Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Just Be Glad I Don't Take Pictures Of Everything

This post will be completely random and out of order. Consider yourself warned!

Guess what I did Monday night? Tired of the pirate invasion that had taken over my beautiful garden tub, I had Jackson's bath tub toys hit the high seas and sail over to his own bathroom. He has loved taking a bath in my tub, but I was a little tired of being plagued by Spiderman, pirate ships, a million cups, bath crayons, squirt toys, and whatever else Jackson could convince us to let him put in the tub. I wanted my tub back, so I staged an eviction of all the loot. Jackson wasn't thrilled about it, but in time (with lots of therapy), I'm sure he'll get over it. Wanna see the results?

My beautiful tub. With nothing in it! Glorious!

Just a fraction of the toys that now have a new home.
There are tons more hiding on the upper ledge. With all that stuff it's hard to picture how he fits in there!

The reason for the move: That creepy octopus had NO business being in my tub. Those beedy little eyes looking at me; I.Think.Not.

And guess what else I did? Last week when I was off I decided to rethink my policy on going gray. Back in the summer I was debating whether or not I should start dying my hair. I held off, but the other day I caught a glimpse of one too many gray hairs and I made my mind up. I decided to go darker. I actually dyed it twice because I don't think I used enough of the mix the first time, and I could still see gray hair, so Jeremy was kind enough to help me out the second time.

Here's a before picture:
And here is an after:
It's darker, not quite black, but with just a hint of red in the sunshine. I'm happy with it, and it should grow out without much trouble. We'll wait and see if I do it again.

And are you ready for what I don't have a picture of?

Last night when I was walking in the house I noticed a terrible, sour smell. My first thought was that something got left in the trash can. I walked through our dark living room and into the kitchen trying to find the source of the smell. I flipped on the kitchen light and walked over to the trash can. Nothing. I walked over to the washing machine thinking that maybe wet clothes got left inside. Nothing. I'm about to check a mouse trap (blegh) when Jackson says, "Hey Mama, what is that?"

I walked into the living room to see a big pile of stinky, runny dog poo right in the middle of the floor. How I missed stepping in it when I came into the house is only by the grace of God.

My first thoughts (in sheer seconds):
  • O.M.G. Macy crapped in the middle of the floor. On the carpet.
  • O.M.G. It looks like tar. Gag me with a spoon.
  • O.M.G. It's only 5:00. Jeremy won't be home for another half hour so that means that I have to clean up this wretched mess by myself. With a three year old assisting.
  • O.M.G. What if Jackson tries to touch the poop? I'll just die.
  • O.M.G. But I have to touch poop and O.M.G. I'm just gonna die.
So I did what any girl would do. I waited for Jeremy to get home to clean up the poop.

Only kidding, but how I wish I wasn't.

I put on my big girl panties and went searching for the carpet cleaner. Armed with that and some very old rags, I dutifully began the disgusting process of cleaning the carpet.

Is this a good time to let y'all know that I simply can't handle vomit or poop?

Jackson was a big help. He provided me with lots of very insightful comments like, "Mama, we're not supposed to poo-poo on the carpet" and "Mama, I'm glad my poo-poo doesn't look like that" and "Mama, Macy's poo-poo stinks like a poot."

So very helpful, that little man of mine!

I in turn provided Jackson with lots of retching and gagging sounds and took lots of breaks to run into the kitchen and dry heave into the sink.

Jeremy found another pile in our closet when he got home. I totally bailed on the removal process, but from what I overheard, Jeremy definitely got the worst end of Macy's little gift.

And to think, I came thisclose to ending 2009 without a post about dog poop. How could I handle the disappointment that I know that would have caused you? I hope I just made your day (and your year!) with my little gift to you!

Happy Birthday Dad!!!

Jeremy and I want to wish my Dad a very Happy Birthday.
We hope you have an amazing day!

Happy Birthday Dad! I love you!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's Been Waaaayyyy Too Long!!

I've been gone from the blog-o-sphere for so long, and I'm just gonna come out and say it:

I missed y'all!

Sure, it was absolutely wonderful having a free week off from work without having to use vacation time.

And even though I just knew that I wouldn't be able to handle Jackson being gone for three whole nights, it was really nice to be able to sleep in just a little bit and not worry about wrangling a three year old into the bathtub at night. And in all fairness, Jackson had just as good of a time at Papa and Gigi's. So it wasn't just fun and games on the home front. Jackson got home on Tuesday and Wednesday we had a friend of mine come over for dinner with her daughter. We had a great time catching up and Jackson loved showing them all his gymnastics tricks. Christmas Eve we went to a vespers service at church and then enjoyed dinner at the glorious Waffle House.

