbelievably busy! All I have wanted is some breathing space to get some work done on my computer, but alas, it wasn't to be. Accidents with Josh and just general running around to get things done. Not to mention being tired all the time.

Sometimes I think there is something wrong with me. I have an almost constant need to nap, though I suppose it would be better if I got to bed before midnight most nights :) I know that I need to get to bed more around 10, but that just seems so early to me!

Well, off to make brownies for my stitcher's group and then get dressed (bad FlyBaby!) and then .... then I don't know what. We'll see how close to noon it is then. And in between everything, feeding Joy.

Ah, there goes the timer, the butter is melted. Time to start cooking.
October 17, 2002
This is how I described Joy's recent progress to a friend:

sitting up, loves to eat paper and play with her rattles. She's started crawling backwards, gets frustrated because she knows she's supposed to be going forward :)
Wow, it's before 9 a.m. and everyone is out of the house and I am dressed. Need to make the bed and eat breakfast. I'm waiting for the baby to wake up so I can feed her before I head off to school. (Josh's, today is my day to volunteer).

Though I guess I could take those pictures I need to for the warranty people. Our brandnew house is falling apart.
October 16, 2002
Which of the Disney villains is your personality closest to? :)

I turned out to be Gaston. I think I will take it later in the day when I'm not thinking about breakfast and weekend getaways.
October 8, 2002
I love designing web pages, but these days, I get the feeling that I am crappy at it. Ah well, time to learn some new tricks.
October 7, 2002
"Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war
in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor,
for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword.
It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind....
And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and
the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed,
the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the
Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded with
will offer up all of their rights unto the leader, and gladly so.
How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar."

- William Shakespeare
Attitude Determines Altitude

I woke up early today, excited over all I get to do before the clock
strikes midnight.

I have responsibilities to fulfill today. My job is to choose what
kind of day I am going to have.

Today I can complain because the weather is rainy or I can be thankful
that the grass is getting watered for free.

Today I can feel sad that I don't have more money or I can be glad
that my finances encourage me to plan my purchases wisely and guide me
away from waste.

Today I can grumble about my health or I can rejoice that I am alive.

Today I can lament over all that my parents didn't give me when I was
growing up or I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.

Today I can cry because roses have thorns or I can celebrate that
thorns have roses.

Today I can mourn my lack of friends or I can excitedly embark upon a
quest to discover new relationships.

Today I can whine because I have to go to work or I can shout for joy
because I have a job to do.

I can complain because I have to go to school or eagerly open my mind
and fill it with rich new tidbits of knowledge.

Today I can murmur dejectedly because I have to do housework or I can
feel honored because God has provided shelter for my mind, body,
and soul.

Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped. And here I am, the
sculptor who gets to do the shaping. What today will be like is up to

I get to choose what kind of day I will have!

~ Author unknown
October 4, 2002
Today has been a busy day already, and it's not even 8 a.m. Tim has an in and out meeting in AZ today, so we got him to the airport in record time (10 minutes there and back). Got back home at 5:40 a.m. and I was all set to go back to sleep. Not so the little ones.

Josh had his morning chocolate (forgot to clear his cup again ....) and Joy just wasn't interested in going back to sleep. Guess who got to stay up with them? :) After chocolate Josh wanted to play Lego Stunt Rally. We had the time, and he wanted me to play with him. I won two or three races. We're still working on the last race of the desert area. That Baron Flambo track is hard!

Joy finally wanted to eat and go back to sleep. Now .. she's waking up. And I have to decide if I am going in to Josh's school. I want to take some pictures of the kids for Art Lit. Them actually doing the work. I better decide soon. School starts soon!
October 3, 2002
It's been one busy week! And it's not over yet! I did some volunteering at the school and by lunch time I realized that Joy is getting pretty heavy. I had her in the backpack position in the Snugli(TM).

Josh asked if I could stay all day. Either he wanted me to or he wanted a ride home. Probably a ride home. If nothing else comes up, I might volunteer two or three mornings a week. That class was crazy! Lots of kids, all at different levels. I think it would make more sense to break kids up into what levels they are instead of by age. Or even by levels and learning styles. That would make a little more sense than giving a teacher a bunch of kids and making her sort out where they are academically to tailor as much as possible the curriculum for them.

Time to catch some z's and/or stare at Joy ... the baby who never naps. At least she is almost sleeping all the way through the night.
October 1, 2002
Joy is simply amazing. She sat through Art Lit and even put herself to sleep. And this morning/afternoon (about 12:00). I put her on her new playmat, on her back, we had hung her Pooh toys from he other playmat on it. She reached for and grabbed, and then pulled off her Piglet!. She the proceeded to roll over and crawl/scoot off the mat. She always does that when I am not looking :( (I was in the computer room blogging). Now she's on the floor next to me gnawing on a piece of paper. She loves crumpling paper. ... and then chewing on it. Ah well.

Coffee date, time to change baby and head back out the door.
September 27, 2002
" Rest in Peace: The "I Can't" Funeral"

Donna's fourth-grade classroom looked like many others I had seen in the past. Students sat in five rows of six desks. The teacher's desk was in front and faced the students. The bulletin board featured student work. In most respects it appeared to be a typically traditional elementary classroom. Yet something seemed different that day I entered it for the first time. There seemed to be an undercurrent of excitement.

Donna was a veteran small-town Michigan schoolteacher only two years away from retirement. In addition she was a volunteer participant in a countrywide staff development project I had organized and facilitated. The training focused on language arts ideas that would empower students to feel good about themselves and take charge of their lives.

Donna's job was to attend training sessions and implement the concepts being presented. My job was to make classroom visitations and encourage

I took an empty seat in the back of the room and watched. All the students were working on a task, filling a sheet of notebook paper with thoughts and ideas.

The ten-year-old student next to me was filling her page with "I Cant's".

"I can't kick the soccer ball past second base." "I can't do long division with more than three numerals." "I can't get Debbie to like me." Her page was half full and she showed no signs of letting up. She worked on with determination and persistence.

I walked down the row glancing in student's papers. Everyone was writing sentences, describing things they couldn't do.

"I can't do ten push-ups." "I can't hit one over the left hand fence." "I can't eat only one cookie." By this time the activity engaged my curiosity, so I decided to check with the teacher to see what was going on.

As I approached her, I noticed that she too was busy writing. I felt it best not to interrupt.

"I can't get John's mother to come for a teacher conference." "I can't get my daughter to put gas in the car." "I can't get Alan to use words instead of fists."

Thwarted in my efforts to determine why students and teacher were dwelling on the negative instead of writing the more positive "I Can" statements, I returned to my seat and continued my observations. Students wrote for another ten minutes. Most filled their page. Some started another.

"Finish the one you're on and don't start a new one," were the instructions Donna used to signal the end of the activity. Students were then instructed to fold the papers in half and bring them to the front.

When the students reached their teacher's desk, they placed their "I Can't" statements into an empty shoe box.

