Friday, September 26, 2008

"I' Think I've Made A Huge Mistake" - Arrested Development

We laugh at this TV quote and say it from time to time whenever we've made an 'oops.'

Well, today I think I made a $50 mistake and in this crappy economy, that's pretty huge (for us anyway!)

What kind of mistake, you ask? Well, let me tell you!

Being the awesome homeschool Mom that I am (ha), and knowing my kids don't want any extra 'schoolwork' than we already have, I had to get creative with the way I approached the addition of a more rigorous "physical education" than just playing volleyball or basketball in the yard. So I figured I could get them excited about our first level of structured, yet family/home exercise by offering a goal incentive.

So I had a school meeting and told them we would be starting a walk/jog activity at least 3 times per school week. Knowing how dreadful this is to the kids (because I've tried before) i told them that whoever is first able to jog our entire path (over a mile but not exactly sure of the distance) I would pay them fifty dollars cash! Being the money hungry kiddos that they are, they ran to put on their socks and tennies! Before we got out the door, I had to explain that this would take them a long while to accomplish and that speed was not the goal...just endurance. I told them this was a long-term goal and that it was designed to give us something to work for during the coming months.

Little did I know I might be out the fifty bucks on our first day! ACK!

Thankfully, there was some BARELY slowing down at the end that I was able to NOT have to pay today BUT, Indie & Rocky almost (pretty much) made it! And Ray was VERY VERY close to making it, too! I could NOT believe it! WHO ARE THESE CHILDREN? I struggle to believe they share my DNA. I have never, and I mean NEVER had any sort of endurance. Not in elementary school. Not in Jr. High school. Not in high school. And certainly not in college, when I actually took a running class to get in shape for my wedding. NEVER was I able to run the entire length of the class. Never.

Ugh. I'm proud of them but, DANG, couldn't they have given me a chance to actually budget this "bright" idea of mine?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

New Widget

I added a widget to my sidebar. If you are a Palin fan, you'll be particularly happy with her blog as of late. Many Moms will like her for other reasons as well. Hope you'll check her out from time to time!

Ever Wondered About That FedEx Box??

Panda Gives Birth

This is just so cool. A Mama Panda, left alone to do what comes naturally. What a novel concept.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Was Tagged...A Long Time Ago But...

Better late than never, right Susanne?

You'd think it'd be simple for me to just whip up a post with six things about myself but between dial-up and everything else, I had to put this tag on my to-do list.

But here we go.

Six things you may or may not know about me.

1 - I never, ever have or will drink carbonated beverages.

2 - I am a night owl and sleep as late as I possibly can every morning.

3 - I used to really, REALLY want to be a model and if I was a teenager again, I'd be ALL OVER finding a chance to try out for "Next Top Model."

4 - Speaking of reality shows, I still want to do a game show or Survivor or Amazing Race or something like that some day.

5 - I have a totally new and exciting understanding of Heaven thanks to Randy Alcorn's book by the same name.

6 - I really want to be a bigger Jesus Freak (thanks toby & dctalk for such a great term.)

I tag Shannon & Donna!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Oh Survey Can You See?

**The link has been corrected so please try again! **
An awesome new website (with connections to Lamaze International) is collecting birth experience data from all over the country because, as the website says:

A growing body of research shows that among the most important factors influencing a woman's likelihood of obstetric interventions, especially cesarean section, induction of labor and episiotomy, are where and with whom she gives birth. In short, a woman who goes to a provider or hospital with high rates of interventions is more likely to end up experiencing those interventions, and to suffer the potential consequences. Research also tells us that facilities and providers with high intervention rates do not necessarily fare any better with respect to health outcomes, and often, in fact, fare worse. Research has shown that transparency and public reporting of health outcomes encourage quality improvements in our maternity care system.

Even though Alabama's results aren't available yet (only NY state's are at this point) this survey is working to compile it for us and will play a role in educating expectant parents of the near future.

If you have had a baby in the past 3 years, PLEASE go take The Birth Survey!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Different Anniversary

I started writing about this a couple of nights ago. It was extremely long-winded and incomplete. Henry was exhausted just listening to me read my intro to him for his approval.