And since Jackson hadn't been around for three whole days, everything was ready for a visit from Santa Claus. If only Mrs. Claus knew that Jackson was going to take an hour and a half to actually fall asleep, she would have given him some Benadryl before bedtime. Doesn't every kid know that Santa can't come if you aren't asleep? We finally figured out that Jackson was a little freaked out at the idea of a big fat guy coming into our house while we were sleeping. We calmed his fears and finally Jackson fell asleep and Santa dropped by our house. Look at all these goodies he left for our little man:

The Big Guy must have known that Jackson was just itching to get his hands on a "big ole pirate ship", and to be nice, Santa also threw in a really cool art easel and art supplies, a Superman/Batman cape (that Mrs. Claus wished she was crafty enough to make!), a really cool Buzz and Woody t-shirt, and Candy Land (which Mrs. Claus wished she had known would make her want to pull her hair out later!).

And someone should have told Jackson that since he is related to me, he is therefore obligated to wake up at ungodly hours on Christmas morning due to the sheer excitement of the whole thing. That's what I do did. Our little man had to be woken up at 6:30 when I couldn't stand it anymore! Jackson LOVED his stuff and was only slightly disappointed that Santa didn't bring him another bicycle. I had to explain that Santa knew that Jackson already had a bicycle and after a second or two, a bicycle was long forgotten. Jackson has loved his pirate ship the most of all his Santa toys!

Santa even put an eye patch into Jackson's stocking! How nice of him!

Jackson showing off his cape

And painting his first masterpiece!

After playing with his new loot we packed up and headed to my Mom and Dad's for breakfast and to open presents over there. Jackson was so funny with opening presents and wanted to help everyone out with unwrapping their gifts. From us, Jackson got Buzz and Woody action figures, a smaller pirate ship, some games, and lots of new movies. From Mom and Dad and KK and Jason, Jackson got new Lincoln logs, a sit-and-spin, several books, Hungry Hippos, new clothes and pajamas and lots more!

Buzz and Woody courtesy of Jeremy and myself!

Some of his new clothes!

Jeremy and my big gift was a new Kodak camera. I was thrilled, especially because mine bit the dust over Thanksgiving and I've been borrowing one of my Mom's cameras indefinitely. I was going to save up for a new camera in 2010, but this was a huge surprise. I love it! After lunch it was time to head to Mississippi. We made the trip in record time and Jackson couldn't wait to open his presents again! I wish I had pictures, but the borrowed camera from my Mom got a full camera card, and the new camera wasn't charged yet. Since I don't have pictures, you'll just have to use your imagination!

Jackson got a pair of swords, complete with shields, a play dough set, a cool pirate puzzle, a fireman outfit complete with all the tools a fireman could ever need, a toy motorcycle, more new clothes (including an awesome pair of jeans!), and more! Jackson LOVED everything!

And guess what Jeremy and I got? You'll never guess. We had decidedthat the 13 inch TV in our bedroom (which I've had since I was 13), had served it's purpose. It has been a great TV, and my parent's definitely got their money's worth out of it, but the color was going out on it, and everything we watched was in black and white. It was especially frustrating when I was trying to watch something educational and productive like Project Runway National Geographic. Seriously, how is one supposed to learn something when you can't tell what color it is?

Well, Jeremy's parents got Jeremy and I a beautiful 19 inch flat screen TV for our bedroom. The best part? It's got color!!! In fact, it's so bright that Jeremy and I considered popping some popcorn because it felt like we were at the movies. We.Love.It.

And now that the holidays are over we are exhausted and our house looks like a tornado has gone through it, but at least Jeremy and I are seeing in color! Have a great day!

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Best Gift Of All!

About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David's town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.

There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger."

At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises: Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. "Let's get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us." They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.

Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they'd been told!

Luke 2:1-20 (The Message)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas, Griswold Style

Pause the music over on the left and then watch this video. It's amazing!

2009 Lights On Merrimac Ridge Animated Lights from Merrimac Ridge on Vimeo.

All I can say is wow. And Warrr Eagle! And Merry Christmas!

Packing Up and Shipping Out

Since it's my last working day before Christmas, I decided not to stress myself out by worrying too much about a blog post. Instead, I'll just update on a few loose ends.
  1. Jeremy did have a hairline fracture. Does that really surprise anyone? I think not!

