11.30.2007

home again

My Gift came through the procedure quite nicely. The doctor said he couldn't be more pleased with the placement of the device. We hung around the hospital all day waiting for a few tests to confirm that all is well and then gratefully came home to a quiet house, thanks to kith and kin who have taken the children for the weekend.

Off to bed now (we got up at 5:00 am).

~Suzanne

:: read the rest of home again

yes, please, we'd love it if you prayed for us today

My Gift from a Generous God is having his heart defect repaired today with an Amplatzer PFO Occluder. He had a mini-stroke (TIA) last December which revealed the PFO (hole in his heart). We expect to bring him home on Saturday.~Suzanne

:: read the rest of yes, please, we'd love it if you prayed for us today

Ron Paul Money Bomb

Don't forget to participate in the Ron Paul money bomb today.
~Suzanne

:: read the rest of Ron Paul Money Bomb

11.29.2007

Jenny Linsky how we love thee

One of the happiest discoveries of the year is Jenny Linsky, a little black cat who lives with Captain Tinker, brought to us by Esther Averill.

We had, up until now, thought that our little tuxedo kitty's name was Parsley but we have had to admit that her true inner cat name has to be Jenny.




The first book, Jenny and the Cat Club: A Collection of Favorite Stories about Jenny Linsky, holds five stories. In the first one, Jenny is much too shy to socialize with the other cats -- you know, the cool ones in the Cat Club -- but with a little TLC from Captain Tinker, she finds her way.

We haven't had a chance yet to read the next ones, The School for Cats, Jenny's Moonlight Adventure, Captains of the City Streets, The Hotel Cat, Jenny's Bedside Book, Jenny Goes to Sea, nor Jenny's Birthday Book as our local library doesn't carry them. I'm looking for them on my book swap sites.

Jenny is inquisitive, mild, and a bit vulnerable; though she wants to go out and adventure, but she isn't quite brave enough. She takes comfort in Captain Tinker's affection and in a few trusted friends, until gradually she begins to be more sure of herself.

Not only are the Jenny Linsky stories adorable, the illustrations are dear.

~Suzanne

:: read the rest of Jenny Linsky how we love thee

11.28.2007

CNN/YouTube Debates

It's right fun to be watching the whole dynamics of election politics change. Today was the Republican YouTube debate. 4027 people sent in their YouTube video in which they posed a question for the candidates. 33 questions were chosen and the video played for the candidates.

I love this. Instead of the media elites, or the political elites, or the whatever elites asking questions, ordinary people from all over the country got to ask questions. I was so proud of them. Not the candidates, but the questioners. This is what government by the people looks like to me.

edited to add: CNN has a site where you can, after viewing the YouTube debates, cast your vote on who did well and who did otherwise. After voting, you get to see what all the internets thought -- which explains why we didn't hear much on the news today about who 'won'.

~Suzanne

:: read the rest of CNN/YouTube Debates

Ron Paul's Statement of Faith

I am so excited to have a worthy candidate, please indulge me.

We live in times of great uncertainty when men of faith must stand up for our values and our traditions lest they be washed away in a sea of fear and relativism. As you likely know, I am running for President of the United States, and I am asking for your support.

I have never been one who is comfortable talking about my faith in the political arena. In fact, the pandering that typically occurs in the election season I find to be distasteful. But for those who have asked, I freely confess that Jesus Christ is my personal Savior, and that I seek His guidance in all that I do. I know, as you do, that our freedoms come not from man, but from God. My record of public service reflects my reverence for the Natural Rights with which we have been endowed by a loving Creator.

I have worked tirelessly to defend and restore those rights for all Americans, born and unborn alike. The right of an innocent, unborn child to life is at the heart of the American ideal of liberty. My professional and legislative record demonstrates my strong commitment to this pro-life principle.

