Thursday, August 30, 2007

Wrong Twin Killed in Down Syndrome Abortion

I read this over at the Mommy Life blog and she's probably right...we'll probably not even hear mention of it in the American mainstream media! She has a child with Down Syndrome herself. Thanks Barbara.


Vatican Ire Over Botched Twin Abortion
Herald Sun, Australia, August 30, 2007

A BOTCHED abortion of a fetus instead of its Down syndrome twin has prompted the Vatican to compare abortion to the Nazis' selective breeding practices.

Italy was embroiled in a bitter ethical dispute yesterday after it emerged that a surgeon had accidentally terminated the wrong fetus while trying to abort its Down syndrome twin.

The operation on a 38-year-old woman 18 weeks into her pregnancy was performed at the San Paolo hospital in Milan in June but has only just come to light.

The fetus who had Down syndrome was also subsequently aborted.

Weighing into the controversy, the Vatican said aborting a Down syndrome child was the result of a culture of perfection resembling Nazi eugenics.

Read more here.

911 - I Need Help with My Math

Saturday, August 25, 2007

To Die for the Sake of Living

"Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. 'He that will lose his life, the same shall save it,' is not a piece of mysticism for saints and heroes. It is a piece of everyday advice for sailors or mountaineers. It might be printed in an Alpine guide -- or a drill-book. This paradox is the whole principle of courage even of quite earthly or quite brutal courage. A man cut off by the sea may save his life if he will risk it on the precipice. He can only get away from death by continually stepping within an inch of it. A soldier, surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine. No philosopher, I fancy, has ever expressed this romantic riddle with adequate lucidity, and I certainly have not done so. But Christianity has done more: it has marked the limits of it in the awful graves of the suicide and the hero, showing the distance between him who dies for the sake of living and him who dies for the sake of dying. And it has held up ever since above the European lances the banner of the mystery of chivalry the Christian courage which is a disdain of death; not the __________ courage which is a disdain of life."
-- Orthodoxy G.K. Chesterton

This quote is ringing in my heart strings and I'm re-reading it again and again, turning it over and over and each time finding more to understand. This one phrase, in particular speaks to me:

"he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine."

That's how I want to live. Like a brave soldier on the battlefield of life. To crave for life...abundant life by I crave/need/require water. And yet to live with such abandon, wholely relying on His Sovereign Will that I'm careless or careFREE enough to live like I was dying. To really understand that nothing I risk for the Sake of the Cross can be anything worse than the sweet, sweet wine of death for the Believer.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Bad Idea: A Novel (with Coyotes)

I'm not much of a reviewer. As a matter of fact, I've given thumbs up to books I later wished I'd advised a bonfire for, so I recommend this book with much hesitation and a few cautions.

If you're looking for a nice, easy Christian read: predictable and comfy from start to NOT read this book. Here's a review from

"BAD IDEA by Todd and Jedd Hafer takes readers on a road trip with eighteen-year old Griffin Smith. About the time I thought I knew just who the main character was, another - and sometimes disturbing, facet of his personality would be revealed.

Difficult subjects are not shied away from or addressed in a predictable way. Each chapter brought a surprise, and kept the action and the road trip moving forward - with a few unexpected detours.

I especially enjoyed the hilarious, mental riffs Griffin would take off on. Reading BAD IDEA represents a departure from my usual fare, and I'm glad I stepped out of my comfort zone to read this book. Once I started, I had no intention of cutting my trip short."

Bad Idea: A Novel (with Coyotes)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Shopping Woes

I don't shop.

Oh, I do go to stores and pick up things now and then, but I'm not one of those gals that likes to stroll through the mall, dazzled by the latest designs nor do I exclaim every couple of minutes, "Oh! How cuuuuuute is that?!" or "*gasp* Look at that jacket. Isn't that adorable?!"