  2. I only have 1 more present to buy!! Even better, everything is wrapped and under the tree!!!

  3. My sister Kellyn posted some of her 4D pictures from Monday. Isn't Luke precious!!


  4. And if you read the post about Kellyn, you'll see that she had some pretty bad car trouble on Monday. Turns out, it was contagious. My car went psycho on me yesterday and is now in the shop. Please pray that whatever is wrong that it can be fixed cheaply and quickly, because...

  5. Jeremy and I will be packing up stuff for Jackson tonight and tomorrow my Dad and I'll drive to the halfway point between our house and his Papa and Gigi's house, and swap the kiddo! Jackson will be spending 3 nights in Mississippi with Jeremy's parents and while he is there, his Mimi and Adam will also be in Hattiesburg. Jackson is going to have so much fun, and he's really excited about getting to go bush-hogging with his Uncle Ben. I'm really going to miss him, but I know that he's going to be having so much fun that he probably won't even miss us!
I guess that's all. If I don't see you (in real life or bloggyville) before Christmas, I hope that you have a safe, joyful, and wonderful Christmas!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I Guess Frosty Was A Very Happy Snowman Until He Melted

Jackson has been learning lots of Christmas songs at school and Jeremy and I just love to hear him singing away. Last night Jackson was cracking me up when we had the following conversation:

Jackson: “Mama, can I sing We Wish You A Merry Christmas?”
Me: “You sure can.”
Jackson (singing loudly and with must gusto): “WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS! WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS! WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!”
Me: “That was great!”
Jackson: “Mama, can I sing Frosty the Snowman now?”
Me: “Sure!”
Jackson (singing loudly and very off key): “Frosty the Snowman was a very happy snowman with a button nose. And he had a hat. And he liked to play all day. And he melted. And that’s all I know.”
Me: “Wow!”
Jackson: “Mama, can I sing Away in a Manger?”
Me: “Absolutely!”
Jackson: “Away in a manger, no room for a bed. Jesus laid his sweet head down. No room for a bed because they were away in a manger. And I don’t know the rest.”
Me: “That was really good.”
Jackson: “Mama, can I sing O Holy Night?”
Me: “Do you know that song?”
Jackson: “Yes, ma’am!”
Me: “I would love to hear it!”
Jackson (with great enthusiasm): “O Holy Night!!! The End!”

I think he’s almost ready for a solo during next year’s children's choir Christmas performance!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Captain Jack

No pirate costume is complete without a pirate hook as a shield, a semi-truck as a sword, a nebulizer mask so "you don't breathe the bad stuff" and cowboy boots for stomping on the bad guys!


Doesn't he makes such a cute little pirate!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Only In Wade's World

I think we have pretty much established that I have a very accident prone husband. If something can happen to him, it always does. Remember the cut that required stitches? Or the broken elbow that happened on Jackson's birthday? Or the dislocated knee that happened a week before our cruise?

Today's our 8th anniversary. Wanna know what's going on now?

Last night Jeremy decided to take my huge Rubbermaid container of Christmas stuff back up into the attic despite the fact that I told him not to worry about and that we would get to it later. No, Jeremy had to take the container up last night. If he had just listened to me, none of this would have happened, but I'm not going to stoop low and play that card.

I was busy sitting at a tv tray finishing our Christmas cards, Jackson was busy playing in the living room floor and Jeremy had put the container up in the attic and was on his way down when a big 'ol heaping pile of Jeremy fell down the attic stairs into a lump on the floor.

Jackson and I both looked at each other and then ran over to see what had happened. I moved a wreath that had fallen on top of Jeremy in the crash and Jeremy was rolling around in the floor and Jackson was just looking at both of us like "what in the world is going on here." I may or may not have started laughing (not at Jeremy by any means, but at the whole "Icannotbelivethisishappening" side of things.

I helped Jeremy up and we quickly decide that more than likely he has a cracked rib, which unfortunately, nothing can be done for. We made a call to Amy's husband Adam who is like our resident on-call-go-to-guy for Jeremy's injuries and he confirmed that unless Jeremy was coughing up blood or having trouble breathing, that there was no reason to go to the doctor. Jeremy was not very happy at the whole situation but quickly started laughing when he and Jackson had the following conversation:

Jackson: "What happened to you Daddy?"
Jeremy: "I got hurt. I think I broke a rib?"
Jackson: "How did you get hurt?"
Jeremy: "I fell down."
Jackson: "Again?"

