Friday, July 23, 2010

Watching & Waiting... When God Seems so Far Away

Two songs to which I always return:
"The Silence of God" by Andrew Peterson

It's enough to drive a man crazy; it'll break a man's faith
It's enough to make him wonder if he's ever been sane
When he's bleating for comfort from Thy staff and Thy rod
And the heaven's only answer is the silence of God

It'll shake a man's timbers when he loses his heart
When he has to remember what broke him apart
This yoke may be easy, but this burden is not
When the crying fields are frozen by the silence of God

And if a man has got to listen to the voices of the mob
Who are reeling in the throes of all the happiness they've got
When they tell you all their troubles have been nailed up to that cross
Then what about the times when even followers get lost?
'Cause we all get lost sometimes...

There's a statue of Jesus on a monastery knoll
In the hills of Kentucky, all quiet and cold
And He's kneeling in the garden, as silent as a Stone
All His friends are sleeping and He's weeping all alone

And the man of all sorrows, he never forgot
What sorrow is carried by the hearts that he bought
So when the questions dissolve into the silence of God
The aching may remain, but the breaking does not
The aching may remain, but the breaking does not
In the holy, lonesome echo of the silence of God

"Pensive, Doubting, Fearful Heart"

Pensive, doubting, fearful heart,
Hear what CHRIST the Savior says;
Every word should joy impart,
Change thy mourning into praise
Yes, He speaks, and speaks to thee,
May He help thee to believe!
Then thou presently wilt see,
Thou hast little cause to grieve.

"Fear thou not, nor be ashamed,
All thy sorrows soon shall end
I who heav'n and earth have framed,
Am thy husband and thy friend
I the High and Holy One,
Israel's GOD by all adored;
As thy Savior will be known,
Thy Redeemer and thy Lord.

For a moment I withdrew,
And thy heart was filled with pain;
But my mercies I'll renew,
Thou shalt soon rejoice again:
Though I scorn to hide my face,
Very soon my wrath shall cease;
'Tis but for a moment's space,
Ending in eternal peace.

Though afflicted, tempest-tossed,
Comfortless awhile thou art,
Do not think thou canst be lost,
Thou art graven on my heart
All thy walls I will repair,
Thou shalt be rebuilt anew;
And in thee it shall appear,
What a God of love can do.


I'm amazed at the E-name explosion we've had in our church lately... In kids 2 & under, we have... 3 Elianas, 2 Ethans, and one each of Emmett, Elijah, Eli, Elliot, Emma, Elisha, Ezra, Eleanor, Ezeckiel, Emiline, Eve, Eva (full name: Eva Valentina) and of course Éowyn!! I'm expecting to hear about an Edward or an Eric any day now... When you think of how relatively few names there are starting with E, this is really quite excessive! :)

We also have some rarer names, which always make me smile... again, Éowyn, and Gunnar, Magnus, Jett, Harper, Van, Kaden, Makyra, Jedidiah, Atreyu (from The Neverending Story), Serena & Celine (twins), Karis, Kerith, Tilley, Lincoln, Jonas, Judah, Jude, Jayden, Jadon, & Graydon (though he just moved). It's pretty fun to see the 3 name-groups emerge; the families with conventional names, the ones with obscure Biblical names, and then the wackos like us who name their kids stuff from fantasy, Norse mythology, or ethnic groups...

I do like the old-school names coming back, like Emma, Olivia, Frank, Eleanor, Molly & Amelia. Somehow they sound less stuffy to me now that I've seen little tiny ones with bows and bibs on...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Books to Stir the Imagination- Updated Again

Originally published 4/6/09, updated 7/21/10:
[Now Jeannette, you can skip this list, since I know you aren't so into fantasy. :) But for any parents or doting uncles out there, here is a list of books I've personally read and highly recommend as books which will draw in the young mind and foster wholesome imagination, creative thinking, as well as moral fibre. I've got several young friends & cousins who have served as my "test audience" over the years, too. All but one of them are BOYS, the oldest of whom is now a teenager. SO if they like it, you know it's good!]

- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician's Nephew, The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, The Horse & His Boy (personal favorite), Prince Caspian, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, the Last Battle, C.S. Lewis (my gateway books of choice!) :)
- The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick - the illustrations make this book a unique experience
- Michael Hague's Favorite Hans Christian Anderson Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Anderson- this is my favorite version because Michael Hague's illustrations are amazing. It also contains my favorite HCA tale, "The Snow Queen," as well as all the other classics you love ("The Little Match Girl," "The Ugly Duckling"). My friend Kyle & I used to read these aloud to each other in college.
- The Borrowers, Mary Norton (and all the sequels)
- The Castle in the Attic, Elizabeth Winthrop
- The 21 Balloons, William Pene du Bois
- D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths
- Roverandom, and The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
- Tatsinda, Elizabeth Enright
- The Princess & the Goblin, and The Princess & Curdie, George MacDonald
- 1001 Arabian Nights
- Dinotopia, James Gurney. Just the illustrations will set your mind imagining!
- Ella Enchanted, Gail Carson Levine
- The Tale of Despereaux, Kate DiCamillo
- The Chronicles of Prydain: The Book of Three, the Black Cauldron, The Castle of Lyr, Taran Wanderer, The Foundling and The High King (Newberry Award), Lloyd Alexander
- The Arcadians, Time Cat- also by Lloyd Alexander
- Peter and the Starcatchers, Peter and the Shadowtheives, Peter and the Secret of Rundoon, Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
- Redwall, Mossflower, Martin the Warrior, the Legend of Luke..., Brian Jaques - the whole series is good, but after a while they all start sounding the same. I'd start with the first written because they are truly original.
- On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, North or Be Eaten! Andrew Peterson (final sequel is due soon!) - NOBE is even better than OEDSD, and I expect the next will be even better
- Meet the Austins, The Moon By Night, The Young Unicorns- Madeleine L'Engle (The Young Unicorns is especially wonderful)
- The Bronze Bow, Elizabeth George Speare
- A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet (my favorite book of all time!), Madeleine L'Engle
- The Spiderwick Chronicles, Holli Black & Tony DiTerlizzi
- Dragon King Trilogy: In the Hall of the Dragon King, Warlords of Nim, The Sword and the Flame, Stephen Lawhead
-The Cooper Kids Adventure Series: The Door in the Dragon's Throat, Escape from the Isle of Aquarius, The Deadly Curse of Toco-Rey, Trapped at the Bottom of the Sea, The Tombs of Anak, The Secret of the Desert Stone, The Legend of Annie Murphy, Flying Blind or Mayday at Two Thousand Five Hundred Feet, Frank Peretti
-The Harry Potter books 1-3, J.K. Rowling
- The Giver, Lois Lowry (sequels: Gathering Blue, Messenger. Be prepared to discuss this book, as it could be one of the strongest appeals against communism short of Orwell's Animal Farm!)
- Percy Jackson & the Olympians (5 books), Rick Riordan- not to the caliber of Harry Potter, but funny, fast-paced, and full of reincarnated Classical myths (WONDERFUL accompaniment to a Classical curriculum)
- The Kane Chronicles (The Red Pyramid is the first, and only one currently in print), Rick Riordan- I'm concerned that he will be writing a volume every 6 months, as that usually means quality will plummit. However, the first volume is great! :) These do for Egyptian legends what Percy Jackson's adventures do for Greek mythology.
- The Heroes of Olympus, Rick Riordan- so far so good- out October 12, 2010 (visit www.camphalfblood and enter the password "newhero" to read the first two chapters)
- The Ranger's Apprentice Series, John Flanagan- fun, especially if you have a grasp of European culture, geography & history
- Dragon Rider, Cornelia Funke