Don't get me wrong. I use to enjoy that sort of thing, but then things stopped fitting me right and a fitting room began to feel more like a torture chamber with mirrors so I could watch the horror unfold for myself. Now when I have to buy clothes I buy them with a few rules/criteria in mind.

Number one: Comfort. If it doesn't take me from a sink full of dishes, to the living room sofa for a read aloud then to the store for some milk, then it doesn't belong in my closet.

Number two: It has to cover and camouflage any thing on my anatomy that I need to de-emphasis. No longer do I have the luxury of caring about how "cuuuuuuute" it is on the rack. What really matters is if the top is long enough to cover my poochy tummy and is it blousy enough to hide my bra bulge. If it's in a favorable color that is simply a bonus feature. And then if it is also currently in style...well, then I've won the lottery, ring me up and call my day a success!

So, now maybe you see why I say: I don't shop...until yesterday anyway.

You see, next week I go to Dallas with my husband to be wined and dined by the company he works for. Next week I have to lay aside my t-shirts, jeans, bermuda shorts and yoga pants and don something that says I shop and I know what I'm doing.

So, back to yesterday. Yesterday I went through my closet and confirmed what I already knew. I had NOTHING to wear that was even approaching nice enough for this little trip. The only solution? To shop.

I left my home and headed out to shop. I won't bore you with the details of the hell that is a department store fitting room nor will I fill your ear with complaints about the obstacle course some call a parking lot, but I will tell you that I left the house at 11am and didn't return until after 4pm. In my arms I had 5 large bags of clothes. Only a small sampling of the HUNDREDS of items I'd pulled on and off throughout the day.

Now, mind you...I went shopping for ONE outfit. ONE. A top and a bottom. A dress. Didn't matter. Just ONE thing because I am only going to be gone ONE day. In my defense it did have to go from a day in an office to a dinner out which made for more of a challenge, but was only ONE outfit. But there I was stumbling in the front door with my arms cramping from the strain of the hundreds of dollars *gasp* of clothes I brought home to try on in front of a mirror that doesn't lie and a pretty honest husband and daughter.

As an aside...does it necessarily spell disaster to have a 13 year old girl and a 40-something man as your personal fashion coordinators? Oh, I sure hope not or I'm sunk for sure!

Dragging in my "finds" I head straight to the bedroom to start the fashion parade. I lay the prospects across the bed, take a deep breath and dive in (might as well get this over with). Slip on the skirt, pull on the blouse...traipse to the living room. Hear the critique. Go back to my room for another round.

One HOUR LATER: Sweat is rolling down my back and sides and I can feel tears stinging the back of my eyes. How frustrating! If only I were a size 8 I just KNOW my life would be much simpler! I had narrowed it down to two possibles, neither of which I loved, but they both lived up to rule Number Two. My darling husband comes into the bedroom and hugs me, tells me I'm beautiful and makes a few more suggestions.

Thirty minutes more and I have an outfit that I actually like. I think I can actually hold my head up in public and maybe even look someone in the eye. :) John then said he'd go with me to return all of my unwanted items and even helped me pick out a pair of shoes while I was out - Shoes! Now that's a whole other animal. Shoes I love! Shoes I can shop for. Shoes are my friend because they don't laugh at me for being a bit chunky and I don't have to hide anything or make sure something is long enough when I buy shoes. Heck, shoes are so easy, you can try them on right out in front of everyone and their cousin. No shame there. No hiding out in the torture chambers in front of the lying mirrors. As a matter of fact. I have nice feet if I do say so myself so shoes...there's a fashion item I DO like shopping for.

So, here I am. The day after. Alive and well and actually pretty pleased with my new duds. When I say pleased of course I mean I can live with them. They're not as dressy as I was going for, but they're not as casual as I'm used to. All this anxiety and what did I end up with you ask? Can you believe I went through all of THAT for a pair of black cuffed capri pants, a fooshy poly-blend blouse and a pair of wedges?!