Now, I've ditched the previous post and I'm going to attempt a bullet-pointed piece that will hit the highlights and you'll just have to ask me to expound if you want to know more.

*September 10th was the one year anniversary of our house being for sale.

*We put the house up for sale so we could move into a house with a smaller house payment, a smaller drive to all things, and a smaller bunch of expenditures (like neighborhood associations.)

*We have wrestled with God about whether or not this was the right thing to do.

*We have wrestled with God about why He hasn't sold the house when we feel He asked us to be obedient in marketing it.

*We have been blessed with the spiritual process of waiting and trusting.

*We have gained a freedom in exhausting all human means of selling this house.

*We have experienced awesome bonds in friendship with others who are praying with and for us.

*We have great confidence in God's plan and anxiously await the end result of this adventure.

Seriously, I could write volumes more about this. I could go into great detail about the spiritual and emotional ups and downs. I could list out all the amazing experiences with people (especially my awesome parents!) and situations we've had over this past year.

It's been a journey, no doubt. It's still a journey.

God is the Alpha and the Omega. Things start and end with Him. Time is in His hand.

I love His provision and I love Him for revealing Himself in new ways. I'm thankful for His mercy as He is teaching us incredibly valuable truths and is strengthening our marriage, our resolve, and is encouraging us to persevere. I thank Him for answering my prayer for faith-strengthening in such a loving and gentle way.

I love you, LORD and I worship You!

Monday, September 08, 2008

D.C. Midwife Gets Some Awesome Media Attention

Cheers to Ruth Lubic and THANKS to CBS for a great story! May God richly bless this sweet lady and the work she is doing for Mommas and Babies!
(Hey Don Williamson! I hope you see this story!! Our infant mortality rate (10 per 1000) isn't quite as bad as D.C.'s 12 but it's certainly worse than the national average of 6.8!...and you think midwives would make it worse. Hmph.)

Click here to see video from CBSNews.

(CBS) Every time Ruth Lubic fusses over a healthy baby, the joy in her voice comes from eight long years of beating the odds. In Washington, D.C., where the infant mortality rate is almost double the national average, CBS News correspondent Wyatt Andrews reports.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of infant deaths per 1,000 births in the United States is 6.8 - but in Washington, it's 12.2.

Lubic and her team of midwives run a birthing clinic in one of the city's poorest areas. After 800 babies in eight years, they have never lost a child in childbirth, and has cut the rate of premature births - the biggest risk factor for infant mortality - in half.

"You are saving a lot of lives here," Andrews said.

Lubic replied: "Saving lives and increasing the quality of life."

Ruth built her clinic in Washington, D.C., on purpose. She figured if her ideas worked there, if she could tackle infant mortality in Washington, she'd set an example everywhere.

Her approach is simple. She believes low-income women, many on Medicaid, need the prenatal education that midwives provide. Everything from posture, to nutrition, to how the baby grows.

Anike Oliver, who just had a baby boy, Ukama, said she got more time with the midwives than she had with a doctor.

"They wanted to make sure I had as much information as they did," Oliver said.

"Do you think it boils down to just the time you spend with them," Andrews asked Lubic.

"I think so," she replied. "I'm convinced that's what it is. It's time, respect, its treating people with dignity."

And what's most remarkable is that Lubic still does it at 81 years old. She's runs the clinic during the week, then runs homeon the weekends to her husband in New York.

"You could be retired!" Andrews said.

"I'm not tired the first time! Much less retired," Lubic said.

Lubic's biggest fan is D.C. city councilman David Catania. He says because she keeps hundreds of babies out of prenatal care, she saves the city around a $1 million a year. That's why he supports her when Ruth hounds the city council for funding.

"While I tease her a lot about being a pit bull with a smile, I look at her sometimes with complete envy about how you can have such a burning drive at 81," Catania said. "And it's a great inspiration."

"I think I'm insufferable because of my … belief that what I'm doing is the right thing to do," Lubic said.

Lubic says infant mortality is a national disgrace - but a disgrace that midwives can help solve.

