Monday, January 30, 2006

The Little Known XXVIIIth Amendment to the Constitution of the U.S.A.

We were working on our American history lesson today. We were discussing the branches of government and the creation of the constitution and all of the articles and amendments. I asked the kids what the freedom of speech would cover and I had to repeat myself because they weren't paying attention. Someone was though and started saying, "PEACH! PEACH!". Of course, it was Niklaus expressing HIS freedom of speech. We went on with the lesson but I noticed Katrina doodling excessively and got upset with her for doodling when she should have been paying attention. This is what she drew:

So then we had to make up all of the laws that follow the "freedom of peach" like, "The right of every citizen to eat peaches whenever they want.", or, "The right to refuse peaches because you don't like them.", and, "The right to go around yelling the word 'peach' without being put in a time out for annoying everyone.".
Then Matthew asked a good question, "Mom, how do the legislators come up with laws to make?" I told him that it was basically up to US to give them the ideas for new laws and then they got enough people to agree that a certain law should pass and they bring it up in congress and decide and vote if that law should be a new law. I told him that it was really hard to amend the constitution but he got all excited and started bouncing around in his chair and laughing and saying, "So, we REALLY COULD pass a law about the freedom of PEACH!!!!?"

He either totally got it, or totally missed the point.
My kids are weird.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

All of Our Children Are Precious

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 20, 2006

National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 2006
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

Our Nation was founded on the belief that every human being has rights, dignity, and value. On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, we underscore our commitment to building a culture of life where all individuals are welcomed in life and protected in law.

America is making great strides in our efforts to protect human life. One of my first actions as President was to sign an order banning the use of taxpayer money on programs that promote abortion overseas. Over the past 5 years, I also have been proud to sign into law the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, and a ban on partial-birth abortion. In addition, my Administration continues to fund abstinence and adoption programs and numerous faith-based and community initiatives that support these efforts.

When we seek to advance science and improve our lives, we must always preserve human dignity and remember that human life is a gift from our Creator. We must not sanction the creation of life only to destroy it. America must pursue the tremendous possibilities of medicine and research and at the same time remain an ethical and compassionate society.

National Sanctity of Human Life Day is an opportunity to strengthen our resolve in creating a society where every life has meaning and our most vulnerable members are protected and defended including unborn children, the sick and dying, and persons with disabilities and birth defects. This is an ideal that appeals to the noblest and most generous instincts within us, and this is the America we will achieve by working together.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Sunday, January 22, 2006, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. I call upon all Americans to recognize this day with appropriate ceremonies and to reaffirm our commitment to respecting and defending the life and dignity of every human being.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirtieth.


My comments:
WOW! This president, no matter what his faults, really has done a lot to make people aware of pro-life issues. I LOVE that he calls today "National Sanctity of Human Life Day" to me it is beautiful and just to not only consider human life something worth celebrating, but also to consider it holy! Let's pray that he can continue in the battle against the evil that is abortion and that people who are considering abortion of a pre-born infant can get the support they need to not harm their children.

"Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being's entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign." (Mother Theresa -- "Notable and Quotable," Wall Street Journal, 2/25/94, p. A14)

Monday, January 16, 2006

Reading for pleasure?

Okay, I have this thing where, no matter how horrible a book is, I can't not finish it. I sit there with a disgusted look on my face and gut through the awful thing like it's a bowl of rutabagas (yucky). It took me about three days to read "The Secret Life of Bees" Which I thought was so good. It made me hungry for honey and for the simple life of hard work and summertime. THEN I started to read "The Mineral Palace". NOT recommended. NOT worth even reading ONE page. The author was so descriptive about every, single detail that I would rather not know (a.k.a., t.m.i) and it was horribly depressing on EVERY page. There was not ONE redeeming thing about this horrendous book and I even threw it away...once I finished it. BLEchhhhhhhhppptthhhhh. I'll have to read a classic now, just to get the bad taste out of my mouth.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Soapbox Warning!

