Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Puzzle #?

Doing these puzzles has been great relaxation therapy. :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why we need to be involved

By Gary DeMar
What is so troubling about Christian involvement in politics? Christians like John MacArthur, Cal Thomas, and Ed Dobson have written on the subject. MacArthur’s Why Government Can’t Save You includes the following subtitle: An Alternative to Political Activism. While MacArthur does not “believe we should remove ourselves from the political process,” he does object to “the prevailing mindset that makes political and social activism the primary business of Christianity and reduces faith in Christ to just another political force.” If that’s the nature of today’s Christian political activism, then I will join MacArthur in opposing it. Cal Thomas and Ed Dobson (not to be confused with James Dobson) follow a similar theme in their book Blinded By Might with a subtitle similar to MacArthur’s book: Why the Religious Right Can’t Save America. No one I know believes that politics and social activism are the primary business of Christians or that “government” or the Religious Right can save us.

Most Christians who get involved politically have seen some very disturbing trends developing. We’ve moved from no prayer and Bible reading in public schools, to making killing preborn babies legal, to the legitimization of homosexual relationships and marriages, to considering whether speaking out against abortion violates the racketeering statute (RICO), to suggesting that addressing the homosexual issue from the pulpit might be a “hate crime,” and whether it’s going to be legal for parents to educate their children at home.

If some men are about to rape your wife, enslave your children, and burn down your house, your immediate response would be to stop the perpetrators. There are real-world implications to laws that are already on the books and the way courts are using them, and there will be more if Christian involvement in politics becomes a negotiable feature in the development of a comprehensive biblical worldview. At the moment, politics, because it controls so many things in our lives, needs our immediate attention.

The controversy over the role that religion plays in politics is an old one. Jesus was accused of subverting the political order by “misleading [the] nation and forbidding [people] to pay taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ, a King” (Luke 23:2). Christians were accused of promoting the idea that there was “another king, Jesus” (Acts 17:7). The designation of Jesus as “Lord” had significant political implications in the Roman Empire since the Emperor held the title of Dominus et Deus, “Lord and God.” Rome permitted and promoted religious diversity, just like today’s liberals, but it did not allow religious competition with the State, just like today’s liberals.
For more than 50 years, from the Scopes Trial in 1925 to the presidential candidacy of Jimmy “Born Again” Carter in 1976, conservative Christians did not develop a discernable political philosophy. The secularists took advantage of the indifference and moved the country in a decidedly anti-Christian direction. The major institutions were captured—courts, schools, seminaries—and turned into secular advocacy groups churning out disciples for the humanist agenda. With the help of the media and legal groups like the ACLU and Americans United for Church and State, the secularists began to flex their muscles and kick sand in the face of sleepy Christians relaxing on the beach of irrelevancy waiting to be “raptured.” Am I exaggerating?
I just received a copy of Right Thinking in a World Gone Wrong that includes 20 articles written by John MacArthur and the Leadership Team at Grace Community Church. MacArthur’s chapter on “God, Government, and the Gospel” caught my attention. After rehearsing the political interests of Christians during the 2008 presidential election, MacArthur makes the following astounding comment:

Such political preoccupations are somewhat ironic considering the dominant premillennial eschatology of conservative evangelicalism. Our end-times theology tells us that until Christ returns, nothing can or will fix this crumbling world system. Yet our political practice suggests we are desperately trying to fix it nonetheless.[1]

For years I have been criticized by well-intentioned Christians who are upset that I write articles critical of men like MacArthur who hold to an end-time point of view that discounts the future and minimizes the Christian’s role in cultural issues like politics. I’ve continued to tell people “prophecy matters.” For years, I have been dealing with issues related to the last days. I began to write on the topic of eschatology because Christians were using last-days theology as a way to explain the state of the world and why Christians can’t (shouldn’t) do anything to reverse present trends. MacArthur is a leading representative of this view when he writes, “‘Reclaiming’ the culture is a pointless, futile exercise. I am convinced,” he writes, “we are living in a post-Christian society—a civilization that exists under God’s judgment.”[2] His premillennial eschatology is his guiding directive, as it is with millions of other Christians.