You see, Jackson has been witness to most of Jeremy's accidents and the whole conversation had Jeremy and I cracking up (no pun intended!). And if you ask Jeremy he will tell you that he fell down at least 6 stairs. I think it was more like 3, but it's not worth an argument.

But just wait...the story is about to get better and take on the "Only in Wade's World" twist!

As Jeremy was standing around the living room waiting for his parents to call us back so he could tell them what happened, neither of us noticed that Jackson was down in the floor busy wrapping one of Jeremy's ties pretty tightly around Jeremy's ankles.

Picture that for a second.

Now picture the phone ringing and Jeremy starting to move to answer it. With his feet still tied up.

You got it! Jeremy hit the ground like a giant from a Disney cartoon and Jackson starts wailing because he thinks that he's in major trouble for making his Daddy fall down again. I fought the temptation to just give up and sit down in the corner in the fetal position and start sucking my thumb. Instead I just took care of the boys and prayed for bedtime to come faster.

Because only in Wade's World does stuff like this happen....

And yes, Jeremy is going to the doctor today, even though he knows that nothing can be done about a cracked or broken rib. He's thorough like that. And if the Christmas cards don't get done this year it's just too bad!

8 Years Ago Today....

I married my best friend. Jeremy is such a wonderful father and husband and I thank God everyday for bringing him into my life. I wouldn't know what to do without him! He is a wonderful blessing to me in everything I do, and I am so lucky to have him by my side!

I love you Jeremy! Happy Anniversary!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

What I Learned This Weekend

  • That not waiting until the last minute to do your Christmas shopping really is a lot less stressful than waiting until December 22nd to do all your shopping like I usually do. I only have about 5 more people to shop for right now. For me this is major progress folks! Even better, I'm all caught up on wrapping gifts!

  • When your child wakes you up at 5:30 on a rainy Saturday morning and asks you to pretend to be Sleeping Beauty so he can kill some dragons with his sword, it's really easy to play the part pretty convincingly.

  • When you go to a restaurant and your child tells "I'm not hungry at all and I don't want anything to eat" you better go ahead and order. Don't get mad at said "not all all hungry" child when he complains that he wanted a burger instead of the chicken fingers that he got. It's always okay to tell a child that they were out of hamburgers when you mistakenly order the wrong food, because, helloooo, he wasn't hungry anyway!!

  • I got to see my future nephew Luke in 4D this morning and I learned that he is just precious (which wasn't really a surprise) with big chubby cheeks and an adorable nose, and that he is just as stubborn as my brother-in-law Jason!

  • And I learned that according to the rollback price sale signs at Walmart, that the game monopoly has been changed to mono poly. I thought you should know. Have a great day!

And that's all I learned this weekend. Have a great Monday!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

I'll Take The Random With A Side of "This Has Nothing To Do With Anything Else"

We got our Christmas tree last night. I used to live in the land of artificial-already-pre-lit-treeville, until said tree bit the dust. Now we resort to paying for ridiculously overpriced already cut trees that always have me feeling like a bit of a tree murderer. I just hate that some pretty little pine tree had it's life cut short just so I could enjoy it in my house for a few weeks and then dump it by the curb when I'm tired of it. Anyways, we got our tree last night and got it set up and all was fine and dandy. Then this morning as I was driving to work I kept hearing this awful racket on top of my car.

My first thought was that pine needles should not make that much noise flying off my car.

My second thought (and this is when you know that I'm definitely an overly dramatic person) was that scary story about the serial killer that hides on top of the car when the lovebirds are parked at a lover's lane and tries to kill them when they get out of the car.

My third thought was that I've been married for eight years and I haven't been parked anywhere but my driveway.

My fourth thought was that surely, for the love of all things good and right in the world, someone would have flagged me down if I had a crazy serial killer riding on top of my car.

So I pulled over (in a safe place, just in case) and saw that Jeremy had forgotten to cut the twine off my car that held the tree on my luggage rack. So my serial killer turned out to be twine flapping around in the wind.

This is the part when I'm sure you are jealous of Jeremy for getting to put up with all my drama! Right this very minute I'm sure you are saying to yourself, "That Jeremy, he's such a lucky guy!"

And then when I finally got onto the interstate I came up on this car and when I passed her I noticed that she was applying her mascara while driving 75mph. On the interstate. In rush hour traffic. I've seen this before and it drives me bonkers. She even had the sun visor mirror open while she was doing this. How does she expect to see the road? In keeping with the theme of our very open, honest, and transparent government administration, I'm going to confess to y'all that I had this mean little voice in my head that told me to honk my horn right as I was passing her just so she would poke the mascara wand in her eye. I refrained. I usually do whenever I hear that voice.