When all of the students papers were collected, Donna added hers. She put the lid on the box, tucked it under her arm and headed out the door and down the hall. Students followed the teacher. I followed the students.

Halfway down the hallway the procession stopped. Donna entered the custodian's room, rummaged around and came out with a shovel. Shovel in one hand, shoe box in the other, Donna marched the students out to the school to the farthest corner of the playground. There they began to dig.

They were going to bury their "I Cant's"! The digging took over ten minutes because most of the fourth graders wanted a turn. When the hole approached three feet deep, the digging ended. The box of "I Cant's" was placed in a position at the bottom of the hole and then quickly covered with dirt.

Thirty-one 10-and 11-year-olds stood around the freshly dug grave site. Each had at least one page full of "I Cant's" in the shoe box, four-feet under. So did their teacher.

At this point Donna announced, "Boys and girls, please join hands and bow your heads." The students complied. They quickly formed a circle around the grave, creating a bond with their hands. They lowered their heads and waited.

Donna delivered the eulogy. "Friends, we gather here today to honor the memory of 'I Can't.' While he was with us here on earth, he touched the lives of everyone, some more than others. His name unfortunately, has been spoken in every public building- school, city halls, state capitols, and yes, even The White House.

"We have provided 'I Can't' with a final resting place and a headstone that contained his epitaph. He is survived by his brothers and sisters, 'I Can,'I Will' and 'I'm Going to Right Away.' They are not as well known as their famous relative and are certainly not as strong and powerful yet. Perhaps someday, with your help, they will make an even bigger mark on the world.

"May 'I Can't' rest in peace and may everyone present pick up their lives and move forward in his absence. Amen."

As I listened to the eulogy I realized that these students would never forget this day. The activity was symbolic, a metaphor for life. It was a right brain experience that would stick in the unconscious and conscious mind forever.

Writing "I Cant's," burying then and hearing the eulogy. That was a major effort on this part of the teacher. And she wasn't done yet. At the conclusion of the eulogy she turned the students around, marched them back into the classroom and held a wake.

They celebrated the passing of "I Can't" with cookies, popcorn and fruit juices. As part of the celebration, Donna cut a large tombstone from butcher paper. She wrote the words "I Can't" at the top and put RIP in the middle. The date was added at the bottom.

The paper tombstone hung in Donna's classroom for the remainder of the year. On those rare occasions when a student forgot and said, "I Can't," Donna simply pointed to the RIP sign. The student then remembered that "I Can't" was dead and chose to rephrase the statement.

I wasn't one of Donna's students. She was one of mine. Yet that day I learned an enduring lesson from her.

Now, years later, whenever I hear the phrase, "I Can't," I see images of that fourth-grade funeral. Like the students, I remember that "I Can't" is dead.
September 24, 2002
On the goal of writing:

The goal of all to find and communicate the truth about an experience or subject. The purpose is never to make points or win contests; the writer should not attempt to 'sell' himself or herself, and certainly should not be interested in selling ideas to anyone. No writer of deliberate discourse should try to force readers to
accept opinions not based on evidence, and the writer should not make an elaborate show of presenting 'both sides' of some presumed argument to readers, while ignoring the facts.

Dr. Richard Mezo
wow! It's not even 9 a.m. and everyone that is supposed to be is out of the house.
September 23, 2002
Remember that post at the beginning of Sept about the stupidity of the death of one of my friends? Regarding the stupidity .. from an editorial There is no reason for any club to punish members for wanting to join. It is speculated that it was a hazing ritual.

Her story made CNN. I wouldn't have known except that hubby was doing his daily news read and found the story for me.


I did a Google Search and came up with these:

The Daily Titan:

Ventura County Star:.,1375,VCS_122_1426298,00.html


The Hilltop (Howard University): You may need to register to get to this article.
This morning Joy had her first taste of cereal. I went cheap and bought Carnation's cereal that comes in a can just like it's formula. Just to try it. Joy loved it! Rice and Banana flavor, kinda sweet.

I decided today would be a good day to try it with her since she kept smacking her lips while I ate my cereal, even though I had just finished feeding her. So I made about 2 teaspoons of cereal, added water to make it just a little thicker than formula, and proceeded to feed her. I think she likes gumming the spoon too. I nursed her a little more (my daughter, the Hungry Hungry Hippo), put her in the swing and within in 5 minutes she was OUT! Hallelujia, she's napping :)

The link above (Joy loved it) is to pictures of her first meal. I took the shots in between her eating. It would have been a lot easier if the shutter button was on the left. :) (I'm definitely a righty).

Now, time for me to shower and maybe get a chore or two done before I have to go pick up the kidlet. It's Park Day!
September 20, 2002
I just saw something very disturbing on The Other Half (so I watch daytime TV while feeding the baby). One of today's guests was a woman touting the benefits of extra-marital affairs. This being opposite to the rabbi they had on Monday (I think) who was giving ideas on how to re-light the fire in your marriage.

But Judith Brandt was saying that 1) affairs were to be expected and 2) stay together till the kids are grown. Now, Danny B. (of Partridge Family fame and infamy) mentioned that adultery was like burping at the table -- it just wasn't done. How could she write a book that gave an etiquette to the practice??!?? And laugh about it! Danny is reformed and very much in favor of monogamy, BTW.

Until very recently I was a skeptic that we were living in the end times. I had heard that phrase all my life. But just watching daytime TV, it's amazing how *depraved* the American public is. I don't care if you don't participate in the behavior shown -- we all watch it. From Jerry Springer to Survivor to any other titillating show that interests our baser desires. I don't watch Jerry, but I did at one point and now it's getting to the point that I think getting rid of the TV is a great idea, even if I miss some of the shows that I have come to love, but even they are going down the drain morally. Great stories, very little intellectual or moral value however (how much skin of T'Pol's can we show on Enterprise and how many cuss words are we allowed now? Let's see, who's going to terrorize and kill in Smallville this week). There is nothing " ... true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." (Phil. 4:8) on TV anymore. At least not during Prime Time. I mean, what happened to being able to watch these shows with your kids? I want to be able to watch a show and not have to edit it for my son (don't repeat that, cover your eyes, cover your ears .... hrm, maybe we should watch a VeggieTales video tonight).

There is very little on television that is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, of good report, containing any virtue ..... I can go down the list, now that I think about it, of shows that I do watch and enjoy and realize that I don't enjoy them as much as I used to. I don't want to become a voyeur of depravity.
Smallville Torch : Articles Perhaps our generation doesn't understand well enough what it means to lay down one's life for the greater good. Maybe we're missing the idea of service. We look up to athletes, entertainers and businesspeople who work for self-glorification and to maintain their own celebrity. Maybe the real heroes are those who leave behind family, friends, boyfriends--and girlfriends--to give of themselves for us.