A good case could have been made by the people in Europe in the late fifteenth century who were living in a similar “post-Christian society.” Here’s how Samuel Eliot Morison opens his biography on Christopher Columbus:

At the end of the year 1492 most men in Western Europe felt exceedingly gloomy about the future. Christian civilization appeared to be shrinking in area and dividing into hostile units as its sphere contracted. For over a century there had been no important advance in natural science, and registration in the universities dwindled as the instruction they offered became increasingly jejune and lifeless. Institutions were decaying, well-meaning people were growing cynical or desperate, and many intelligent men, for want of something better to do, were endeavoring to escape the present through the study of the pagan past.
Islam was now expanding at the expense of Christendom. . . . The Ottoman Turks, after snuffing out all that remained of the Byzantine Empire, had overrun most of Greece, Albania and Serbia; presently they would be hammering at the gates of Vienna.[3]

Change 1492 to any modern date, and the above description of the world of Columbus would fit just as well today. All the major characters and signs are once again in place, or so it seems. The Protestant Reformation was inaugurated 25 years later.

America is a mess, and we can include the world as well, because Christians, who say they have undergone a redemptive personal change, are keeping their personal transformation under wraps. There is fear by some Christian leaders that if Christians get involved in politics the gospel message will be diluted. There are Christians who don’t get involved in politics and have moral lapses. Jimmy Swaggart comes to mind. It doesn’t seem to register with these same critics that our non-involvement does not enhance the spread of the gospel. It is not inevitable that Christians, once successful in the political realm, will get “blinded by might.”

Christians are still sinners and there are always pitfalls and dangers in any endeavor, even those who distance themselves from so-called worldly pursuits. The church is not a haven from corruption. Have you noticed how often Paul deals with problems within the church (e.g., 1 Cor. 5:1–2; 6:1–11)? Paul knows the temptation that some have in lording “it over the faith” (2 Cor. 1:24). Corrupt leaders (1 Sam. 2:12–25) and “savage wolves” (Acts 20:29) are not exclusive to politics. The Church is no more immune to “power politics” than the State. Have you ever been in a congregational meeting to vote on what color the drapes in the library are going to be? No one I know is claiming that government can save anyone or that politics is a substitute for the cross of Christ.[4]

The assumption of so many opposed to almost any kind of social activism by Christians is the belief that social activism must always be preceded by gospel proclamation. Must we wait until pro-abortionists become Christians before we can pass laws outlawing abortion? I just heard recently from one critic who said that we need to love people. I’m all for that. But while I am loving my enemies, I still have my guard up. Jesus was the epitome of love. He healed people, fed thousands, and forgave sins. Still, He was crucified.

Ultimately, Christians who are faithful to the demands of the gospel, without the need of coercion or special laws, will make society better for everyone. As Michael Novak observes, “When there are 250 million consciences on guard, it is surprising how few police are needed on the streets.”[5] But right now we do not have 250 million consciences on guard, and until we do, certain precautions need to be taken because of the sinful nature of man.

At this point in time, Christians are out of necessity playing defense, and this means politics is a necessary endeavor. We are like Peter of Haarlem, the lockkeeper’s son who stuck his finger in a dike when he saw that his town was threatened by flood waters. Peter could have gone about preaching the gospel, but at the moment, the town needed to be saved from an impending disaster. We are in a similar situation. We are about to be overwhelmed by a flood of governmental oppression.

The Christian faith and Christians are under attack. The day may come, because of our self-imposed silence and a preoccupation with a “rapture,” that we will be forced to be silent as a matter of law. Then what will we do?

Endnotes:[1] John MacArthur, ed., Right Thinking in a World Gone Wrong (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2009), 121–122.[2] John F. MacArthur, The Vanishing Conscience: Drawing the Line in a No-Fault, Guilt-Free World (Dallas, TX: Word, 1994), 12.[3] Samuel Eliot Morison, Admiral of the Ocean Sea: A Life of Christopher Columbus (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1942), 3.[4] Edwin W. Lutzer, Why the Cross Can Do What Politics Can’t (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1999).[5] Michael Novak, “The Causes of Virtue” (a speech given in Washington, D.C., January 31, 1994). Quoted in Charles Colson, Justice that Restores: Why Our Justice System Doesn’t Work and the Only Method of True Reform (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale Publishers, 2001), 105.
Article posted February 24, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

More encouragement

I was reading ch. 10 in Do Hard Things. In light of all my fears lately this encouraged me also. (see previous post)

13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."

"When we think about salt, our first thought is probably something along the lines of, Gotta have some of that on my popcorn. But Jesus isn't talking about salt like we use it today. Although salt was used to flavor food during the Roman era, its primary use was as a preservative. In a world without refrigerators or deep freezers, a little salt rubbed into meat would slow decay.