For a bit older audience:
- The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, J.R.R. Tolkien (OF COURSE!!)
- The Children of Hurin, J.R.R. Tolkien --be prepared to cry.
- Anthem, Ayn Rand
- Inkheart, Inkspell & Inkdeath, Cornelia Funke
- The Trophy Chase Trilogy: The Legend of the Firefish, The Hand that Bears the Sword, The Battle for Vast Dominion, by George Bryan Polivka -- although I don't agree with its pacifist leanings, it's well-written, refreshingly Christ-centered, and all this without being cheesy!
- The Seventh Tower series, Garth Nix
- Many Waters, Madeleine L'Engle
- The Echorium Sequence: Song Quest, The Crystal Mask, Dark Quetzal, Katherine Roberts
- Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, Dragondrums, Anne McCaffery (be very careful of her other Dragonriders of Pern books, some of which normalize homosexual relationships-- they aren't the focal point ever, but still... be careful. This trilogy I've just outlined is great, though)
- Harry Potter series (all 7 books), J.K. Rowling
-The Arm of the Starfish, Dragons in the Waters, An Acceptable Time, Madeleine L'Engle (I do not recommend House Like a Lotus)
-The Inheritance Cycle: Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, Christopher Paolini (the concluding volume is due out sometime in 2010)
- The Abhorsen Trilogy: Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen, Garth Nix (another one due out next year)

Lastly, these are picture books for your youngest audiences
1. Tikki-Tikki-Tembo, Arlene Mosel
2. The Lost Princess, George MacDonald
3. The 5 Chinese Brothers, Claire Huchet Bishop
4. The Littles and their Friends, John Peterson
5. The Lightlings series, R. C. Sproul

Monday, July 19, 2010

Your Quarterly Apostrophe Reminder

All right, friends... it's time for your quarterly apostrophe reminder!! We do NOT need an apostrophe half the time we think we do. Apostrophes either mean something belongs to someone (John's car) or that a letter is missing (do not-> don't)

-- To make something plural, just add an s (cat -> cats, NOT cat's). Even for names (Szrama -> Szramas, NOT Szrama's). If the word has an 's' at the end already, add "es" (plus -> many pluses NOT plus's).

-- To show possession, add an 's. (Eowyn's car). To show plural possession, add BOTH (the Szramas' car). If the word ends in 's, just add an apostrophe (in Jesus' name)
-- To abbreviate "it is" or "it has," use an apostrophe Ex: The cat is sitting-> It's sitting. The dog has got a bone-> It's got a bone.

**We do NOT need an apostrophe for the word "its" which means "belonging to." (Ex. The dog wagged its tail. NOT The dog wagged it's tail.) If you're (short for "you are," NOT the same as "your," hehe) wondering whether to put "it's" or "its," try substituting "it is" in its place. If it makes sense, you need "it's." If it doesn't, you need "its."

Sorry, friends ...our church bulletin is just driving me crazy in this area. :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Flesh & the Law

For several months now, there's been an ongoing dialogue, both internal and external, on what Romans 7 is talking about. Romans chapter 7-- I urge you to go read it!- comes after the Apostle Paul has outlined the Gospel fully, starting with us as all condemned, no matter what our background, be it religious, pagan, or just ignorant (chapters 1-3). He explains that Jesus had to die in order to allow God to be both just and forgiving (you can't just let people do awful things and not be punished-- we kick judges like that out of office) (chapter 3-4). And he outlines all the amazing things that are ours in Christ (chap 5). Then in Romans chapter 6, he starts showing how being given a new nature- Christ's nature- makes us able to stop sinning, instead of being bound by it. I grew up thinking that Romans 7 was Paul's autobiography as a Christian, wanting to do what he knew was right, but unable to do so because of his flesh, and then struggling on to get to Romans 8, which is all about the victory we have in Christ and the joy of His Spirit. Then I encountered a new take on the chapter here in Louisville, which said that no Christian would ever be bound like that, and so this chapter must refer to Paul before he was converted.

So I wondered... is Romans 7 about a believer, or about a non-believer? Why does it matter? I cared because I'd always resonated with this struggle (vs. 15-17): "I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me." How else do I explain why I so often do what deep down the newest, best, Christ-given part of me hates doing? As a pastor friend of mine said,
The debate about Romans 7 can sometimes be academic, but sometimes has big implications. In my opinion, refusing to see it as applicable to believers "can" lead to some major problems, and an inability to see the renewal dynamics of the Gospel. The process of Law and Gospel, wrestling between unbelief and belief, is, I believe, part of the sanctification process and renewal dynamic of the Christian life, forcing us to live each day in light of Christ. To me, the change in verb tense in the middle of the chapter clearly describes Paul's own present experience. As I said, Romans 7 describes the believer, but doesn't allow the believer to stop there, but pushes you on to ch.8.
The subject came up in conversation with my older, far wiser sister in the faith, Sina. She had recently read Charles Leiter's book, Justification & Regeneration, which treats Romans 7 as describing a non-believer, and had come to embrace that position herself. She found great liberty in viewing herself as now able to defeat sin, and pointing out verses 14 & 17 (in the present tense, so what I thought described Paul as a believer): "I am of the flesh, sold under sin [...] I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out", she asked me: "How could those verses describe a believer? All of chapter 6 has been about believers- us- having VICTORY over sin. How could Paul describe it as binding us, as anything leaving us unable to conquer it-- What about the Holy Spirit that's all over the rest of the book?" She also mentioned how the view of Romans 7 as being a believer had at times made her feel trapped and hopeless, even angry at God for not delivering her (or others she was watching struggling). I knew what she meant, had felt it myself.