What will I do when it's time to shop for a bridesmaid dress for my sister's wedding? I shudder to think of it.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Follow Up

I have (by my own design) such a small readership, but I wanted to follow up my last mournful post so as none of you will think I've fallen into a deep dark tunnel of depression. (or whatever ;))

I've joined the local homeschool group again. I haven't been in one for years simply because I didn't need them and, while we have several to choose from in our metropolitan area, none of them really needed me either. I just never really seem to fit. Now, though I think I need that IF only for the 411 on what's available for high schoolers locally. If all that I use is the calendar of events, then I'll have gotten my $20/year dues worth, I think. :)

In addition I think the Lord has provided some direction and peace for me about my children. I've just got to hang on to that and we'll be just fine.

Thanks for your concerns all. Onward and upward.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Maybe I Need a Mentor

Really, I'm starting to get a little...oh I can't think of a word that applies exactly. Maybe flummoxed? Discombobulated? Anxious? Grouchy? At one time or another all apply to how I'm feeling about getting the kids ready for college. I simply don't know what to DO! What's the first step? How does one even choose a college to look at? A major? Even a course of study?

Jordan is getting frustrated because it seems his friends (at least the ones who have similar goals to his) are starting to zero-in on at least a general area of study. "Something to do with physics" one says. Or from another "I'd like to work with computers". Poor Jordan feels scattered and lacking focus and frankly, I'm sure it's MY fault. I haven't given him enough experiences to choose from and THAT'S why I need a mentor because I can't give him experiences that I don't even know exist!

One friend's just come back from a 6 week trip to Mexico. It was a special program provided by a local college that he was able to find out about, apply to and was accepted for. I, hick-at-heart that I am, didn't even know that such things existed OR how to go about finding more of the same.

Another has had a job for the last year working with computers...writing programs, grading websites, building simple video games, etc. A perfect fit for him and a great launching point.

But my son, for instance, is interested in public speaking and law. HOW and WHERE do I find experiences for him in this area? Where do I even start? He's also interested in history and music. But neither of these seem to appeal to him as a career choice although they might if I could conceive of how they'd be used in the "real world". I wish there was a BIG list of careers and we could go down and check ones that sounded good to him and then begin looking for local folks who actually did that sort of thing to ask them questions about their work. THAT would be helpful, but does such a list exist? I have no idea!

Yes, I think I might need a mentor...a homeschool mom who has gone before and can be our guidance counselor. But who has the time or inclination? I'm back to square one because I have no idea how to FIND someone like that! "Excuse me. But would you like to be at my beck-and-call prepared to sacrifice time with your family in order to invest in mine?" Uh...I just don't see it happening.

Oh, I have several internet friends I can ask this and that to (and frankly, I'd be completely lost without them rather than just mostly lost!), but I need someone local who is familiar with the programs and opportunities here. *sigh* We have a large homeschool group in my state, but it seems most of them either drop away in high school OR their greatest ambition is to bake the perfect bread or, in the case of the young men, have only ONE area of interest, most of which are in no way a fit for my son (computers, medicine, etc). We just don't seem to fit.

And I envision a similar problem coming up for my daughter. She's such a free creative and artsy. Most of the homeschoolers around here do not look favorably upon a female like her. She's too bold and vivacious for their tastes. I can envision her being an author or a theatre major. If it was the year 1965 I'd see her wearing fringe and beads and singing "all we need is love" while painting her walls with rainbows and tie dying her t-shirts!

She is a musician as well, but, while she enjoys the music she plays, the people she plays with tend to be very stuffy and uptight. I might even call them "snooty" if I couldn't think of a better word, which I cannot. They wouldn't even consider listening to Superchick or Skillet when there was Vivladi to consider.

It seems I find out about opportunities AFTER they've passed us by. I'm completely out of the fact...I don't even know if a loop exists! How do others seem to know about this stuff, but I do not? I'm always late, it seems.

Back on my knees. It's really all I can see to do right now. :)