"So when Jesus tells us we are 'the salt of the earth,' He's saying we have been placed here to preserve it until He returns--to fight against the decay of sin, to combat sickness and suffering, and to oppose corruption and injustice.

"What about light?....In the Bible, light is often used to represent truth, especially the truth God has revealed in His Word. The picture of us as a city on a hill or a lamp on a stand means that as Christians we display the truth in word and action--shining the light of God's Word and the gospel all around us, in every corner.

"....Francis Schaeffer made this profound statement:

'Christianity is not a series of truths in the plural, but rather truth spelled with a capital "T." Truth about total reality, not just about religious things. Biblical Christianity is Truth concerning total reality--and the intellectual holding of that total Truth and then living in the light of that Truth.'

"That is what Jesus meant when He called us to be light. Where secular methods and philosophies hold sway in fields of business, education, the arts, or any other area of society and culture, we are called to bring biblical philosophies and methods founded on that 'total Truth'--that's what it means to be light." Do Hard Things pgs. 171-173.

I get very discouraged when I read the news. I feel like I'm one of the very few people screaming for people to wake up to what's going on in government today. I take my eyes off of God and His power; I forget His mandate for us to have dominion and His commission to take the gospel to every nation. Sometimes I just see the uphill battle. I've been encouraged the last few days. What's in store for us may be hard, but God is God, He's not going anywhere. He is my strength in life, in suffering and in death. I have nothing to fear. (Remind me of that, will you?)

Isaiah 40

J & C pointed me to this chapter. Here are a few verses that caught my attention.

“ All flesh is grass, And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. 7 The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”

15 Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket, And are counted as the small dust on the scales; Look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing.

17 All nations before Him are as nothing, And they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless.

21 Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? 22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. 23 He brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth useless. 24 Scarcely shall they be planted, Scarcely shall they be sown, Scarcely shall their stock take root in the earth, When He will also blow on them, And they will wither, And the whirlwind will take them away like stubble.

28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, 31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

Thank God for His word and for caring friends.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Some needed encouragement

From Jesus to the disciples after He rebuked the wind:

"Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" Mark 4:40

I desperately need to ask myself that practically everyday. I read my email, read a blog and I'm in a state of near panic. I have to make myself trust God with all the things going on in the world today.

I wrote the following a couple days ago:
I have been allowing myself to occasionally obsess with the state of our country (it's not good and getting worse, and please don't tell me it's better than anywhere else, maybe so, but this is our reality.). Anyway, most of my prayers concerning this go up as groanings. So today I was praying and God convicted me of my worry. What am I really concerned about? The bottom line is that I don't want to give up my personal comfort. When I read stories about Monsanto, the FDA as well as the state departments of agriculure wanting to take control of all our food sources I get panicky. When I read that the stimulus package includes discriminatory practices against religion and will control who gets medical care (under Medicaid and Medicare) I get angry. When I read that the Consumer Produst Safety Improvement Act pretty much bans all children's items including books printed before 1985, clothes, toys, pens, etc., etc. I get even angrier. When I call and email my senators to no avail I wonder if they really care about what I think. Have I put too much trust in our government? I didn't think so, but now I'm not so sure. More likely I've put too much faith in the flesh.
Dh reminded me in a conversation we had about someone else that we have a big God. Of course, I believe that, but...even God allows persecution and death of his people.
1 Peter 5:8-10 (New King James Version) 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
Matthew 6:25-34 (New King James Version) 25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

So I need your prayers to overcome my fear and worry. While you're praying, pray for our country, our leaders, our churches, our families to follow God's way in everything.

New bags

Well, because we all need some "happy" I'll share my birthday presents. The one thing I asked for in the collection here was the zip around wallet on the left. When that came I wondered how I'd use it (should have thought of that earlier, I guess) because my purse has a built-in wallet. So I got on ebay and found a matching backsack that came with the pencil holder (on the right) and the id pouch (in front) for a fantastic price. I got it all assembled together last night and I'm ready to go. I hope the backsack works for me.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Food Safety?