In 40 years of medical practice, I never once considered performing an abortion, nor did I ever find abortion necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman. In Congress, I have authored legislation that seeks to define life as beginning at conception, H.R. 1094. I am also the prime sponsor of H.R. 300, which would negate the effect of Roe v Wade by removing the ability of federal courts to interfere with state legislation to protect life. This is a practical, direct approach to ending federal court tyranny which threatens our constitutional republic and has caused the deaths of 45 million of the unborn. I have also authored H.R. 1095, which prevents federal funds to be used for so-called “population control.” Many talk about being pro-life. I have taken and will continue to advocate direct action to restore protection for the unborn.

I have also acted to protect the lives of Americans by my adherence to the doctrine of “just war.” This doctrine, as articulated by Augustine, suggested that war must only be waged as a last resort--- for a discernible moral and public good, with the right intentions, vetted through established legal authorities (a constitutionally required declaration of the Congress), and with a likely probability of success.

It has been and remains my firm belief that the current United Nations-mandated, no-win police action in Iraq fails to meet the high moral threshold required to wage just war. That is why I have offered moral and practical opposition to the invasion, occupation and social engineering police exercise now underway in Iraq. It is my belief, borne out by five years of abject failure and tens of thousands of lost lives, that the Iraq operation has been a dangerous diversion from the rightful and appropriate focus of our efforts to bring to justice to the jihadists that have attacked us and seek still to undermine our nation, our values, and our way of life.

I opposed giving the president power to wage unlimited and unchecked aggression, However, I did vote to support the use of force in Afghanistan. I also authored H.R. 3076, the September 11 Marque and Reprisal Act of 2001. A letter of marque and reprisal is a constitutional tool specifically designed to give the president the authority to respond with appropriate force to those non-state actors who wage aggression against the United States while limiting his authority to only those responsible for the atrocities of that day. Such a limited authorization is consistent with the doctrine of just war and the practical aim of keeping Americans safe while minimizing the costs in blood and treasure of waging such an operation.

On September 17, 2001, I stated on the house floor that “…striking out at six or eight or even ten different countries could well expand this war of which we wanted no part. Without defining the enemy there is no way to know our precise goal or to know when the war is over. Inadvertently more casual acceptance of civilian deaths as part of this war I'm certain will prolong the agony and increase the chances of even more American casualties. We must guard against this if at all possible.” I’m sorry to say that history has proven this to be true.

I am running for president to restore the rule of law and to stand up for our divinely inspired Constitution. I have never voted for legislation that is not specifically authorized by the Constitution. As president, I will never sign a piece of legislation, nor use the power of the executive, in a manner inconsistent with the limitations that the founders envisioned.

Many have given up on America as an exemplar for the world, as a model of freedom, self-government, and self-control. I have not. There is hope for America. I ask you to join me, and to be a part of it.

Sincerely,

Ron Paul


~Suzanne



:: read the rest of Ron Paul's Statement of Faith

11.27.2007

read the original

Remember when I posted about what my Dad shared at church? He just posted the full thing on his blog.

~Suzanne

:: read the rest of read the original

Turkey Curry Salad

A yummy use for your leftover turkey.



Turkey Curry Salad

Combine:
2 C chopped turkey
1/2 C diced celery
1 medium apple, chopped
1 C pineapple chunks
1/4 C mayo
1/4 C raisins
2 T toasted sesame seeds
1+ t curry powder
~Suzanne

:: read the rest of Turkey Curry Salad

Thanksgiving Hymn Sing

Sunday night, we packed up the leftovers and the kids and went over to my parents' home for a Thanksgiving Dinner Encore Performance and a Hymn Sing. It was a very lovely evening: tummmies full of yummy food, a fire in the fire-place, and my sister at the piano. I hope we can do this every year.

~Suzanne

:: read the rest of Thanksgiving Hymn Sing

11.26.2007

first snow

Snow is falling on our deck for the first time ever. Little cat prints dot the edge of the deck. It's quite pretty and serene.