And this pit bull with a smile won't let go of that idea until it sinks in nationwide.

© MMVIII, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Something that is fireproof isn't something that prevents fire. It's just something that withstands fire. I pray for God to continue fireproofing my marriage.

Yeah, this flick has a slight fragrance of cheese, especially to the skeptics, but I believe this movie is going to have a huge impact on many families. I believe God will use this film to heal brokenness of marriages today and will provide the tools and encouragement for young people entering into marriage in the future. And just imagine the generational impact of those children who watch the healing within their home! It's exciting to think about!

Today, I prayed for another friend whose divorce is nearly final. I received this video from another friend I've been praying for as she and her husband divorced. And those two are just a small sampling of the huge number of loved ones who have followed this path over the past couple of years. It has been absolutely epidemic! Something is terribly wrong with the way Americans are viewing and entering marriage today. The heat and fire will definitely come to the home of a married couple but it should not cause a breakdown of the two elements. It should meld them together.

More From "The Big Push"

Critical Women's Health Issues Neglected as Physician Group Yet Again Sets its Sites on Midwives

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 1, 2008)—In the newest phase of its ongoing effort to deny women the right to choose their maternity care providers and birth settings, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has announced that eliminating access to midwives who specialize in out-of-hospital birth is now the second most important issue on its state legislative agenda. This move puts restricting access to trained midwives ahead of such critical issues as contraceptive equity, ensuring access to emergency contraception, and the prevention and treatment of perinatal HIV/AIDS.

"ACOG claims to be an advocate of women's health and choice, but when it comes to the right to choose to deliver your baby in the privacy of your own home with a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) who is specifically trained to provide the safest care possible, ACOG's paternalistic colors bleed through," said Susan M. Jenkins, Legal Counsel for the Big Push for Midwives Campaign. "It is astonishing that an organization that purports to be a champion of women's healthcare would put a petty turf battle that affects less than one percent of the nation's childbearing women ahead of pressing issues that have an impact on nearly every woman in this country. If this is not dereliction of duty, I can't imagine what is."

In recent years, ACOG has led a well-financed campaign to fight legislative reforms that would license and regulate CPMs and has now teamed up with the American Medical Association (AMA) to promote legislation that would prevent families from choosing to give birth at home. Despite these joint efforts, the groups have not been successful in defeating the groundswell of grassroots activism in support of full access to a comprehensive range of maternity care options that meet the needs of all families.

"Wisconsin is a good example of what ACOG and the AMA are up against," said Jane Crawford Peterson, CPM, Advocacy Trainer for The Big Push. "Our bipartisan grassroots coalition of everyday people from across the state managed to defeat the most powerful and well-financed special interest groups in Wisconsin, all on an expenses-only budget of $3000 during a legislative session in which $47 million was spent on lobbying. When you try to deny women the fundamental and very personal right to choose where and how to give birth, they will get organized and they will let their elected officials know that restrictions on those rights cannot stand."

Noting these successes, ACOG has recently launched its own grassroots organizing effort, calling on member physicians to recruit their patients to participate in its "Who Will Deliver My Baby?" medical liability reform campaign.

"ACOG itself admits that we're facing a critical shortage of maternity care providers," said Steff Hedenkamp, Communications Coordinator for the Big Push. "They certainly realize that medical liability reform is nothing more than a band aid and that increasing access to midwives and birth settings is critical to fixing our maternity care system and ensuring that rural, low-income and uninsured women don't fall through the cracks. Midwives represent an essential growth segment of the U.S. pool of maternity care providers, but instead of putting the healthcare needs of women first, ACOG would rather devote its considerable lobbying budget to a last-ditch attempt to protect its own bottom line. This is not a happy Labor Day for our nation's mothers and babies."

The Big Push for Midwives ( is a nationally coordinated campaign organized to advocate for regulation and licensure of Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and to push back against the attempts of the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to deny American families access to safe and legal midwifery care. The campaign plays a critical role in building a new model of U.S. maternity care delivery at the local and regional levels, at the heart of which is the Midwives Model of Care, based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life processes. Media inquiries: Steff Hedenkamp (816) 506-4630,