"We need the World Bank, we need the International Monetary Fund, we need all the big foundations, we need all the governments to admit that for 30 years we all blew it, including me, when I was President. We blew it. We were wrong to believe that food is like some other product in international trade. And we all have to go back to a more environmentally responsible, sustainable form of agriculture." Former US President Bill Clinton, in a keynote address for World Food Day on 23 October 2008
A quote you all might like. What's it mean? His connections to Monsanto are still there and Monsanto "talks" sustainable, too. Click here.
His wife ran for president on a platform that pushed for merging the USDA and FDA into a mega Food Safety department. That would be merging Monsanto influence in both places, giving them more power. Is it only a coincidence that her long term advisor and campaign strategist is head of one of the largest PR firms in the world and represents Monsanto?
Vilsack said on January 26th, "I think before there can be any conversation about merging of entities or a single agency or anything of that sort, you've got to get the foundation right." Odd, since on February 4th and 9th, bills fitting Clinton's model were introduced that will do just that, making him out to be either a fool or slippery about throwing the media and public off balance. The bills will industrialize everything about farming, determining precisely what farmers feed their livestock (it'll be GMO) and when, what medical regimen they have to use (it will be drugs Big Ag sells), what to spray (it will be Monsanto pesticides) and when and where.
Organic and grassfed is dead in an instant if they go through.
How fast can they be rammed through? Days? How fast will they be signed by a president who recently campaigned supporting small farmers and sustainable agriculture? The bills are identical on the House and Senate side so there will be no debate. Hard to believe. The entire food system in our country is being made industrial, organic farming (and food) are set to be destroyed (for the sake of "food safety"), and our food supply is being taken over by multinational corporations. And there will be no debate.
Does anyone remember democracy? It's getting harder for me to. I remember something recently about "grassroots" Do you? Something about transparency. Something about giving the public 60 days to comment. I could swear I remember something about "change." Oh, well.
Here is Clinton's free trade gift to agriculture, still giving after all this time.
Now Hillary is getting in on the "agriculture" act - behind the scenes, at least, getting what she had wanted, which certainly pleases Monsanto. She goes Bill one or two or ten better. Her plan not only treats food as an industrial product (just what Bill says was a terrible mistake) but treats farmers themselves as industrial workers and their animals as data to be input and their crops as standardized widgets and the land as an industrial facility to be kept sterile. Here is how Hillary Clinton and Monsanto approach the glories of nature and the wonders of farming: The Tracing and Recalling Agricultural Contamination Everywhere Act of 2009.
So, will Bill Clinton be back for another dinky mea culpa after real farming is dead, to say she got it completely wrong, too, and they should admit it? A bill in the US Congress: To establish the Food Safety Administration within the Department of Health and Human Services to protect the public health.
Senate version sent to committee on February 9, 2009, Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
We are not allowed to know what happens in committee. For some reason these things are secret and we can’t most times even know how anyone voted. As this site points out, if you do not have a Rep or Senator on the committees…….they don’t’ want to hear from you.
House version referred to committee on February 4, 2009, House Energy and Commerce and House Agriculture.
The bills in both the House and Senate are virtually identical. This means this whole thing was decided at the same time Smart Grid was inserted into the Stimulus Package. The House and Senate bills will lay the groundwork for NAIS and other programs, and Smart Grid will make them operable.
Both these bills appeared simultaneously in both houses, having been planned before the fact. This speeds them through committee and brings them to the floor to be calendared. Since both bills are identical, there will be motions to suspend the rules on debates. Meaning none will be allowed. Farmers say they will have to watch these closely as they will appear suddenly on probably the same day with the House voting first in the morning and the Senate in the afternoon.