~Suzanne

:: read the rest of first snow

Ron Paul in the News

Washintonpost.com shares a coherent look at the Ron Paul movement.


lib•er•tar•ian
n. 1. a person who believes in the doctrine of the freedom of the will
2. a person who believes in full individual freedom of thought, expression and action
3. a freewheeling rebel who hates wiretaps, loves Ron Paul and is redirecting politics

[ . . . ]

That force is less about Paul than about the movement that has erupted around him -- and the much larger subset of Americans who are increasingly disillusioned with the two major political parties' soft consensus on making government ever more intrusive at all levels, whether it's listening to phone calls without a warrant, imposing fines of half a million dollars for broadcast "obscenities" or jailing grandmothers for buying prescribed marijuana from legal dispensaries.

Paul, who entered Congress in 1976, has been dubbed "Dr. No" by his colleagues because of his consistent nay votes on federal spending, military intervention in Iraq and elsewhere, and virtually all expansions of federal power (he cast one of three GOP votes against the original USA Patriot Act). But his philosophy of principled libertarianism is anything but negative: It's predicated on the fundamental notion that a smaller government allows individuals the freedom to pursue happiness as they see fit.

~Suzanne

:: read the rest of Ron Paul in the News

Wild at Heart by John Eldredge

I've been reading John Eldredge's book, Wild at Heart, which is actually a book for men -- and maybe for the women that love them -- yet I am reading it as a mom, for the little man-in-training that I have running about. I am finding it really really helpful and interesting. In many ways, it is confirming some of my instincts (and who doesn't love that? This reminds me of a man with whom I had one single solitary date. He -- in describing his ex -- stated without any visible irony, "I thought she was brilliant, she agreed with everything I said!"; I about choked trying to hold back my merriment at his clueless and revealing comment. Anyway, all this to acknowledge my self-affirming relationship with this book).



Eldridge's basic assertion is that every man needs a dragon to slay, an adventure to live, and a beauty to win. And that the dragon to slay, the adventure to live, and the beauty to win are all spiritual. It offers some very intriguing discussions on this as well as more down-to earth concerns that speak to me, a mother of a son. Here are some passages that captured my attention.
Capes and swords, camouflage, bandannas and six-shooters -- these are the uniforms of boyhood. Little boys yearn to know they are powerful, they are dangerous, they are someone to be reckoned with. [ . . . ] Despite what many modern educators would say, this is not a psychological disturbance brought on by violent television or chemical imbalance. Aggression is part of the masculine design, we are hardwired for it. [ . . . ] Life needs a man to be fierce -- and fiercely devoted. The wounds he will take throughout his life will cause him to lose heart if all he has been trained to be is soft.
It was the 'adventure to live' part that was in my mind as I let Dandy play on the logs the other day.

Eldridge also speaks to the current trend to ask little boys to become more like little girls. You know, sit still, behave nicely, negotiate pleasantly, etc.
We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise.
We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.
We castrate and then bid the geldings to be fruitful.
~ C.S.Lewis
In my view, virtue and enterprise arise from courage, competitiveness, and opportunities to mess up and learn therein. Honor comes from temptations resisted, not from temptations un-faced. This put me in mind of another Lewis passage:
A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is . . . A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in.
The strong one is the one that regularly encounters and shuns temptations. This also applies, I think, to the wise man. I'm hoping that, as I let my little man often encounter and often choose foolish actions, he will learn (eventually) to make wise choices. We call the foolish choices Learning Opportunities. My sister's hubby calls them Self-Correcting Behaviors. This was also on my mind when I let Dandy play on the logs last Friday.

Wild at Heart also included this passage from Chesterton -- in a completely different chapter and not related to the above-mentioned discussion -- that I really liked and I'm including it in this post because I found it so thought-provoking.
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 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 life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like win. ~ G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
I recommend this book to any man who is a father or who has a father. It has some keen observations and some wisdom, particularly if there are some wounds around those relationships.

~Suzanne

:: read the rest of Wild at Heart by John Eldredge

11.25.2007

John Baillie Diary of Private Prayer


I thank Thee, O Lord God, that though with liberal hand Thou hast at all times showered thy blessing upon our human kind, yet in Jesus Christ Thou hast done greater Things for us than Thou ever didst before:
Making home sweeter and friends dearer:
Turning sorrow into gladness and pain into the soul's victory:
Robbing death of its sting:
Robbing sin of its power
Making peace more peaceful and joy more joyful and faith and hope more secure.
Amen.