And I had to get a new pair of boots the other night. My other pair, which I loved, were my first pair of pointy toed shoes with a pencil heel. I was sure that I would hate pointy toed shoes and much to my surprise, they were very comfortable. Well, the heel on my right boot had been feeling kind of shaky and when I picked Jackson up from school the other day, my right foot slid through some gravel and I felt the heel give in just a little too much. It didn't break off, but there was no way that I could keep wearing them. Lucky for me, Jackson found a new purpose for them...

Jeremy was thrilled.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Can A Tiger Change His Stripes?

On Thanksgiving night we were at the Wade's house when Amy's husband Adam (who was playing on his I-phone) commented that there were rumors on the Internet that Tiger Woods had had an affair. I was so skeptical. Who would seriously believe that an outstanding family guy like Tiger would have an affair? Not me. Then we woke up to Tiger's suspicious car wreck outside his home. Details were so sketchy, but it all seemed very odd and just plain weird. Slowly we heard more about the wreck and things sounded even worse for Tiger. My skepticism that Tiger would have stepped out on his marriage was quickly faltering.

Then Tiger made his infamous statement admitting his "transgressions" against his wife.

I'm sorry, but there has to be a better word than "transgressions" when you have had affairs with 11 women during your five year marriage.

I, like many Tiger Woods fans, feel completely jilted by him. I fell for his classy guy act like a hole-in-one. Even in the era of marital affairs being common place news with athletes, politicians and celebrities, I just never thought that Tiger would be capable of potentially destroying his family like this. Why in the world would a guy who seems like he has everything in the world risk it all for a fling?

I don't understand why Tiger would step out on his marriage with 11 women.

I don't understand why 11 women would be so low class to have an affair with a man they know is married and has two beautiful children.

I don't understand how Tiger could willingly expose his wife, the mother of his children, to STD's without a moment's hesitation.

Why would a husband do that to his wife, and why would a woman do that to another woman?

The worst part is that I know many families go through this, but at least the overwhelming majority of them don't have to have it played out in the media and tabloids. How embarrassing and shameful for the entire family. I know that no marriage is perfect, ours included, but I wouldn't even know where to begin if such a private and personal matter was being displayed for entertainment purposes. Just like with Jon and Kate, there is nothing entertaining about watching a marriage crumble before your eyes. It infuriates me that comedians like David Letterman are making jokes about this. How dare people think this is funny. There is nothing funny at all about a husband cheating on his wife. I can't imagine how Elin must feel every time she looks at her husband, someone who promised to love her forever, and forsake all others till death parts them, and see someone who just broke her heart and everyone in the world knows it .

I know that the wreck is still very suspicious, but the "I am woman, hear me roar" part of me wouldn't blame Elin a single bit if she did find out about the affairs and proceed to beat the snot out of Tiger with a golf club. A little bit of poetic justice for his "transgressions." Elin Woods, and this is just from outward appearances, was a loving wife and mother. She wasn't the glitzy Hollywood type that just wanted to steal his glory, she just stood in the background and supported her husband. Tiger risked his marriage for 11 women that are now willing to sell their story to the highest bidder. Classy, huh?

I can't imagine how Tiger feels watching his world crumble around him because of some very bad decisions he made.

I can't imagine how Elin feels watching this play out as entertainment because of some very bad decisions her husband made.

I can't imagine how Sam and Charlie are going to feel about this when they are old enough to find about the decisions their Dad made.

I hope more than anything, especially for the sake of Sam and Charlie, that Tiger and Elin can just disappear for a while and pick up the pieces of their marriage. I desperately hope it can be salvaged. And I hope that Tiger can learn to change his stripes, and become a real family man, instead of the perfect guy that his PR team made him out to be.

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Nothing excites a three year old more than wearing reindeer antlers and throwing candy at people during a Christmas parade. Well, except for sneaking 15 pieces of bubble gum from the candy bags throughout the parade!


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Manhattan Declaration

As a Christian living in 2009, it’s easy to feel like our rights as citizens are being trampled in favor of the rights of those who might be offended by our belief in God. We have been forced to quiet our prayers in order to not force someone else to listen to us petition God. We are forced to accept things like same sex marriage that we know are outside God’s plan in order to not offend someone who doesn’t share our beliefs. We are told that we need to be non-discriminatory and accept things that we consider immoral in order to make everyone feel like one big happy family. And despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans are pro-life, our government is rapidly moving towards a very staunch pro-choice attitude in order to appease a much smaller, but much louder group of people who feel that life starts when, and only if, it is convenient for the mother. And a group of Christians finally had enough.