The real issue CPSIA

The kiddie police have begun to march across America, threatening thrift stores, as I warned.
On February 10, workers in America's thrift stores tossed out every children's book that was printed prior to 1985. That is the law.
A parent is not allowed to go into a thrift store and buy a book printed before 1985. Those books are now gone.
On the dumpsters filled with children's books, read this.
Congress has spoken. Well, not quite. The bureaucrats who use Congress as their hand puppet, agency by agency, have spoken. The bureaucrats spend their careers identifying threats to the people. They get paid to do this, and they are paid well. They invent a presumed threat and then terrorize Congress into passing a 500-page bill that no Congressman has read. Then the bureaucrats add more regulations in the name of this 500-page law.
This has gone on since 1913, and it will continue to go on until the system finally breaks down. This is the logic of the system.
Here is the new reality, one week old. If you can still find any pre-1985 books, it is because the thrift store's managers don't know they are breaking the law and could be fined or sent to prison if they persist.
Congress passed the enabling legislation law last year: The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. It has 239 sections. I don't expect you to read it – after all, no Congressman or Senator did – but click the link and skim it: "Most parents are irresponsible and must not be trusted."
Every Federal law looks like this one. This was true when I was a Capitol Hill staffer for Ron Paul in 1976, and it will be true for as long as the Federal government is solvent by means of (1) our tax money, (2) Treasury debt investors' money, and (3) Federal Reserve fiat money.
The bureaucrats are now enforcing the letter of the 2008 law. Congressmen will feign ignorance. "Gee, how were we to know?"
Too late. The books are in landfill.
But why? "Stop dangerous lead paint!" Right. The lead paint in pre-1985 kids' books in minuscule traces. There is no known example of any child being injured by lead paint from a book. No matter. The law's the law.
This seems insane, but it is the relentless logic of the State: "Nothing is permitted unless authorized by the State."
The Federal government has authorized abortion on demand. But, once a parent allows a child to be born, that parent is not be allowed to buy the child a pre-1985 book. Such books are too dangerous for children.
This is the logic of Washington. This logic is relentless. It will be extended by law into every nook and cranny of our lives until it is stopped.
This will stop it: (1) the destruction of the dollar, (2) the bankruptcy of the Federal government, and (3) a decision by millions of Americans to say, "I will not obey this law." Law by law, people say, one by one, "I will not obey. Arrest me. I will hire a lawyer. Maybe I will simply defend myself in a court of law. I will resist." Gandhi did it. It worked. People will organize, law by law, to clog the courts, jam the legal system, and vote out of office every politician who does not repeal a specific law. Nothing else can stop this madness.
Americans have surrendered their liberties to Washington, one by one. The process is relentless. No insanity is too great for the bureaucrats. Yet the public is oblivious.
It stems from a simple assumption: "My neighbors are irresponsible. They must not be allowed to make voluntary exchanges, no matter how harmless." This belief leads to a principle of law: Nothing is allowed unless authorized by the State.
Some of your friends may think you are extreme for not trusting Congress and the bureaucrats. Forward this report to them. They may not yet perceive the nature of Beltway madness.
It is going to get much worse. We can be certain of this. Bureaucrats respect only one thing: budget cuts. That's a long way away. But the destruction of the dollar may not be.
February 18, 2009
Gary North [send him mail] is the author of Mises on Money. Visit He is also the author of a free 20-volume series, An Economic Commentary on the Bible.
Copyright © 2009 by Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

Recipe from the pile

It's called Cinnamon Swirl Cake. The recipe is actually new to the pile, but it looked good, so I tried it. My version doesn't actually have cinnamon in it; I used the chocolate and peanut butter chip version.
Both of my family members liked it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Latest puzzle

Saturday, February 14, 2009


I spent my birthday freezing at a homeschool Valentine's Day party. The church building was chilly. I was so glad to be out of that place. The party went well otherwise. The older girls in the group did all the planning. They did a great job. So we left the house around 11:30 am and didn't return until about 5:00 pm. During that time I also ran several errands. Once home, I made dinner, ate, and rushed off to the Cleveland Pops with dh. We had an enjoyable evening. After the concert I checked my phone and received a message from Amy who was at a friend's birthday party. She was sick and would we please come pick her up. We picked her up at 11:45 pm. It's been a long day (actually it's now Sat.). I'm thankful for the good things of my birthday, but I'll be glad to relax on Valentine's Day. Whew!

One of my errands included Joann where I bought myself some quilting supplies with Christmas money, so Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday. : )

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Reading and Quilting

I'm reading this book in order to find help for all my health issues. They seem to point to the thyroid. The author's website is here. In chapter two "Are You at Risk for Hypothroidism" under the section "Risk Factors for Hypothyroidism" it lists Supplement and Iodine as a risk factor. It says, "Certain supplements also increase the risk of thyroid disease. If you are taking too much iodine or iodine-containing herbs such as kelp, bladderwack, or bugleweed, then you may be creating an increased risk for hypothroidism. Note, too, that many multivitamins, glandular support formulas, and combination products contain these supplements as well." I've been taking iodine and a glandular supplement for quite a while, so I'm wondering if I've unknowingly contributed to the problem. I hope there's more explanation to come.
I've also been putting together quilts. Here's the Christmas one. I found the main panel in Omaha for 50% off. When I got home I bought a little of the others to make the striped border. The collection is Merry & Bright by Sandy Gervais for Moda. It's a fun line.
This second one is doll-sized made from stash. I love this collection Celebrate Spring by Sandy Gervais.