~Suzanne

:: read the rest of John Baillie Diary of Private Prayer

Our Yummy Stuffing Dressing

My Mother-in-Law and I made this up a couple years ago.

Super Yummy Dressing

Saute in a very deep pan
2 T olive oil
2 T butter
1 diced onion
2 C diced celery
1 C pecans
1/2 C raisins
1/2 C dried cranberries

Add
1 box of Stuffing mix (cornbread is nice)
2 C liquid (chicken broth, veggie stock, water)

Put into baking dish. Heat for 30 minutes at 350.



~Suzanne

:: read the rest of Our Yummy Stuffing Dressing

11.24.2007

U.S. Constitution -- Article 1: Section 2

Today we continue to look at Article 1: The Legislative Branch

  • Section 2 - The House
The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. [The bit in italics was modified by section 2 of the 14th Amendment Passed by Congress June 13, 1866. Ratified July 9, 1868.] The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.


What I learned/relearned here: (please don't laugh. I last looked at this in high school civics class in 1979.)
Paragraph 1
:: House of Reps is every two years.
:: This bit "the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature." means (I think) that whoever is qualified to vote for the biggest part of State government (as states set up their own governments a bit differently from one another) is also qualified to vote for the Federal Representatives. That is, a state can't say that Joe Citizen can vote for the State folks but not for the Feds.
Paragraph 2
:: A Rep must be 25, a citizen for 7 years, and must live in the state they are representing. This all seems reasonable to me.
Paragraph 3
:: An archaic -- but clear -- formula is set out to determine how many representatives each state gets to send. This formula also impacts taxation.
Paragraph 4
:: If there is a vacancy, the boss of the state (usually governor) gets to pick the new reps.
Paragraph 5
:: The House Reps can pick their Speaker and so forth, and only they can impeach (one another? the Prez?) I don't know - do you?



A road map, so you know where we are in this tour:
  • Preamble
  • Article 1 - The Legislative Branch
  • ~ Section 1 - Legislative Power
  • ~ Section 2 - House of Representatives
  • ~ Section 3 - Senate
  • ~ Section 4 - Elections of Senators and Representatives
  • ~ Section 5 - Rules of House and Senate
  • ~ Section 6 - Compensation and Privileges of Members
  • ~ Section 7 - Passage of Bills
  • ~ Section 8 - Powers of Congress
  • ~ Section 9 - Limits on Congress
  • ~ Section 10 -Limits on States
  • Article 2 - The Executive Branch
  • Article 3 - The Judicial Branch
  • Article 4 - The States
  • Article 5 - Amendment
  • Article 6 - Debts, Supremacy, Oaths
  • Article 7 - Ratification
  • Signatures
  • Amendments
~Suzanne

:: read the rest of U.S. Constitution -- Article 1: Section 2

if you give a mom a collage frame

Well the guys were playing chess so Chickadee and I made a picture collage for her room and while we were up there hanging it on her wall I decided to go ahead and hang the curtain rod for her window and then of course I may as well hang the curtains and since I have the hammer and nails handy I may as well move all the family portraits from the wall behind the door to the big wall in the stairwell and then of course I may as well dig through the box of unframed pictures and the box of frames and hang a few more things up and then I found another empty picture collage frame . . .

~Suzanne

:: read the rest of if you give a mom a collage frame

Our Thanksgiving

We love having Thanksgiving at our house. Okay, Wednesday wasn't so fun, as we were cleaning madly, but the rest of the holiday has been a marvelous; our first "all family" Thanksgiving meal (i.e. both sides of the family at the same time).



My Gift's brother and sister-in-law came up and met our children for the first time. They spent the night and yesterday we all went for an outing on a local island where Dandy learned why it is unwise to play on slippery logs near deep cold water in November. After I got him stripped and into the truck and the heater on I asked him if he would have preferred that I had told him not to play on the log. He said no, that he had really learned it better the wet way. He did ask me to remind him next time he is clambering on the logs. While at the beach, we ran across a GeoCache, which is kinda fun.