And that’s when the Manhattan Declaration was born.

On Nov. 20th a group of Christian clergy, ministry leaders and scholars released the Manhattan Declaration, which addresses the sanctity of life, traditional marriage and religious liberty.

It’s basically a Christian way of saying, “We’re not gonna take it anymore!”

Here is a summary of the Declaration from the Manhattan Declaration website. The actual document is much more in depth.

MANHATTAN DECLARATION
A Summary

Christians, when they have lived up to the highest ideals of their faith, have defended the weak and vulnerable and worked tirelessly to protect and strengthen vital institutions of civil society, beginning with the family.

We are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians who have united at this hour to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, and to call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us in defending them. These truths are (1) the sanctity of human life, (2) the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife, and (3) the rights of conscience and religious liberty. In as much as these truths are foundational to human dignity and the well-being of society, they are inviolable and non-negotiable. Because they are increasingly under assault from powerful forces in our culture, we are compelled today to speak out forcefully in their defense, and to commit ourselves to honoring them fully no matter what pressures are brought upon us and our institutions to abandon or compromise them. We make this commitment not as partisans of any political group but as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Human Life
The lives of the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly are ever more threatened. While public opinion has moved in a pro-life direction, powerful and determined forces are working to expand abortion, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide, and euthanasia. Although the protection of the weak and vulnerable is the first obligation of government, the power of government is today often enlisted in the cause of promoting what Pope John Paul II called “the culture of death.” We pledge to work unceasingly for the equal protection of every innocent human being at every stage of development and in every condition. We will refuse to permit ourselves or our institutions to be implicated in the taking of human life and we will support in every possible way those who, in conscience, take the same stand.

Marriage
The institution of marriage, already wounded by promiscuity, infidelity and divorce, is at risk of being redefined and thus subverted. Marriage is the original and most important institution for sustaining the health, education, and welfare of all. Where marriage erodes, social pathologies rise. The impulse to redefine marriage is a symptom, rather than the cause, of the erosion of the marriage culture. It reflects a loss of understanding of the meaning of marriage as embodied in our civil law as well as our religious traditions. Yet it is critical that the impulse be resisted, for yielding to it would mean abandoning the possibility of restoring a sound understanding of marriage and, with it, the hope of rebuilding a healthy marriage culture. It would lock into place the false and destructive belief that marriage is all about romance and other adult satisfactions, and not, in any intrinsic way, about the unique character and value of acts and relationships whose meaning is shaped by their aptness for the generation, promotion and protection of life. Marriage is not a “social construction,” but is rather an objective reality—the covenantal union of husband and wife—that it is the duty of the law to recognize, honor, and protect.

Religious Liberty
Freedom of religion and the rights of conscience are gravely jeopardized. The threat to these fundamental principles of justice is evident in efforts to weaken or eliminate conscience protections for healthcare institutions and professionals, and in antidiscrimination statutes that are used as weapons to force religious institutions, charities, businesses, and service providers either to accept (and even facilitate) activities and relationships they judge to be immoral, or go out of business. Attacks on religious liberty are dire threats not only to individuals, but also to the institutions of civil society including families, charities, and religious communities. The health and well-being of such institutions provide an indispensable buffer against the overweening power of government and is essential to the flourishing of every other institution—including government itself—on which society depends.

Unjust Laws
As Christians, we believe in law and we respect the authority of earthly rulers. We count it as a special privilege to live in a democratic society where the moral claims of the law on us are even stronger in virtue of the rights of all citizens to participate in the political process. Yet even in a democratic regime, laws can be unjust. And from the beginning, our faith has taught that civil disobedience is required in the face of gravely unjust laws or laws that purport to require us to do what is unjust or otherwise immoral. Such laws lack the power to bind in conscience because they can claim no authority beyond that of sheer human will.

Therefore, let it be known that we will not comply with any edict that compels us or the institutions we lead to participate in or facilitate abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide, euthanasia, or any other act that violates the principle of the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of every member of the human family.

Further, let it be known that we will not bend to any rule forcing us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality, marriage, and the family.

Further, let it be known that we will not be intimidated into silence or acquiescence or the violation of our consciences by any power on earth, be it cultural or political, regardless of the consequences to ourselves.