Ok, so there might be a few good things in Smallville. The above is excerpted from the Smallville Torch in an article "written" by Lana Lang.
September 18, 2002
I HATE teething!!!!! Yesterday was worse, but today I have spent most of the day in bed (I made it first) with my daughter beside me, feeding her and trying to keep her asleep. She seems to not want to take more than a 20 minute nap, and well, I can't do much in 20 minutes. 10 to make sure that she *is* asleep, 5 to decide what I should do, and another 10 trying to get her *back* to sleep after I move her or my arm from under her head (math never was my best subject). And then we start all over again.

I finally gave up around 1. I lay down beside her, put a light blanket over us and decided I should get my nap in too while feeding her. I think we both slept for at least a half hour. Then it was time to wake up because Josh would be home soon. Now that he is, I feel like I can get things done around the house.

Maybe I should look into getting a Mommy's helper during the day. I always had help with Josh because my grandmother and aunt were around .... and he was a lot more content to stay in his swing. His sister .... has a mind of her own :)

Ok, time for a little email and a LOT of laundry.
September 17, 2002
The one thing I do miss about homeschooling is that I didn't have to worry about begging neighbors and relatives for money for my son's school. There is so much pressure put on these kids to sell. Not to mention the incentive junk. I remember doing fundraising in 6th grade, to raise money for a trip to Catalina Island. This was above and beyond school curricula and to make sure that parents of us 6th graders wouldn't have to pay through the nose for this trip. It was a great experience (CIMI, not the fundraising). Then again in High school. I can't remember what that was for, but it was selling See's Chocolates, so all I had to do was give the box to my dad and he'd come home at night with the money. Chocolate bars are so much easier to sell than Wrapping paper! And you get your product right then!

But now kids have to fundraise for books, computers, and playground equipment. How wrong is that??? What is the state doing with money that is supposed to be earmarked for education?

At least the school is in the 21st century. You can look through the catalog online and call favored student to place your order :) Ok, off to email friends and family and beg for money :)
September 15, 2002
Baby Milestones

Now she is trying (fairly successfully) to sit up. She's doing a pretty darn good job of the tripod (looks like a gorilla sitting says Josh) position too! :)

I love this!!! This girl should be glad in light of all the things that have been happening to children of all ages this past year (remember Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis, not to mention the more violent child abductions that have been getting coverage).

DEAR ABBY: I have a serious problem. My father is unreasonably strict. I am 16, and he won't let me do hardly anything. He will not let me go places unless there is parental supervision at all times. To make matters worse, yesterday when I was dropped off at a girlfriend's house, he made my mother go to the door to meet her parents! They weren't home, so I was not allowed to stay. I had to get back in the car and my parents drove me home. I have never been so embarrassed in my life.

My father is the king of the household and whatever he says goes. He's impossible. Help. -- TEEN HELD CAPTIVE IN MASSACHUSETTS

DEAR CAPTIVE: You are cursed with parents who love you. Every teenager should have the advantages you have.

P.S. Be assured, you will appreciate your father's "strict" attitude when you are older and become a parent.
September 12, 2002
A very cool idea

BookCrossing - Home - FREE YOUR BOOKS! You've come to a friendly place, and we welcome you to our book-lovers' community. What is BookCrossing, you ask? It's a global book club that crosses time and space. It's a reading group that knows no geographical boundaries. Do you like free books? How about free book clubs?. Well, the books our members leave in the wild are free... but it's the act of freeing books that points to the heart of BookCrossing. Book trading has never been more exciting, more serendipitous, than with BookCrossing. Our goal, simply, is to make the whole world a library. BookCrossing is a book exchange of infinite proportion, the first and only of its kind.
September 10, 2002
When it rains, it pours. I had been teasing Tim some few months ago that now most of the trials with his family were over, trials with my family would start. This isn't exactly a trial, but it is a tragedy.

My father called this morning and asked me if I was sitting down. He had that somber, distinct tone of voice that let's you know someone has died. I've heard that tone a lot lately. I was expecting him to tell me that my grandfather had died. But it wasn't my grandfather. It was one of my friends. My father's best friend's youngest daughter had died during Pledge Week. She drowned. I'm still in shock and part of my mind is screaming "It's not FAIR!"

My father asked me to call my brother and tell him the news. He and Kenji were like brother and sister. Telling someone that one of their best friends is dead, and stupidly, tragically dead (stupid reason!!!!!!!!) is not fun.

Kenji and I liked to spar verbally. She grew up in Missippi and when she was about 11 or 12, her family moved out to Northridge; The Valley. She couldn't understand the Valley culture or white people/Southern California culture. We weren't black enough. Especially me. Mainly because I tended to like Asians and White guys, I spoke correctly and well.... just didn't act Black (blame my parents if you must, I just couldn't conform to what society thought Black People should dress and act like).

But she could do my hair :) and after a while I didn't mind being teased by her. The best part was when my dad told me that she was dating a white guy at UNLV.

We lost touch when I went off to college. My dad kept tabs on all of us and kept us informed about each other, but I haven't seen her since my high school graduation. Later I heard that she had married (I don't think it was that white guy) and I thought she had graduated. Maybe she had and was going back to work on her Master's. ...
September 9, 2002
Now class, I want you to repeat after me "It's ok for President Bush to invade our privacy" .. yeah right! Can I move to Canada yet? Or maybe even Australia. I think I could deal with the seasons being reversed.

About Citizen Corps Operation TIPS, the Terrorism Information and Prevention System, will be a nationwide program providing millions of workers who, by the nature of their jobs, are well-positioned to recognize unusual events with a formalized way to report suspicious activity to the nearest FBI field office.
Well, one thing's for sure. Our house is really well insulated. It's about 45 degrees outside this morning and it's a toasty 70 degrees inside. And I haven't even touched the cooling/heating system.

Another day, another week. We did a quick evaluation of Josh's first week of school and came to the conclusion that teachers make a huge difference in how kids perceive their school experience. (I know, that's a well .. DUH!)

When put in lists of pros and cons, Orenco stands out because Mrs. B teaches there and her style fits Josh's learning style better. We'll see how this week goes.
September 5, 2002
Another SNAFU by the school today. Yesterday, the principal called and told me that that bus stop would be 231st and Birch. We met the bus driver there a few minutes ago. He told us, that wasn't on his list of stops for our neighborhood, but the one where I saw kids congregating this morning was. He'll speak to the principal about it. Though it also may have been a SNAFU by the Transportation Services office. Either way, this wouldn't have happened if the school district had common sense and let the kids in our neighborhood go to the school that is practically across the street (I mean, come on, 2 blocks away!) Instead they would rather spend time, money, and gas to bus kids 5 miles away.

Not a big deal if West Union was a magnet, and one that my child wanted to go to, but it's not.

I also had to remind Josh that this wasn't the teacher's fault. Why? Because he has made it his goal to make sure that everyone at West Union knows that he doesn't like it there and wants to go back to Orenco. He had a plan of bad/troublesome behavior all worked out. Yesterday afternoon I thought it was pretty funny and clever. But then Tim and I reminded him of the consequences and let him know that if he behaved badly and got a bad reputation, Orenco might not want him back. So I think he will behave *crossed fingers*.
September 4, 2002
It's 9:40 in the morning and my day is already shot.