And since we're in great need of good news...I received an email from my favorite fabric store saying I'd spent $500 so now I'm entitled to a $50 gift card! I really don't think I've spent that much, but maybe. Anyway, I'm very happy.
And since I need a book escape I'm just starting this twaddle (no insult intended).

Puzzle and Pond

This one was missing a piece and had two extra from a different puzzle. (It was an ebay purchase.) The two extra happen to go with one of the other puzzles I bought from the same seller. Maybe I'll find the lost piece in one of the other boxes.

This is what our pond looked like this morning.

It was a long night of wind and our bedroom seems to be the loudest place in the house.

Monday, February 9, 2009

U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child

Senator Boxer Asks State Department to Expedite the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child
February 9, 2009
After Ambassador Susan Rice’s inability to make an “iron-clad commitment” for immediate ratification, Boxer will ask Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for U.S. support of the UNCRC.

The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which opponents say could destroy American sovereignty by imposing international rulings on American law, could reach the Senate within 60 days. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) says she wants a 60-day timeframe for the State Department to complete its review so the Senate can move toward ratification of the UNCRC. During the Senate Confirmation hearing between Boxer and UN Ambassador-designate Susan Rice held on January 15, 2009, Boxer told Rice the UNCRC would protect “the most vulnerable people of society.”

Opponents vehemently disagree. Under the Supremacy Clause (Article VI) of the U.S. Constitution, ratified treaties preempt state law. Since virtually all laws in the U.S. regarding children are state laws, this treaty would negate nearly 100% of existing American family law. Moreover, it would grant the government authority to override parental decisions by applying even to good parents a standard now only used against those convicted of abuse or neglect.

In the hearing, Rice promised to review the treaty but noted “challenges of domestic implementation.” Rice also resisted a strict timeframe: “I don’t have a sense of how long it will take us, in light of the many different things on our plate,” she said.

Calling it a “complicated treaty,” Rice expressed her commitment to the treaty’s objectives, but when Rice concluded that she could not meet the Senator’s strict timeframe, Boxer said they would take it up with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Friday, February 6, 2009

This week

In spite of being sick all week, I've managed to get some things done. I got all my errands done (except I forgot to go to Walmart), got laundry done, cleaned a little (never too much), made this quilt top, finished another puzzle and....I knitted 3 whole rows on a dishcloth that was in progress. They were decrease rows, but still, there's hope.

This is the finished top. I have to say that I like the one I saw in the store better. They used the blue option of the fabric choice while I used the red. The blues blend better together. However, I do like this one and I happy to have this much of it finished. I'm going to attempt to machine quilt it. Since I've never done that before I'm a little nervous about it. It's about 55"x40". I used this book as a guide.

Aren't they cute!

The latest puzzle.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The trip

Here are a few pictures from the zoo.

Amy took this one.
We did enjoy our time with my family and Amy's birth family. We probably spent a little too much time watching HGTV and TLC, but it was relaxing.
My parents & I went to the new quilting museum in Lincoln. We weren't allowed to take pictures in the galleries, but here's one of the doll quilts made from yo-yos.

After our museum visit we went to Ashland to the Willow Point Gallery. Gene Roncka is one of my favorite artists, so when I can I like to go to his gallery. This time I met his wife who was very helpful. I came home with two of his works. One is the last one on the right at this link. It was already framed and 30% off! It's framed size is about 8x10. The other one I bought is Grandpa's Place. I didn't see it on their website and I didn't find it online anywhere, so until I take a picture of mine you won't be able to see it.

That day dh & Amy went shopping with her Old Navy gift card. She found some great deals!! They also went to the zoo's IMAX and the Family Fun Center.

We also got to play a 70's version of Family Feud. My sister's dh bought the board game on ebay for Christmas. That was fun.

On our way home we stopped in Michigan City, IN at the Hannah Andersson outlet. They had three racks of women's clothes for $5. We found several things there. We love a bargain!

Our weather was good the entire trip. But while we were gone it snowed around 12" here. I felt sorry for the people watching the dog. They had to shovel their way to the door and a place for Sadie to take care of business. When we pulled into the drive way we got stuck. The van would not go anywhere. I'm thankful that was the extent of our weather issues.

Now I'm glad to be home, sleeping in my own bed.

Monday, February 2, 2009

I'm back

We're home from visiting family. I've been off line for 7 days! I did get on very briefly two times, but that's it.

More blogging later. :)