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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Men's Brains vs. Women's Brains

I was in need of a good laugh yesterday and this video did the trick!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Boots and Apple Orchards...


...are what I like best about fall.

Spring has always been my favorite season. Nevertheless, I am becoming more and more a fan of fall.

Since I haven't been able to resist a cute pair of boots for some time now, I wouldn't say my growing excitement around the autumn season is a result of the boot shopping involved. Actually, I'd have to attribute it to my new-found passion for apple orchards.

Hubby and I first became acquainted with the whole idea when we visited The Franklin Cider Mill, in the fall of 2006. We had such a great time, I vowed to make visiting an apple orchard our fall family tradition. There's just something appealing about families getting together to pick apples and to bond over apple cider and those delicious apple-cinnamon donuts...YUM!

Now that autumn is finally here, I know I am one giant step closer to our apple orchard visit!

How about you? What do you like best about fall?

Word Cloud by Sarai @ Sweet Sassafras.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Trouble Has A Purpose

-John Heywood

And Jesus said to him, "Truly I say to you, that you yourself this very night, before a cock crows twice, shall three times deny Me." 31 But Peter kept saying insistently, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!" And they all were saying the same thing, too. (Mark 14:31 NASB)
And immediately a cock crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had made the remark to him, "Before a cock crows twice, you will deny Me three times." And he began to weep. (Mark 14:72 NASB)

What went wrong? Peter had no idea that under pressure, he would one day deny Christ. He thought he knew himself and what he could handle; however, Jesus knew better. Once trouble came, what was truly in Peter was exposed.
We too sometimes think we are in a certain place and will respond to situations in a certain way. However, Jesus knows us better and can see where we are weak and could use a little trouble in order to perfect us.
Trouble is not fun; however, it does strengthen our character.
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us (Romans 5:3-5).
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you (1 Peter 5:10).
No one wants to endure the suffering that trouble brings. But, that trouble is not in vain. It has a purpose. Imagine a more Christ-like, more patient, more settled, more established, stronger, better version of yourself. Trouble is working to make you into that!
Here's my prayer:
"Lord, although I've cried, kicked, and resisted, help me to throw up my hands and surrender, knowing that it was you who allowed this trouble to come on me in order to perfect me. What is the lesson you want me to get from this trouble? Help me to get it QUICKLY, so I can be delivered!"
In Jesus Name. Amen

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Red Raspberry Leaf in Pregnancy


Have you heard about the positive effects of drinking raspberry tea during pregnancy?

A friend of mine says she drank it during her pregnancy and noticed some positive physical effects. In fact, I read an article that explains that Red Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus) actually tones the uterus, improves contractions and decreases constipation!

The article explains that it is especially helpful in the 3rd trimester. However, some believe that it may be linked to miscarriage if it is consumed during the first trimester. As a result, the article states that in order to "play it safe" its best to wait until you're 36 weeks along before you begin to drink it.

You can read the entire article here.

Did you drink raspberry tea when you were pregnant? What's your take on it?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I Love CeCe!

CeCe Winans is an American Gospel singer and winner of numerous Grammy Awards and Stellar Awards. She is the 8th of 10 children. Her parents as well as most of her siblings are also professional gospel artist.

One thing I love about CeCe is how she shows a great deal of enthusiasm for the Lord when she sings! This is evident in this video segment, taken from her Live In The Throne Room DVD.

My favorite part is when she adds to the medley: "He filled with me with His Holy Ghost and fire...and I love Him for it!"

Thank God for the Holy Ghost!

And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:3-4).

Friday, September 11, 2009

Summer 2009 Recap- Last One

A friend from high school got married and we were elated to come and celebrate with her!

The bride and groom

Doesn't the way he smiles with his eyes just melt you?!

Hubby went on a shopping adventure and bought matching dresses and shoes for the girls. He was proud of his work.

He made sure he got a shot of the off;)

Summer 2009 Recap- More

We partied with friends at their 2 year-old's ice cream party.

The birthday boy was chillin'.

We tried to get a group picture with all of the kids, but Noah protested.

Summer 2009 Recap-Continued

Since my nieces were visiting from Virginia, our family decided to have a cookout at my aunt's house.

Here is a picture of my grandmother with her great-grandchildren.

Noah is the youngest member of our family now. He and Mama Nita were able to bond while we were there.

My mom's birthday was in mid-august. We treated her to dinner at a resturaunt she used to take my brother and I to when we were growing up.

My brother, his girls, and our girls.

The girls!

My mom with her grandchildren.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Summer 2009 Recap

Where did the time go? I can't believe how fast the summer flew by!

We didn't go on a family vacation or anything; however we did enjoy "the simple things in life" this summer. We went for walks, we went to the zoo, we went to the park, went out for ice cream(one too many times!), went out to eat(again, one too many times), we went to a wedding and some small parties for family and friends. We had cookouts at my parents house and enjoyed spending time with my nieces who came from Virginia to visit this summer. Besides that, we basically enjoyed "goofing off"and relaxing as a family.

For the sake of future reminiscing, I'm going to devote a few post to a recap of our summer doings!

Here the girls are at the zoo.

We took a picture of the ostrich while we waited for the giraffe to come out of hiding.

Yes, hubby wears the baby to give me a break at times. He has endured persecution for this, but it only makes me love him more!

I Want Enoch's Testimony

"By faith Enoch was translated...and before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God"(Hebrews 11:5).