We woke up around 6:30 a.m. and I was full of confidence that I would get my son into the school I wanted him in and that he wants to go to. Ah, how naive I am when it comes to bureaucracy. First given the run-around (somewhat) by the Orenco principal. I was told by the front office that they would *love* to have my child and that they need parents who care and want to volunteer (I am of said group now that I have the time). But, alas, the principal over at West Union was denying all the transfers coming from our neighborhood. (Grr, now the site shows West Union Elementary, but when we signed we were told Orenco would be the school)... but I digress. ... So I was told that my best bet would be to go to West Union and talk to the principal there. Now mind you, I haven't really spoken to the principal of Orenco except for yesterday afternoon when I was trying *not* to get Black and irate at this man.

So we go over to West Union, which is 10 minutes away driving and waaaaaay out in the countryside. Points taken off there, it's in the boonies! (yes, we live that close to countryside). The school is older, and dark and you could watch Josh's face fall the more of it he took in.

I got in to see the principal and we chatted a bit. He explained to me that they have 5 empty classrooms at the moment (ok, fine, but do you have the staff and resources to fill those rooms even if you had the kids? -- I should have asked that while I was there). And that the agreement was made 2 years ago, before our development was built and demographics actually made, that West Union would get the kids on our neighborhood even though directly west and south of us the kids go to Orenco. West Union was planning on our neighborhood to fill out their classrooms (most of the kids here are newborn to pre-school, there aren't many school age. Guess they forgot to take that into account).

I explained that my son has been registered at Orenco since the middle of August, that he attended the first day there and that we would both prefer that he stay there.

So the principal phoned the principal at Orenco and they agreed to a compromise of a 2-week try-out at West Union. Josh wasn't pleased and neither was I, but they won't be able to say that I was un-cooperative. I get the feeling that they hope we'll become accustomed to West Union and not put up a fight. Well, they don't know me and they definitely don't know Tim.

Josh is determined to not spend more than a week at West Union. He looked on the verge of tears when we left.

Now the kicker. Apparently Orenco is really full, and it seems like it is. There are plenty of kids there whereas West Union only has 300 kids for all 6 grades (if that many, enrollment is low --at least that is what the west Union principal told me enrollment was). But the 3rd grade has the same number of kids that Josh's class at Orenco does. So there is no loss and no gain directly for my son. His teacher in both schools has the same burden of work.

I would prefer that Josh go to Orenco because 1) it makes sense, the school is 2 blocks away versus the almost 5 miles that West Union is. 2) It's a nicer and newer school and 3) it's convenient for me.

I would be concerned about academics, but I don't know much about either school right now. I have the prejudice that a newer school with new equipment and excited teachers is a better learning environment than an older one with non-excited teachers. I also have the feeling that given the current budget shortfalls I'll be after-schooling Josh anyway.

Oh, and Josh is out of school for the day. Neither school cares that he attends today. Just so long as he goes to West Union tomorrow. Right now I am tempted to just keep him home again, but I need the mental break! I love my child too much to homeschool him right now. It's already stressful having him home and having my whole plan for the day screwed up.

Ok, time for me to get ready to go. I have a ton of errands to run, most involving the DMV. And we have to go back to Orenco to get his school supplies! Why can't they let this *one* kid stay where he is???!!!!

*Names have been withheld because I am a nice person. It's enough that I gave the school names.

Links: How to get the right education for your child by Malkin Dare

The Big Book of Home Learning by Mary Pride.
September 3, 2002
I got Josh off to school -- in time no less. Met his teacher, she seemed a little harried ... and managed to ask her if she needed/wanted parent volunteers. She said she loves them. I figure I might as well do it so I can see what my child is learning and keep an eye on him :)

As we got into the classroom the teacher had 4 items listed on the white-board. 1) Where to put your lunch (there's a microwave in the classroom, I wonder if I can send him to school with things to be re-heated) 2) What to do with some of those community type school supplies (the paper, Kleenex, baby wipes and film). I had actually put the paper in Josh's binder. Hope she doesn't mind. It's not like the supply list said that the paper would be used community style.
3)I forget what 3 was ..... and 4) start your "Fun Book".

There are two Joshes in his class, and I think both of them have a last name that begins with H. This is going to be an interesting year. I hope he doesn't get stuck with a lot of busywork (yeah right). And I hope we can both enjoy it.

Kinda nice starting the day out early. I have the whole day ahead of me to either waste or get a lot done. I'm aiming for something in the middle. Now it's time to shower and run errands.
So, tomorrow is the first day of school, and part of me is excited. Remembered excitement from when I went to school and actually enjoyed it. Once I got into magnet schools, there wasn't much that I disliked about school -- except maybe the long bus ride on hot days, but that's another story. I'm also excited because it's a new phase in our life. I mean, how much time in a day will I now waste?

Josh and I have tried homeschooling, and I think we want to do it again, but with a little more preparation. This past year was enlightening: Josh and I have *very* different learning styles/teaching styles. That caused all sorts of clashes. Then there was the parent vs. teacher role (how do I assert authority when I am being both?) and of course "My teacher didn't do it that way" and "You don't teach me" -- "What do you mean I don't teach you?". It finally dawned on me that it was my style. I wasn't at a black(white) board lecturing.

We finally settled on a compromise of me reading and quizzing him orally, which seems to be the Charlotte Mason method, but if I do that I need to be a bit more strict about it. If we don't homeschool again I think we will find a way to get him into a private Christian school. Sorry, I just don't trust the public school system in this state (See related article)

But I digress (in a big way!) -- the point of this particular rant is school suppiles. I have yet again had to shell out $$$ (though not the arm and leg it has been in prior years) for school supplies. As I was putting together Josh's things for the morrow I realized that throughout elementary school, I only had to bring a backpack, folder with paper and pencils. Paints, crayons, etc. were always in the classroom. I may need them at home for various projects, but that was usually just some colored pencils. The cut backs are ridiculous. Parents are now having to pay for items that may be used in a "community" setting in the classroom. What are our taxes going to????? We still pay property taxes, what are they used for? Especially since they are re-assesed every year (or is it every two years). Very frequently. ... and I got distracted and lost my train of thought. More on this rant later :)

August 28, 2002
Ego boost. I think my hubby must get bored at work. He was doing a Yahoo search and I came up twice in the Top 10 :)
August 26, 2002
Oregon State Parks and Recreation: The Cove Palisades State Park The Cove Palisades State Park is a year-round recreational destination for the entire family. Located in our high desert region, the weather is sunny and warm in the summer months and chilly but generally mild in the winter. The park is situated among towering cliffs that surround beautiful Lake Billy Chinook.
Another un-original thought but it is something to keep in mind.

The keys to your universe lie with the choices you make.
You don't have to buy from anyone or work at any particular job.
You don't have to participate in any given relationship.
You can choose.