We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God’s.”

The last statement is what clinched my decision to support this document. God is the creator of life. God is the one that decides when our time on this life is over, and yet some of our elected officials seem to believe that the title of “President, “Senator,” or “Congressman” puts them on that same status level with the Almighty, and that they get a say in the decision making process. We have a government that is right now debating whether or not tax payer money will pay for abortions. How dare MY government endorse and sponsor something that will be paid for with MY money when I am opposed to abortion to the very depths of my bones.

Our government is supporting same sex marriage in an effort to appease a very small faction of citizens that demand equal rights, despite the fact that their lifestyle is against human nature. In every instance that same sex marriage issues have been brought up to the voters, as opposed to passed into law by our elected officials or judges, American citizens have voted against it. That means that our “representatives” are doing a pretty shabby job of representing what we, as citizens, want.

And our government is taking away rights of Christians in order to silence the protests of those who oppose everything we believe in. The Manhattan declaration is about standing up as Christians and saying that we’re not going to just put up with it anymore.

This is not a republican versus democrat issue. This is not a stance against gays. This is not about taking away the rights of women. This is not about being violent. It’s simply a call for Christians to stand up for what they believe in, and if necessary, be willing to suffer the consequences of voicing an unpopular opinion.

It’s a call to protect human life.
It’s a call to protect marriage.
And it’s a call to protect religious liberties.

I signed up to voice my support. How about you?

The Manhattan Declaration

Monday, December 07, 2009

Stonewall Jackson

Jackson's first preschool choir Christmas performance. He was a hoot! Just pause the music over on the left side of the page and enjoy the video! Have a great day!

Friday, December 04, 2009

How is Santa going to pull this off?

Last night my friend Britney and I took our boys (and our hubbies) to Bass Pro Shops to see Santa Claus. If you have a Bass Pro Shops close by I highly recommend taking your kids during Christmas time. They go all out! The Santa village looks amazing and the staff really goes above and beyond to make it a magical experience for the kids. And the best part: it’s all free!

Jackson was super excited about seeing Santa this year and couldn’t wait to tell him what he wants for Christmas. I wasn’t too worried about him being scared of Santa since he did so good last year, and this year he was just as good! Jackson smiled for his pictures, which shocked the daylights out of me (he’s in an anti-smiling-during-pictures phase), and then told Santa that he wanted a biiiiggggg pirate ship for Christmas. After he got done we went and played with some of the games that were set up and then sat down so the boys could color a picture, while Britney and I wrote letters to Santa for the boys. That’s when Jackson dropped a bombshell on me:

Me: “Jackson, what do you want me to tell Santa that you want for Christmas in this letter?”
Jackson: “Tell him that I want a biiigggg pirate ship. And a pirate. A pirate with a wooden leg. A pirate with a wooden leg and a glass eye!"
Me: (insert cricket sounds)

Santa has the pirate ship taken care of, but how in the world is he supposed to find a pirate with a wooden leg and a glass eye with this short of notice?

Have a great weekend!

Jackson and Layton checking out the "Big Daddy" fish!

The boys riding the four-wheelers

Jackson loved it!

Jackson with Santa Claus!

Jackson telling Santa about the biiiiggg pirate ship he wants!

Jackson trying his hand at target practice. Don't get any ideas Jackson; you are NOT getting a gun like that at three years old!

Daddy helping him out

The Dads "helping" the boys with the remote control cars!

Jackson mailing the infamous letter to Santa!

He's such a cutie pie!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Back By Popular Request

Well, my sister Kellyn asked me to post this again, so that's enough for me! Anything to keep my adorably cute 6 month pregnant sister and my sweet little nephew Luke happy! Just pause the music over on the left side of my blog and enjoy the video!

P.S. My favorite part is still the Christmas in Africa part. These guys are super talented! Merry Christmas!

Ask Amy Anything

Once again it's Thursday and I've got nothing! Let's just have another "Ask Amy Anything" session. Leave me a question in the comment section (pretty, pretty please) and I'll answer everything soon. Have a great day!

P.S. Just don't ask me what I want for Christmas because I really have no idea. :)

Happy Birthday Mom!

I want to wish my Mom a Happy Birthday. She is on her way back from Italy right now and this picture was taken with Allison and Mrs. Sharon in Pisa. I can't wait to hear all about her trip. I hope she has an amazing day!!!
I love you Mom! Happy Birthday!!!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Elf on the Shelf

Last year I debated about getting our family an Elf on the Shelf. If you haven't heard about this, it's a Christmas tradition where your family has an elf that visits you during the Christmas season and every night the elf reports back to Santa on the behavior of the child.