So, to sum up the implications: if Romans 7 describes a believer, we run the risk of viewing ourselves as hopelessly bound to sin, powerless to shake it off, even tempted to anger at God. If it describes a non-believer, we run the risk of losing any category for ongoing struggle with sin. Hmmm.

Ryan & I were discussing the issue at home, and when we read the chapter through, we boiled it down to 2 "problem" verses, one for each "side." If it's a believer, how do we explain vv. 14 & 17, as Sina pointed out? "
sold under sin... the desire to do right, with no ability to do it." If it's a non-believer, how do we explain vv 16 & 22? "Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being..." My friend Val asked, "is a non-believer even able to delight in God's law?" Either way, it seems a strained interpretation.

Ryan pointed out that he could see a religious Jew looking at the Law (as in the Old Testament, especially the first 5 books) and seeing its value, and actually delighting in keeping it, without being born again. I can see that interpretation in one sense, but what about the present tense? It seems like Paul's describing himself before he was saved (past tense), then switches to a present-day (saved, apostle) struggle. Saying that the whole chapter describes a non-believer seems to violate the flow of the passage, if you start in chapter 6 and read on through to chapter 8.

Why do I bring this all up? Because another talking-session with Sina, who'd done some more digging, brought a very helpful breakthrough, courtesy of Tom Schreiner, a prof at Southern. What if the point of the passage isn't the "salvation status" of Paul at all? What if the point is rather the effect law has on the flesh-- "flesh" meaning what is natural in each of us? Going back and re-reading the chapter yet again, it seemed like a total "duh!" What if Paul intentionally leaves it murky, so that anyone- saved, not interested, or desperately wishing to be saved- can apply the struggle to himself? When ANY of us encounters law, we have the reaction of sinning more, not less. "For apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me." (vv 8-10)

Law only ever produces guilt! Laws are, were, given to show us the boundary, and in the case of God's Law, to show us when we inevitably CROSS that boundary, marking ourselves as transgressors. That's what "transgression" means: crossing the line. We sin because we are sinners-- deep down. One day, those of us Christ has redeemed won't sin, won't be sinners, anymore. Until then, the only thing that can ever give us the courage, the strength, the energy, the joy, even the plain ol' "want to" to do what is right is GRACE, not Law. As Romans 8:3-4 puts it, "For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. " Jesus already ultimately fulfilled the Law- perfectly. God looks at that, and for those of us in Jesus, that's all He sees. He looks at me, Christina, and sees perfect Law-keeping, and is pleased. In the down-and-dirty of my life now, I have the same Spirit, the very same One Christ had, and He enables me to obey those same Laws that once only condemned me and made me want to sin even more. I noticed just how absent the Spirit and Grace are in Romans 7... I think that's the point. Anyone who's sitting there, looking at the Law and at himself, will inevitably fall into the hopeless mire of Romans 7. We've gotta look UP! Whoever we are, wherever we are, saved, unsaved, caring, uncaring, we ALL must cry out "Wretched man that I am!! Who will rescue me from this body of death!?? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! ... There is now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!"

Look to Jesus, not to the Law. If you're trying to knuckle down and duke it out, looking only to the Law as your guide and your judge, good luck. It's about all you have going for you.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


After posting about my ongoing struggle for faith lately, I received several emails and letters that really encouraged me. I thought I'd pass some of them on to you, as fellow strugglers:

One was some wise words from my mom, with my own emphases:

"As I studied the Bible lesson I am teaching tonight about Cain and Abel [Gen 4], I realized that Abel too did everything in obedience and love for God, yet he was given hardship that led to death. Yet Cain lived on. But really Cain suffered the most: on earth he wandered and had no peace. Abel was spared the pain on earth and is rejoicing and praising God forever!"