Thursday was also the first time since last December that my Dad came into our house, initiating the wheelchair ramp that My Gift has been working so hard on every weekend this fall. It was just a joy to me to hear my Dad chatting in the living room as I got the food onto the table.

We did learn some things worth remembering/sharing:
:: When cleaning for a family holiday, any talk of doing just a basic clean, not getting obsessive, is just that: talk. My Gift will be unable to find his end and every surface in the house (window tops etc.) will dusted, polished and tidied up. I'm not saying this is a bad thing . . .
:: Brining a turkey in Williams Sonoma turkey brine is the way to turkey perfection. My very first turkey was an unmitigated success. Hat tip to Pioneer Woman of course.
:: 25 pounds of turkey is more than is needed for 13 people; again, I'm not saying this is a bad thing . . .
:: forgetting to take many pictures on such a day is a cause for deep regrets
:: one can indeed have a good Thanksgiving meal without green bean casserole.
:: playing Chinese Checkers in pajamas is a perfectly wonderful way to spend Thanksgiving Saturday. With two fridges full of yummy leftovers and a clean house, I can twiddle away the day.
~Suzanne

:: read the rest of Our Thanksgiving

11.23.2007

Friday Poetry: November by Elizabeth Coatsworth


November

November comes,
And November goes
With the last red berries
And the first white snows,

With night coming early
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.

~ Elizabeth Coatsworth







Here is the coding if you want a button with a link to this week's round-up.




~Suzanne
:: this post is part of the Friday Poetry roundup hosted by Susan Writes.

:: read the rest of Friday Poetry: November by Elizabeth Coatsworth

11.22.2007

new bloggies

I just made a blog for my sis- & bro-in-law and they are newbies, so please click over and say welcome to them.

~Suzanne

:: read the rest of new bloggies

11.21.2007

our refuge & strength


God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.
~Psalm 46: 1-2

Even though my hands hurt just to hold a pen.
Even when my Dad is paralyzed.
Even when my car dies.
Even when my daughter is overcome with grief for her lost family.

God is our safe place and our source of strength. He is our Helper. We are not afraid. Even though it does feel as if the earth has given way and the mountains are falling into the sea . . .

~Suzanne

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:: read the rest of our refuge & strength

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hope for America


Pages


DIY Chicken Coop!


me! me! me!


Here I chatter about books, parenting, election 2008, recipes, teaching college writing, and the adventures of getting settled in with our two freshly (Fall 06) adopted school-age children from Russia. This blog is chapter two; chapter one is posted at Jamie & Suzanne go to Russia. I live in the City of Subdued Excitement, Cascadia, Land of the Free.

I am the wife of a man I call My Gift from a Generous God. I am mama to two lovely children, Dandy and Chickadee that became ours in September 2006 in a court-room in Siberia. I am the daughter of two people whom I love and admire. One of them, my dad, is a new (Dec 06) paraplegic.

In my previous life (B.C. - before children), I was a college English teacher, specializing in composition and ESL composition.

:: click here to read my 8 things meme

parenting


adoption


older child adoption


home-schooling


top 10 posts


visitors


credits


This blog started life as hackosphere's neo and has been heavily tweaked and widgetized by Suzanne :: I got all the coding for the peek-a-boo posts over at hackosphere :: All my pretty little icons came from famfamfam :: The coding for the rotating banners came from Vince Liu :: The very cool tabbed sidebar widgets are thanks to the very cool hoctro :: The fun "Feeling Lucky?" toy -- which is currently disabled -- came from phydeaux3 (fido 3?) :: The pretty label cloud also came from phydeaux3 :: The elegant and easy to install related posts widget came from Jackbook :: I got all the social bookmarking icons nicely packaged for me at the aptly named Social Bookmarking Script Generator :: The 3 column footer came from Technodia :: The pretty sliding photo galleries are from CSSplay :: The recent comments widget is from Hackosphere::

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