The choice is always yours.
You hold the tiller.
You steer the course you choose
in the direction of where you want to be today,
tomorrow, or in a distant time to come.

You can at any time decide to alter the course of your life.
No one can take that away from you.

Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, "Mother, you must come see the daffodils before they are over."
I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead. "I will come next Tuesday, "I promised, a little reluctantly, on her third call.

Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and so I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn's house and hugged and greeted my grandchildren, I said, "Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in the clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see bad enough to drive another inch!"

My daughter smiled calmly and said, "We drive in this all the time, Mother." "Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears, and then I'm heading for home!" I assured her.

"I was hoping you'd take me over to the garage to pick up my car."
"How far will we have to drive?"
"Just a few blocks," Carolyn said. "I'll drive. I'm used to this."
After several minutes, I had to ask, "Where are we going? This isn't the way to the garage!"

"We're going to my garage the long way," Carolyn smiled, "by way of the daffodils."
"Carolyn," I said sternly, "please turn around." "It's all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience."

After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand-lettered sign that read, "Daffodil Garden."

We got out of the car and each took a child's hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, we turned a corner of the path, and I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight.

It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it down over the mountain peak and slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns-great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron, and butter yellow. Each different-colored variety was planted as a group so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue.

There were five acres of flowers. "But who has done this?" I asked Carolyn.
"It's just one woman," Carolyn answered.
"She lives on the property. That's her home."
Carolyn pointed to a well kept A-frame house that looked small and modest in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house. On the patio, we saw
a poster. "Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking" was the headline.

The first answer was a simple one. "50,000 bulbs," it read. The second answer was, "One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and very little brain." The third answer was, "Began in 1958."

There it was, The Daffodil Principle. For me, that moment was a life-changing experience.

I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than forty years before, had begun-one bulb at a time-to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountain top. Still, just planting one bulb at a time, year after year, had changed the world. This unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. She had created something of ineffable (indescribable) magnificence, beauty, and inspiration.

The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration. That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time-often just one baby-step at a time-and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort,
we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world.

August 24, 2002
Get rid of the damn X10 ad... Information on X10 Advertising Turn off X10 pop-under ads for 30-days.
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Well, Joy's figured out how to get off of her playmat and scoot backward ... and turn herself around while on her tummy. She is now diligently trying to propel herself forward. I need to get back before she hurts herself or knocks over the fan. I am *not* ready for her to be mobile, but she's figuring it out rather quickly!
August 23, 2002
Three Subpeona's for the Enron Exec's under the sky.
Seven Subpeona's for the IMClone Exec's in their wall's of stone.
Nine Subpeona's for Congress Men doomed to lie.
One for the Dark Lord on Her Dark Throne.
In the Land of Martha (Stewart) where broker's lie.
One Subpeona to rule them all, One Subpeona to find them,One Subpeona to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
In the Land of Martha (Stewart) where broker's lie.

Something Tim found somewhere. Ah .... the popularity of Lord of the Rings ... that the opening prophecy should be used so.
August 21, 2002
California's Racial Privacy Initiative California, the first large state without a clear racial majority, looks much the way projected demographics suggest the rest of the country will look within the next few decades. In many ways, this makes California a giant laboratory for how to deal with race-related issues.

This article hits close to home for me because both of my children are multi-racial. What box *should* they check? Lately I have been leaving that section blank.

Which reminds me ... at the hospital where Joy was born, they sort of tried to pressure me to mark an ethnicity for her. I explained to the social worker that my daughter was neither black nor white, as her father is white and I am mixed myself. I better get a copy of her birth certificate and make sure that they left it blank.
August 19, 2002
This should have been posted on the 15th.
August 14, 2002
Check out this article. It's food for thought. Scientific American: Television Addiction Is No Mere Metaphor

Realizing when a diversion has gotten out of control is one of the great challenges of life. .... The term "TV addiction" is imprecise and laden with value judgments, but it captures the essence of a very real phenomenon. Psychologists and psychiatrists formally define substance dependence as a disorder characterized by criteria that include spending a great deal of time using the substance; using it more often than one intends; thinking about reducing use or making repeated unsuccessful efforts to reduce use; giving up important social, family or occupational activities to use it; and reporting withdrawal symptoms when one stops using it.

August 12, 2002
She did it!!! I saw it this time. My baby girl rolled over! and she's only 16 weeks old (just over 3 1/2/ months and 10 days away from 4 months).

All day today I have had the feeling that she was doing it, but had no visual proof. This morning when I got in the shower I had left her on her back facing one direction. Josh came and told me that she was crying. I got out a few minutes later and she was on her stomach facing the other direction. I wasn't sure if my son had picked her up out of the crib and put her back in .... and he said he hadn't, but he has a *very* short memory at times.

The second time I had left her on the floor after changing her diaper. I got up to get some water and check my email. When I turned around she had scooted off her play mat and looked like she was trying very hard to roll over. I turned back to the water and when I turned around she had rolled over to her stomach and was holding her head up!

The third and final time when I actually got to *see* the whole thing was while helping Josh cook dinner. I had just finished feeding her and lay her on her back on the floor (on her play mat). I covered her with a light blanket and of course she kicked it off. After doing that she managed to roll to her side. The she went back to her back. She did this a few times, seeming fairly confident that she could get all the way over. It was kind of entertaining to watch her roll back and forth getting up the momentum to go all the way over, and then she did! She rolled all the way over and then pulled her arm from under her.

next step, crawling. I was barely ready for this. I'm not ready for her to crawl yet (I know, I'll stop whining soon enough).
August 9, 2002
I've been thinking about this one for days.

Most mornings I end up gazing at my daughter as she feeds, only partially awake. She often reminds me of Sleeping Beauty. She has the classic dark hair, fair skin, and a tiny pink rosebud mouth. Her face is totally angelic and peaceful as she sleeps and eats.

In the early morning hours I thought of something much more lyrical and poetic to describe what I see in her face each morning, but it escapes me now that the full light of day is upon us. I swear, my brain goes out the window after about the third feeding of the day. Maybe it will come back to me.
I just found something out totally by accident (just dinking around on my computer). You know how full headers don't show up in Outlook ... well, I just right-clicked on a message and went down to options. And there they were!

Ok, so some people, lots of people probably already know this, but it has been bugging me for years that I couldn't get full headers out of a message read in Outlook, but it never bothered me enough to go look it up somewhere, so I'm kinda glad that I found it on my own.

And now I return you to your regularly scheduled surfing.
August 5, 2002
The Origin Revealed 420 drug term meaning origin

According to Steven Hager, editor of High Times, the term 420 originated at San Rafael High School, in 1971, among a group of about a dozen pot-smoking wiseacres ........
July 30, 2002
Well, last night our little girl showed us once again that baby's don't stay babies forever. Even though her main concern is still getting fed as often as possible ... while playing with Daddy (that would be Tim) she tried to sit herself up. Talk about amazement. The child just turned 3 months and here she is trying to pull herself into a sitting position! With no help from us!