I wrote this in my friend Megan's comment box and I thought I'd post it because I'm too tired today and not feeling very original to come up with something new. She is writing a paper on the "post-feminist movement" and had mentioned that she was looking for some resources at the library and it got me thinking...dangerous thing, that!...

Laura's Rant on "Feminism"

I find that a lot of the so-called "feminist" movement is really just a way to make women more (ironically) masculine! True feminism is recognizing the uniqueness of femininity and the special way we fit into society and forming of the young. I find it so insulting that people make fun of the role that women had in the 50's as being somehow less important thatn the new, mondernized view of how women should be (like the picture of the woman with the cake and the valium, seemingly harmless, photoshop fun, but really insensitive to artistic people who find fulfillment in creating things for their family and friends). If you polled a lot of those women today (the one's that had loving, supportive husbands) they would probably tellyou that they had a wonderful life and wonder what the heck the fuss was all about! Pope John Paul II wrote an great Apostolic Letter on the Dignity and
Vocation of Women
that, if studied carefully can provide and interesting and loving view of God's plan for the role of women. I used to be fooled by the lies of the feminist movement because they offered the promise of "power" and overcoming the "persecution" of men. I have since learned that most of the so-called "persecution is in the minds of some very unhappy women who will never find fulfillment in their lives as long as they find blame in another sex for their unhappiness. Also, true "power" can only come form God, Himself and what greater power does one need?

P.S. The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world
is soooo true! Also, I've read in multiple stories of
war that the one, last person men call out to in their
last moments on the battlefield is "mother!". That's
pretty powerful! Even if they were raised by a
loving, gentle, wonderful father, and are married to a
great woman and have beautiful children, they call for
their mother...why is that? Could the role of wife
and mother be a tich more important in the formation
of our society than women in the feminist movement
would have us believe?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Brothers in Arms

My wonderful brother, Peter gave Niklaus and Matthew a set of camo guns complete with grenades and helmet so now my cute, sweet boys are "off to war". The guns are pistols, sniper rifles, and machine guns that really make that realistic "rat-a-tat-tat" sound. I was always afraid that my brothers would get hurt or worse with their avid hunting, fishing and gun and archery sports that they engaged in. I think that's why it looked like everyone was holding their breath and looking at me while Matthew opened that gun set. Pete gave him a pellet gun last Christmas, which was fine with me, but I think they must have thought that a whole arsenal of fake weapons was a little different because Niklaus would certainly want to play with them!

When I had Katrina I vowed that I would never allow any children of mine to own toy guns. It wasn't like I would never allow them to have guns, I just wouldn't encourage violence by using play guns, you see.

Fast forward eleven years later and I can't even tell you how emotional I felt when I saw Matthew open that set on Christmas eve at Auntie Nina's house. The indignant mom in me is now completely suppressed by the proud mom in me and my heart swelled a thousand sizes in my chest because I all-of-the-sudden fast forwarded, in my mind, 10 years into the future and the possibilities of my baby going into service for our country became all too real! My Grandpa was there enjoying all of the craziness of the grandchildren. He didn't say anything either way about the gun set or the full scale war that all of the boys (big ones too!) engaged in in the living room complete with dramatic death scenes and diving into "bunkers" for a few minutes. I didn't ask him (who was in the Pacific during WWII) how he felt about any of that, but I think I saw a little pride, mixed with sadness in his eyes.

Like a good mom, I always try to keep neutral on all vocational choices open to my children and I don't push for any of them. If my boys want to be priests, so be it. If they want to be husbands and fathers, wonderful. If they would like to spend their young adulthood defending their country and their families, great! War and military service are for the young, especially. When one is young (say, between the ages of 18-24) one feels invincible and is formable and unfocused. The young have uncluttered minds that can distinguish right and wrong (if properly taught by their parents and mentors). I never thought I would encourage my sons to defend their country, knowing the horrors of war and knowing sons of my friends who have gone to Iraq. After seeing the series "Band of Brothers" for about the 10th time, I am convinced that war is awful, hell even, but it can make one appreciate the basics of life and build character and make a young boy into a great man, father, citizen.