That addressed my feeling of getting the short end of the stick-- as if my obedience is supposed to get me what I want, when God is offering me way better: HIMSELF!

Another was from a close friend, who identified with my struggles, reminded me of what I will one day become, & what I am called to now. This meant a lot because this friend has been a Grace-filled example of someone who continues to persevere in faith through many and varied trials:

"Your latest blog entry really spoke to me. So many Christians probably feel the same way you do, but are too afraid to express their inner bitterness/anger/hurt. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I have found myself smiling and asserting that I'm "just peachy" when someone asks how I'm doing, even as I want to scowl and lament over my own woundedness. [...] As a toddler in the faith, I am actually encouraged by your sufferings. Too often Christianity is presented as the solution to all our problems, and if Christ alone can't help you, then surely prayer mixed with a good book will! [...] I know that I am blessed in so many ways and I do feel a real joy in my heart, but it is nonetheless sullied by this lingering sadness. Jesus, I knew I had to accept you, but do I really have to BECOME you?

Your sharing your struggle speaks volumes more about the Gospel of Grace than your usual upbeat entries. It is obvious even in this time of suffering that you DO have faith, even if it is not a "perfect" faith. [...] It's good to be reminded that you too feel the full spectrum of human emotion.

I believe that your doubts, although painful, will bear much fruit. They already have in me! Even when everything seems bleak, take comfort in knowing that God can still make beautiful music through you, battered instrument though you may be...and
one day, He will heal all those dents and dings and you will shine like the sun!"

Thank you to all who have been praying for me. Thank you too all of you who have called or emailed or hugged me or verbally encouraged me. I love you and need you all. The Lord is near in all of you!


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Eat Your Egg Yolks!

This morning's random research topic was eggs, particularly the yolks. Here is a great article on their health benefits. We've recently switched over to pastured eggs for us, not just for Eowyn. While we were in Michigan, we stocked up at an Amish farm, where they were only $1.50/dozen! The yolks are such a rich orange and the flavor is actually egg-y!! And folks, if they look and taste that different, it's because they have different nutrients!

Why the interest in egg yolks? Eowyn just had her 9 month check up, and one concern they raised was anemia (low iron). Apparently it's common at her age, with a baby's from-birth supply of maternal hemoglobin (iron-rich mom's red blood cells) being used up by now, breast milk iron supply possibly waning, yet not a lot of consumption of iron-rich foods. Our pediatrician's office especially cautioned me because Eowyn doesn't eat any iron-fortified baby cereals. In my mind, there are WAY better sources of iron than artificially fortified rice cereal! So I've been reading up on natural iron sources, trying to make sure our little E gets plenty of iron. After my reading, I am not at all concerned! She's a little iron-eating machine! She clamors for most of my egg yolks every morning (eating about 1 1/2 yolks a day), loves beef & lamb, eats green peas fresh from our organic CSA, and gets creamed kale about once every 2 weeks (not too much since she's still so young). Her main food source is my milk, so I'm pushing the raw (frozen!!) liver, organic beef & lamb, eggs, and lots of fresh fruits & veggies, myself. Oh yeah, and my multi-vitamin has iron, too. I'm trying to be brave and cook some organ meats in the next few weeks. I have it, it's just sitting in my freezer...

Anyway, Eowyn is thriving at 29 1/4" tall (89%tile), 17.12 lbs (25%ile) and with a head circumference in the 90%ile. She charmed all the office staff, waving and grinning, grabbing, chewing on everything in sight, and babbling happily at the fish and sea creatures on the walls (one reason I LOVE our pediatrician's office!).

[She also got her first shot, dose 1 of the HiB vaccine. We are still reading up on the DTaP (the D and P components especially), Pc and the IPV, having come upon some disturbing new information on both of these vaccines, as well as reassuring info on fighting the actual diseases themselves (diptheria, pertussis & polio). See Make an Informed Vaccine Decision by Dr. Mayer Eisenstein (MD, JD & MPH). We got started with the HiB and are praying she has no reactions to it!