We had her on the Boppy, propped up and she started reaching for Tim in a game he was playing with her, first with her hands and then with her head till she had pulled herself up about an inch off the Boppy. So Tim is probably going to buy a video camera this weekend.

She's doing more and more cool things and we're missing them .... I don't always carry my camera around with me :)
Damn, I take a lot of photos. My soon-to-be SIL has asked that I email her all the photos I have of her daughter. I thought I had them in, but in yet more organizing of my HD, I have come across more.

Hopefully I have them all this time, since not all of them are online.
July 29, 2002
As you can tell from the last few posts, I very rarely have an original thought. I think it's due to the amount of mental and emotional energy that my marriage and kids take up. Sometimes in that order, usually the reverse. And now that I am starting to make little sense, I think I will fold the last load of laundry and hit the hay ....
Tonight Joy laughed for the very first time, and it was a very hearty laugh! (tonight being the 28th, not the 29th when I actually got around to writing this) ....

So anyways, Tim and I were putting the crib together and all of us (Tim, me, Josh and probably Joy too) were hot and short of temper. It had been a long day in Salem and somewhere between leaving my aunt's and getting home, everyone's disposition had gone out the window. I got Joy fed and took her upstairs too see what the problem was with the crib (used -- it didn't come with assembly instructions). Tim and I got it figured out and I asked Josh to keep his sister occupied while we finished putting it together. A few minutes later we hear something between a laugh and a cry and Josh saying "She's laughing! I made her laugh!" ... He was jumping on her mattress (which was on our bed) and saying "Abu!". Now when I say "Abu" all I get is her gorgeous smile (she's turning into a flirt already .... but that's another tale). He did it a few times and I watched her face light up in a huge smile and this honest-to-goodness belly laugh came out of her. All good, though I wish I had a tape recorder ... it didn't sound quite what I would expect a 3-month old's laugh to sound like :)

Ok time for bed.
July 28, 2002
Joy is just over 3 months old and I can't believe how time has flown. Not to mention how big she's getting!

She now has a problem that I fear may break her neck. When she gets hungry she starts arching her neck and rooting. However, she now has enough power in her legs to get herself completely turned around (and stuck) in her bassinet .... the first night it happened I thought I had almost broke her neck in trying to get her out. I was half asleep and just started to pick her up as always when I realized that her neck is arching in a nasty way. Woke me right up!

Tim tried to help one night too. She had started to cry and I couldn't get her out :( He came over to help and saw how stuck she was, not a nice place to be in when half asleep. He held her head while I got her straightened out. Definitely time to get the crib set up.
New billboards are getting attention in Arizona. Some reported seeing one or two messages, but the newspaper listed all of them. Here's a list of all variations of the "God Speaks" billboards. The billboards are a simple black background with white text. No fine print or sponsoring organization is included.

These are awesome... enjoy.

Tell the kids I love them.

Let's meet at my house Sunday
before the game.

C'mon over and bring the kids.

What part of "Thou Shalt Not..."
didn't you understand?

We need to talk.

Keep using my name in vain,
I'll make rush hour longer.

Loved the wedding,
invite me to the marriage.

That "Love Thy Neighbor" thing...
I meant it.

I love you and you
and you and you and...

Will the road you're on
get you to my place?

Follow me.

Big bang theory,
you've got to be kidding.

My way is the highway.

Need directions?

You think it's hot here?

Have you read my #1 best seller?
There will be a test.

Do you have any idea
where you're going?

(And someone's personal favorite...)
Don't make me come down there.

July 27, 2002
This was on one of my homeschool lists

You know since the word "socialization" seems to come up a lot in conversations
with non-homeschoolers, I thought I'd share this quote from "The meaning of
Sociology" by Joel M. Charon:

A socialized person is one who has been successfully made a member of his or
her group, formal organization, community, and/or society. A socialized person
controls himself or herself.

Lack of socialization is someone who: exhibits a lack of self-control, an
inability to cooperate, a tendency toward impulsive behavior.

So to sum it all up:

Socialized = The ability to control yourself in social situations.

Unsocialized = The inability to control yourself in social situations.
I don't know when this was written, and it's been making the rounds as a forward, but it does make you stop and think.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane
Clayson asked her "How could God let something like this happen?" (regarding the attacks on Sept. 11). Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response.

She said, "I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?"

In light of recent events ... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc., I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found recently) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK.

Then someone said teachers and principals better not discipline our children when they misbehave. The school administrators said no faculty member in this school better touch a student when they misbehave because we don't want any bad publicity, and we surely you don't want to be sued (there's a big difference between disciplining, touching, beating,
smacking, humiliating, kicking, etc). And we said OK.

Then someone said, let's let our daughters have abortions if they want, And they won't even have to tell their parents. And we said OK.

Then some wise school board member said, since boys will be boys and they're going to do it anyway, let's give our sons all the condoms they want so they can have all the fun they desire, and we won't have to tell their parents they got them at school. And we said OK.

Then some of our top elected officials said it doesn't matter what we do in private as long as we do our jobs. Agreeing with them, we said it doesn't matter to me what anyone, including the President does in private, as long as I have a job and the economy is good. Then someone said let's print magazines with pictures of nude women and call it wholesome, down-to-earth appreciation for the beauty of the female body. And we said OK.

And then someone else took that appreciation a step further and published pictures of nude children and then further again by making them available on the Internet. And we said OK; they're entitled to free speech.
Then the entertainment industry said; let's make TV shows and movies that promote profanity, violence, and illicit sex. Let's record music that encourages rape, drugs, murder, suicide, and satanic themes. And we said it's just entertainment, it has no adverse effect, nobody takes it seriously anyway, so go right ahead.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience? Why they don't know right from wrong? And why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves? Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with "WE REAP WHAT WE SOW!!!"
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell!

Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding God, people think twice about sharing.

Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing? Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they WILL think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us. Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it... no one will know you did.

But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain About what bad shape the world is in!
May 27, 2002
Joke of the Day:


One day, three men were hiking and unexpectedly came upon a large raging, violent river. They needed to get to the other side, but had no idea of how to do so.

The first man prayed to God, saying, "Please God, give me the strength to cross this river."


God gave him big arms and strong legs, and he was able to swim across the river in about two hours, after almost drowning a couple of times.

*Seeing this, the second man prayed to God, saying, "Please God, give me the strength ..and the tools to cross this river."


*God gave him a rowboat and he was able to row across the river in about an hour, after almost capsizing the boat a couple of times.

*The third man had seen how this worked out for the other two, so he also prayed to God saying,

"Please God, give me the strength and the tools...and the intelligence ... to cross this river."

And poof!

*God turned him into a woman. She looked at the map, hiked upstream a couple of hundred yards, then walked across the bridge.

This is the first night that I have left my baby with someone else. I haven't even let other people babysit her ... the longest was at church, and that wasn't more than 45 minutes in the nursery and she slept the whole time.