I read a book called "Flags of Our Fathers" written by the son of one of the flag raisers on the island of Iwo Jima during WWII. The father never allowed the famous picture to be displayed in their home and was more known for his compassionate deeds as the town mortician and what a good man he was after the war and his momentary fame. It wasn't until he died that his son started to research his life in those earlier years and learned what developed his father's character and in the process, I believe the author grew up and learned a lot more about life than he had previously.

Never forget our men and women in the service of our country.
It seems like a simple thing, but it rarely ever is.

I think it's interesting that one of our founders had a wife that thought much like I do today. This is a quote by Abagail Adams who was the mother of five and was never formally educated but read herself into an awesome education:

"I begin to think, that a calm is not desirable in any situation in life....Man was made for action and for bustle too, I believe."

Here is another Adams, patriot, and noted "beerman" (heehee, the country needs those, too!):

"The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men."
-Samuel Adams

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Mama's evil side makes Matty laugh

Eight year old boys are hilarious.

Matty is a little bit atypical in that he has a lot of genuine empathy for suffering and he is unusually thankful for even the little things. But, deep down inside where the snips, snails, and puppydog tails are found lurks an archetypal eight year old boy that could be found anywhere in the world. Wanna know how to get one of those guys laughing uncontrollably? Talk about this and use the name of it in a sentence while talking very properly or in a hillbilly accent. If you don't get it, you probably never knew an eight year old boy or you never were one.

Foul mouths, full mouths, good dinner conversation...

I was trying to treat the kids to desert after Katrina's no-so-subtle reminder that we DID have chocolate instant pudding in the cupboard, when the blender I was reaching for fell to the floor into about a gazillion pieces. This is the conversation that ensued from that point on in the dining room as we were finishing up dinner this afternoon (and during and after I was making pudding the old-fashioned way...)

Daddy: O.K. kids, let's say prayers...ready?...In the name of the Fath...
(crash sound)

Mama: oh SH**!!!!!

Kids: What happened, Mama?

Daddy: LAURA! My Goodness, what language...whose the construction worker around here?

Mama: Sorry kids, the blender fell and broke and I shouldn't have said that word. It was a wrong thing to do and I guess I was just too surprised to control my mouth, sorry!

(a few minutes of cleanup later)

Mama: OH! You should probably finish your prayers again, since I interrupted you with my foul the way, pray for my foul mouth, while you're at it!

Daddy: Why would we want to pray for you to have a MORE foul mouth?

Mama: I MEAN, pray so that I DON'T have a foul mouth, silly!

(after prayers and dinner and during pudding)

Matty: (mixing his pudding into a pudding and whip cream sludge)
Stir it up, mix it up, round and round, mix it up...

Niklaus:(copying Matty) Stir it and stir it and...

Katrina: (under her breath)Niklaus see-Niklaus do, huh mom?

Mama: Yup!

Matty: What did you say?

(he has trouble hearing things correctly and offers his own translation, like me!)

Katrina: You know, like, "Monkey see-monkey do??"

Matty: (looking at his chocolate pudding sludge)...Monkey DOODOO????? Ohhh, I get it! Monkey doodoo!

Katrina: (laughing hysterically) NOOOOOO Matty, Niklaus see-Niklaus do, like the saying "Monkey see-monkey do."!!!!

Matty: OHHH, OHhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

This is the point when we all just "got it" and broke up laughing and it all went downhill after that with the kids making more poop jokes and looking both disgusted and hungry for more pudding at the same time, spitting pudding on the table because of the extra laughing, me trying to maintain decent dinner etiquette,and all the time I'm thinking to myself,

"How the heck did they get to be SO DARN RUDE... talking like this at the's just so uncivilized and crude!"

Hmmmmm, something to think about.

Also, I think I'll skip deserts for a while.