I'm also ordering Paul Offit's book Vaccinated: One Man's Quest to Defeat the World's Deadliest Diseases, to get a pro-vaccine look at things. He invented the rotavirus vaccine and is on the CDC's vaccination panel, so it's safe to say he's ardently pro-vaccine. We'll see what he has to say!]

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Nine Months Old

Wow... You are so long and lean, Little One. When I hold you in my arms I'm amazed at how long your legs are... how long YOU are! You're just not a cute little ball of floppy fat anymore. True to form, you're always on the go, pulling up on everything within reach, putting everything in your mouth, climbing up stairs (as of yesterday!) and either crawling or cruising around the house. You try to stand on your own, and have done it for about 5-7 seconds!! You weigh 17.12 lbs (25%tile), stand 29.25" tall (90%ile) and have an 18" head (also 90%ile). As Daddy said, you're tall & skinny with a big head, just like your Dad. :) I think you're just smart.

We still get a billion compliments on your eyes. So blue. Two bits of happy sky always looking up at us. "They're the biggest eyes I've ever seen!" "Where did she get those?" "Well isn't she just as bright as the sun!?" You dazzle everyone with that beautific smile, andthen act all bashful, burying your face in my arms or leaning against my shoulder as soon as you've smiled at someone. Sometimes we can get you to wave "hi" and "bye" at people, and if you're feeling really chipper you call out "hi!!!" and hold up your arm like the Pope in blessing.

Your cognitive skills continue to snowball. You gained 5 words in a week-- first "Ellie," then "Daddy," & "Mama" and then 2 days later, "hi," and "uh-oh" (sounds more like "uh-uh")-- though you still mainly communicate by hyperventilating and grunting. You mimic many sounds and words you hear. You usually get the intonation and the vowels right, or one syllable (ex. "no toques" = "ok-eh" or "all done" = "aaah"). You've just started to dance to music, and you continue to LOVE it (and sounds of all kinds, actually: right now you're crawling around saying "dgn!" "dgn!"). You grin and bounce those legs. You've discovered the joy of smacking things, too. When I ask you where Daddy is, you start looking for him and saying "Daddy" cute! You are still SUCH a Mommy's girl, crying your heart out when I leave (or appear to leave), even if Daddy's holding you. You calm down eventually, though-- the nursery workers and your babysitter all say you're a happy little camper.

You added Colorado to your "places visited" as well as Waterfront Park here in Louisville. We also went back to Jackson, MI for a week, where you played with Amish children and had your toes nibbled by baby goats.

You understand "no" quite well, and at times do not appreciate it. Usually you are compliant, but occasionally you kick one leg, slap, furrow your brow, and shout "uhhh!" which very clearly translates as "no!" At times this is accompanied by throwing yourself backwards. I try not to laugh (it is very funny)... of course the sinful self-will behind it isn't funny, but you really are a pint-sized person!

You still love avocado and egg yolk-- our morning ritual has become for me to fry up 3-4 eggs, sunny side up, and share the yolks with you. Other favorite foods are yogurt (so long as it's mixed with something a little bit sweet), raw milk cheese, avocado, lamb and beef. You even got to try your first french frys! You love to eat! Everything Mama has, you want, showing your desire by waving your arms, kicking, and hyperventilating. You occasionally get sips or licks-- like of grapefruit, coffee or broth. You eat 2-3 solid feedings a day, and have about 5 sessions of mama's milk. I know they won't last much longer, so I try to treasure each one. I'm so glad you've become a cuddle bug lately!! We are really working on teaching you what "come/ven" means, and also how to sit still in our arms for short amounts of time. You've finally started to realize that books are not food, and are enjoying being read to again-- especially when Mama makes the animal noises, or pretends to eat the ladybugs!

I love you, darling. Mi 'cha-cha preciosa. Your soft soft cheek snuggled against my neck is about the sweetest feeling in the world.


Sunday, July 04, 2010

New Thoughts on Mass Vaccinations in California

Just read this and am thinking over it.

I guess the main point to take away from it is that vaccines are not 100% effective; they don't claim to be (technically)... however they are presented as if they are 100% fail-proof.  Don't forget that they aren't!