Joy is one month old ... 5 weeks tomorrow. She's staying with my brother and soon to be sister-in-law. Big brother Josh is staying too ... Tim and I haven't had any couple time since December so we jumped at the chance to swap overnight babysitting with them. I don't know how people who have kids 10 months apart do it. We had trouble getting everyone into my car. Two car seats and Josh in the middle ... it only underscored Tim's opinion that two kids is enough and mine that I need a bigger car.

As we were leaving to have our date Joy looked right at me. She wasn't trying to eat Erin's arm as nursing baby's tend to be doing when they turn their heads ... she was looking right at me. It was like she knew I was leaving. Part of me didn't want to leave her at all. Maybe I am being reminded of all the times I left Josh when he was a baby to go back to UCSD. Such trusting eyes, and then you don't come back and then .... well, guilt trip in the extreme. I'll see her tomorrow morning/early afternoon and I know she's fine. We've watched Maykayla plenty of times, but I still feel a little worried ... she's so little.

I guess I need to fully enjoy this private quiet time with my husband. Who knows when we'll get another night without the kids.
May 22, 2002
It's 4 weeks and one day after Joy was born. She'll be a month old tomorrow .... actually today since it's after midnight that I am writing this. I can hardly believe that nearly a month has passed by. The time really does fly by, and I'm not always having fun!

I forgot how time consuming newborns are. And the fact that I could just sit and hold her and stare at her for hours (even though the idea of that is very boring to me, this past week I have found myself spending a lot of time doing just that). It's not even conscious. I finish feeding her .. rather, she finishes feeding and pulls off and if she starts to nod off, I just hold her.

Quick summary:

Week 1: In the hospital and then home. By Thursday I was feeling sore and by Friday I was in agony. I had to postpone Josh's birthday party because I could barely walk. I didn't get much accomplished that week. We did go to church though. I was already starting to get a touch of cabin fever and needed to get out of the house, no matter how painful it was.

Week 2: I was feeling better. Sitz baths and walking around a bit were helpful. I was able to take Josh to his pottery class. The walk to Target did wonders for getting the blood flowing. Still the only clothes that fit were my maternity ones. Joy is still absolutely tiny and barely fit in the Snugli. She also got her first bath and her umbilical cord fell off May 4th. The following is an except from the conversation had after Tim volunteered to change her diaper:

Tim: Her belly button disappeared!

Annette: "It did what?"

Tim: Her belly button is gone

Annette: What are you talking about?

Tim: That yellow thingy ... her belly button ... it's gone

Annette: Her umbilical cord?

Tim: Whatever, it's gone.

Things accomplished .... Josh's party. I think this was the week that I started doing laundry every day, at least one load, but I can't remember now. It must have been though. I haven't really stopped doing laundry since either. Tim and I create a lot and Joy is starting too. I changed her twice today just because of diapers!

Week 3: I ran a few errands and seriously began feeling like a cow. My little angel girl has a very healthy appetite!

Week 4: I've been thinking about getting my homework done and turned in and have even gotten a few paragraphs written. I don't get much done during the day and am tired during the evening. I end up taking a nap most days between 5 and 6:30. Otherwise I am exhausted. Even though I think I may be getting enough sleep I am starting to look like a raccoon. Joy is looking very plump and healthy and bright-eyed though :)

My little angel girl is gaining weight quite nicely and she's already scooting. Well, she's been scooting for about two weeks now and trying to hold her head up. She can hold it for a few seconds. She can't turn her head yet though she tries. I think her favorite uncontrollable (?) thing to do right now is squirt when Tim says "Smile for Daddy". She does something else that starts with "s" and requires a diaper change :)

Ok, it's late and I get the feeling that I am repeating myself.

I had a ton more planned to write about, but I hear her gurgling, so it's time to go and feed her again.

More later, though who knows how much later ..... how could I forget how much time they take???!!!!!
May 3, 2002
Good, because my daughter is a hungry hippo. We tried getting her to take a bottle last night so that Tim could help with the feedings ... no go. She would *not* take it.

I am now a cow. Do you know how often babies need to eat?

and there she goes again. ... Baby monitors are a good thing, most of the time.


(this was random .... I think I just needed to vent 5/26/02)
May 1, 2002
My baby has her first cold :( It's hard seeing a baby with a cold, she's so helpless, and her poor eyes are getting all crusty :~(

I was going to
April 27, 2002
Something that came up while reading email

Illegitimis non carborundum.

"Yes, this means "Don't let the bastards grind you down", but it
is not real Latin; it is a pseudo-Latin joke.

"Carborundum" is a trademark for a very hard substance composed
of silicon carbide, used in grinding. (The name "Carborundum" is a
blend of "carbon" and "corundum". "Corundum" denotes aluminium
oxide, and comes to English from Tamil kuruntam; it is related to
Sanskrit kuruvinda = "ruby".) "The "-ndum" ending suggests the
Latin gerundive, which is used to express desirability of the
activity denoted by the verb, as in Nil desperandum = "nothing to
be despaired of"; addendum = "(thing) fit to be added";
corrigendum = "(thing) fit to be corrected"; and the name Amanda,
from amanda = "fit to be loved").

Illegitimis is the dative plural of illegitimus =
"illegitimate"; the gerundive in Latin correctly takes the dative to
denote the agent. Illegitimus could conceivably mean "bastard" in
Latin, but was not the usual word for it: Follett World-Wide Latin
Dictionary (Follett, 1967) gives nothus homo for bastard of known
father, and spurius for bastard of unknown father.

The phrase seems to have originated with British army
intelligence early in World War II. It was popularized when U.S.
general Joseph W. "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell (1883-1946) adopted it as
his motto. Various variant forms are in circulation."
April 24, 2002
On Monday I sent out this email to friends and family:

No, this isn't the birth announcement .. :) I wish. If my darling daughter (once again confirmed today it's a girl much to Josh's disappointment) doesn't make an appearance soon, I'm scheduled to be induced anytime after 12:01 a.m. on Friday, April 26th, 2002. Maybe she'll put in an appearance before then ......

My mother was the first one called that night after I had delivered. She informed me via email that I am reading today that I was wrong. The above might as well be the birth announcement.

And did you know that getting a head 13cm around out is *painful*?

photos of Joy Gabrielle:
April 18, 2002
Another long night of unfruitful contractions. They started just after dinner (close to 9 p.m., late dinner) and lasted till about midnight when it was safe to declare that there was no point in going to the hospital since they were decreasing in strength and frequency.

Poor Josh, he was really disappointed. He asked if he could sleep in clothes just in case (at 10 p.m.). We said yes because at the rate I was crushing Tim's hand it looked like we would be going around 11. By 10:30 they had subsided and I got a break. Then they started up again for about 20 minutes around 11 and then quit. A few more good ones right before midnight ... and then .... nothing. Lots of little "watch my stomach turn into a mountain and then a hill" type contractions (Braxton-Hicks, just a tightening of the uterus) but none of the painful "Let's get this baby out of here tonight" type contractions. I was actually a little disappointed too. I'm tired of this teasing.