Monday, September 7, 2009

Breastfeeding Moms Hold Nurse-In

Dozens of women gathered in Lincoln Square Friday to publicly breastfeed their babies in a nurse-in protesting against harassment.

Rogers Park mother Lauren Trost says she was threatened when breastfeeding her infant son last month at a public fountain in Lincoln Square. Illinois law ensures that women can breastfeed, without a cover-up, in public. Friday's demonstration was intended as a very public affirmation of that right (Huffington Post, 9/4/09).

Since I have been Ecological Breastfeeding, I nurse on demand and I don't use bottles or pacifiers. As you can imagine, this means that I pretty much take my baby with me everywhere I go, unless I can go and come back in a very short time.

As a result, I definitely am a proponent of public nursing and was a little appalled that this Rogers Park mother was harassed for nursing her baby on a park bench. Breast are for nursing. Nursing is natural. Furthermore,when my kids gotta eat, my kids gotta eat, right?

The women in the nurse-in commented on the fact it is the over-sexualization of breast in this country that causes people to view breast as "men's toys" instead of the equipment God has given us to nourish and comfort our children. I agree with that statement, but after reading more into this story I discovered a twist.

Lauren Trost, the woman who was threatened said that she was asked by the other women:

“...‘Do you have a blanket?’” Trost recalled Friday. “I said, ‘It’s 90 degrees out -- of course I don’t have a blanket.’”

The offended woman threatened to call the police, Trost said.

“She was very unhappy that I continued breastfeeding--so unhappy that she approached all of the other women on the benches and said, ‘Look at that woman. It’s indecent and it’s illegal,’” Trost recalled(Chicago Sun-Times, 9/4/09).

Then a man who was interviewed nearby the nurse-in said:

“I just don’t think it’s proper for women to show their breasts out in public unless they’re on the beach,” said Jeff Hooker, 47, recently unemployed and living in Lincoln Square(Chicago Sun-Times, 9/4/09).

AH-HA! It seems like this debate is not as much about public nursing as it is about modest-public nursing!

While I am all for public nursing, I don't think that public nursing is an excuse for flashing! If you are nursing your baby in public without a blanket or a nursing bib, then I can see how others would feel uncomfortable. Furthermore, I think that if women were more discreet and modest while they nursed in public, it may be more accepted by the general public.

Even when it is hot outside, a thin receiving blanket or nursing bib can help a mother nurse modestly in the heat. I have sat at a table with a blanket over me while nursing in public, and strangers have come up and held an entire conversation with me, never realizing that I was not just holding a sleeping baby under the blanket! When I didn't have a blanket , I have sat in the air-conditioned car and stood up in a public bathroom stall in order to feed my baby while out. Wearing the right clothing and nursing bras can also aid in the feasibility of modest-public nursing.

Breastfeeding is God's design for natural mothering. When it is done modestly, we can actually glorify God by being examples of women who are nurturing, comforting, and bonding with their babies in a society that frowns on children and has lost sight of the importance and dignity of motherhood.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

New Study Confirms Homeschool Academic Achievement

Thanks to everyone who commented on this post, in which I raised a few questions in regards to homeschoolers academic achievement. To my delight, a couple of sources directed me to the results of a recent study that addresses this issue!

The Home School Legal Defense Association released the results from a comprehensive homeschool study that included 11, 739 homeschooled students from all 50 states who had taken the California Achievement Test, Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, and Stanford Achievement Test for the 2007–08 academic year.

Here are the questions I posed in my post:

1. How do homeschooled children do in comparison to their non-homeschooled peers on standardized tests, such as the ACT and SAT?

2. Are the homeschooled children who excel academically excelling because "homeschooling works" or because they are just bright and would succeed in any setting?

3. How do you go about ensuring that your homeschooled children are academically comparable to the rest of the population?

Now, here are the results of the study:

Overall the study showed significant advances in homeschool academic achievement as well as revealing that issues such as student gender, parents’ education level, and family income had little bearing on the results of homeschooled students.

National Average Percentile Scores
Subtest Homeschool Public School
Reading 89 50
Language 84 50
Math 84 50
Science 86 50
Social Studies 84 50
Corea 88 50
Compositeb 86 50
a. Core is a combination of Reading, Language, and Math.
b. Composite is a combination of all subtests that the student took on the test.

In short, the results found in the new study are consistent with 25 years of research, which show that as a group homeschoolers consistently perform above average academically. The Progress Report also shows that, even as the numbers and diversity of homeschoolers have grown tremendously over the past 10 years, homeschoolers have actually increased the already sizeable gap in academic achievement between themselves and their public school counterparts-moving from about 30 percentile points higher in the Rudner study (1998) to 37 percentile points higher in the Progress Report (2009).

I definitely felt a level of comfort, especially in regards to my first 2 questions after looking at the research. There is obviously an advantage to homeschooling when it comes to performance on standardized testing.

In addition, I appreciated how factors such as student gender, parents’ education level, and family income were taken into account and that none seemed to have extreme bearing on the student's performance.

This information increases my confidence because it provides some degree of concrete statistical evidence that says: Homeschool works. Period.

What did you think about the study?

Click here to read Voddie Baucham's blog post in response to this research.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Blogging Hiatus

Don't worry...I'm still here. I've just been on a little blogging/computer hiatus due to some technical difficulties. Don't you just hate it when that happens!?