Josh fell asleep around midnight complaining about how he wanted to go to the hospital (he wants to meet his sibling soon) and Tim and I watched the Cosby Show on Nick at Nite before going to sleep. We were both too tired to try any of the natural ways of inducing. Maybe I can wake him up that way, he's still asleep.

My doc says I can try sex, breast stimulation and castor oil. I know castor oil works because I used it with Josh. But Tim would rather try the more pleasant ways of induction first.

If Joy hasn't shown up by Monday I'll be monitored for a bit and then induced sometime next week.
April 17, 2002
I was potentially complaining to my mother (potentially, because I didn't mean it as a complaint, just an observation) .... about my husband and realized that I probably have a breadwinner complex. I want to contribute (financially) to the family and feel that I am sucking us dry rather than giving anything substantial to the household.

I mean, I don't even properly run the house. He does quite a bit of the housework, pays the bills, keeps track of things ... he makes a much better housewife than I do. Is there something wrong with this picture? All I do is make dinner, and sometimes not even that. *sigh* I don't think I was cut out to be a stay at home parent.
April 15, 2002
Just got back from yet another appointment. No baby in sight. Dialated .... a whole 1/2 centimeter. Whoopee (can you tell that I am tired of being pregnant). That makes me 1.5 cm dialted, Maybe 2. And I have a cold. I need drugs, and sleep. And to revise our birth plan.

I want to go into my appt. tomorrow and have them tell me that I have miraculously dilated to 5 cm and that they need to admit me to the hospital right away. But, since I'm not having proper contractions it won't happen. I can dream can't I?
April 14, 2002
Tim posted this to the Tun, a group of friends of his (eventually he may even start posting on his own here, I mean I gave him permission and everything) =). The links are mine (because I was bored)):

Hi gang -

Well, this afternoon we went to the hospital for a nice little 2 hour stay. Annette was having regular contractions, but not enough to admit her yet. They were/are causing quite a bit of back pain for her.

After an hour of being on this funky contraction monitoring device and watching the peaks and valleys of her contractions, they had her walk around for nearly an hour.

During the walk, I discovered that my wife is least if the nerve pinches to my shoulder she gave me are any indication :) I volunteered to become the organic contraction monitor, telling the nurse that I could save us money by simply telling them how intense and how long her contractions were by how hard and how long she grabbed onto me, but they wouldn't go for that. I did get a nice shoulder/back massage out of the deal though :)

So there we are, walking around the maternity ward, Annette grabbing and kneading my shoulders...and she starts comparing the various open birthing rooms by size, view and proximity to the jaccuzi! :) Amazing what odd things go through the human mind at the strangest times. At one point we walked by a room that had the door closed....from the screams inside the room I think they were holding a 21st-Century Spanish sure didn't sound like fun.

So here I am, awake when I should be asleep, enjoying what will surely be one of my very few remaining opportunities to sleep through the night undisturbed for the next 6 months to 1 year (or longer). Annette says I get the midnight and 2 AM feedings...I've repeatedly pointed out to her that I'm not *equipped* to feed a baby (can't get blood out of a turnip and you can't get milk out of a male nipple), but she merely responds with "That's what bottles are for". At one point I asked her "Well, how does the bottle get filled?", thinking that I had found a sure way out...

Alas, she mentioned this thing called a breast pump...which, in my baby-knowledge-naivety I had never heard of many moons ago. I told her I didn't care what technology she had, she was still not going to be able to get milk out of me. :) She found that rather funny, and then crushed my last bastion of hope by explaining that a breast pump was for the *woman*, not the man.

All this and I have to change poopy diapers too? Speaking of which, did you all know that it actually matters which *side* faces which way on a diaper? And they're not one-size-fits-all either.


Who thinks he'll go to bed now, and really hopes that somewhere between the baby popping out and the placenta popping out an owner's manual will pop out too :) Though with my luck it'll be written by Microsoft.....

P.S. Everybody keeps asking me if I'm ready....isn't it a little late to ask me that question? :)

P.P.S. After our unplanned tour of the Spanish Inquisition Dungeon...err, maternity ward, I think they should stick up a big sign at the entrance that says "Kids, don't try this at home!"

P.P.P.S. (or is that P.S.P.S.?) I'm very glad I'm a guy right now :)
April 13, 2002
I have the most loving and caring son in the world today (yes, this is the same one that usually drives me crazy). He brought me breakfast in bed this morning. Eggs, donuts and a glass of milk. Even remembered to put the salt and pepper shakers on the tray.

And all he wants in return is a little snuggle time. That's a great deal I think. Now to get off my bum, sitting for too long seems to start contractions these days.
Well, we already knew that having a baby was gross and undignified. It was confirmed again last night. After hours of unsuccessful (I'm not dilating dammit!!!!) labor we went home. Tim confined me to the bedroom since the nurse had told me to go home and rest.

Stop reading right now if you are easily grossed out!

So .... doing that emptying the bladder thing and the mucus plug plops out of me! I heard this plop and knew I hadn't done #2 ... and there's this *thing* that resembles a small cork. It wasn't bloody or anything .... but hopefully that means *real* contractions will start soon. I've been dilated to one centimeter for 3 weeks now! Ready to get a move on. Our fear for this week is that our darling daughter will decide to come when I am in class on the East side of Portland. We live on the west side (side being determined by the Willamette River) and our hospital is over here too. Though I could probably go to any hospital in the Providence system.

Ah well, time to get in a few more Saturday morning cartoons. X-men Evolution should be starting soon.
April 12, 2002
The White Stuff

New word for the day Potemkin . I couldn't find a satisfactory meaning at the Miriam Webster site ... anyone else have any ideas?
Contractions *SUCK*!!!!! when they don't go anywhere.

I suppose I could get up and walk around to see if this is the real thing or not.....
I can't sleep. I have been awake for over an hour trying to get back to sleep, which is really bad, because I didn't go to bed till 1 and fell asleep sometimes between 1:30 and 2 a.m.

I managed to get through this pregnancy without getting sick from Tim or Josh, and I wake up this morning (noticed last night a runny nose) with stuffiness and a sore throat. I'm hoping it's a cold. Colds-- I can take something for. If I'm going to breastfeed is there anything I can take for allergies? I thought I would be spared this year. The trees outside our door have bloomed and the flowers fell off and the leaves have appeared. Maybe they weren't cherry or plum trees or maybe I have a new allergy or maybe I have no idea *what* I'm allergic to.

So, here I sit at 6 in the morning, cursing our DSL company because it's *still* down (went down around midnight last night), drinking peppermint tea with a splash of honey and wondering what to do with myself this morning.

Ok, have DSL back, nothing like pulling the power switch to make things reset themselves.

Anyways ... now that I have ranted for a little bit I am starting to feel sleepy again. Or maybe it's the tea. And here come the contractions ..... will she come today?????
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