It's like a Santafied version of bribery.

And I love it.

So last year we decided not to buy the book just yet and then to my surprise, my Mom got the book for me for Christmas. I was so excited about getting it! I hid the book and the elf until last night and we brought it out and introduced the story of the Elf on the Shelf to Jackson.

The idea is very simple:
1. Each family names their elf and welcomes them to the family.
2. No one is allowed to touch the elf because he will lose his magic power to visit the North Pole.
3. The elf watches (and listens) to what is going on with the child and reports back to Santa each night.
4. The child can talk to the elf all they want, but the elf (under Santa's rules) can't talk to the child. He can only listen.
5. When the child wakes up in the morning the elf is hiding in a new place and the child gets to find him again.

It was a huge hit! We read the book to Jackson after bath time and then I told Jackson that Santa called me during work and told me that he was sending an elf to our house. We played it up big and then sent Jackson off to hunt through the house for his elf.
Jackson on the prowl for his elf!

I spy, with my little eyes, our elf friend!

Jackson finally spotted his elf and was SOOO excited about finding him! He promptly decided to name him Buzz Lightyear, because seriously, isn't that the first "elfish" name that comes to mind!

Our only snafu was that I thought that Jeremy had put Jackson down for the night and I decided to go ahead and move Buzz to his next spot. Well, imagine my surprise when Jackson and Jeremy appear in the living room wanting to see Buzz "just one more time" and he was already gone! Jeremy and I played it up like Buzz thought that Jackson was already asleep and since it was such a long trip to the North Pole that if Jackson goes back to his bed and calls for Buzz that he could probably come back really quick. I hightailed it to put Buzz back into his old spot and waited for Jackson to finish hollering for Buzz and I wish I had a picture of Jackson's face when he saw that Buzz was back! It was priceless and precious! The excitement that Jackson had for his new friend was absolutely contagious!

This morning Jackson woke up to find that sneaky Buzz hiding out next to a dear friend of his. Apparently, Buzz found a picture of Santa on our fridge and sat on our TV trays so he could be close to Santa!

It's going to be such a fun time of the year with our little man! Stay tuned for Buzz's next appearance!

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

I know that I'm biased, but Jackson was the most handsome little boy wearing his new cowboy boots last night at my work Christmas party. He even said to us, "I look like such a cute little tapper!" I love this kiddo!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Exciting and Life Changing News

Jeremy and I recently discovered something that was totally life changing and exciting.

It’s big.

Really big.

Bigger than big.

And no, it has nothing to do with this.

But has everything to do with this: Our dryer, that came with our house, has been drying slow. As in, you could hang clothes outside on a wet day and they would dry faster than they would if they were in our dryer. I’m not exaggerating at all when I say that it was taking us almost 4 hours to dry a single load of clothes.

And I’m graying faster than that.

Jeremy and I recently found out that our dryer has a hidden compartment on the back of the dryer.

And no, it’s not where the missing socks are hiding out. We’re still looking for that compartment.

I’m talking about the hole in the back of the dryer that that big silver tube thingy is attached to. Apparently, and this was news to Jeremy and I, you can take that tube thingy off and reach up into the bowels of the dryer and clean out all the old lint that accumulated in the six years that you have had the dryer.

And you may or may not pull out a pile of old lint that is almost as big as your head.

And it may gross you out to see what has been living in your dryer for six years.

And, as your husband is reaching into the depths of the dryer, you may gently remind him to not get his hand stuck because you really don’t want to be “that” person who called 911 because your husband got his hand stuck in the backside of a dryer.

And your husband my tell you not to worry because, in his words, “You wouldn’t have to worry about calling 911 if I got my hand stuck because I would pull my hand off before I would let you call 911 because I was ‘that’ person who got their hand stuck in the backside of a dryer.”

And after you get an embarrassingly big pile of lint out of the rear end of your dryer, your dryer will completely dry a load of clothes (including towels, because seriously, who has time to separate) in less than 45 minutes.

That’s less than an hour y’all, from 4 hours of non-stop-drying-and-for-the-love-when-will-they-be-dry life that we were leading. And that my friends, is life changing news on the power bill front.

And now, if you will excuse me, I’m going to drop my huge pile of lint into my carbon footprint, or shove it down Al Gore’s throat; I haven’t quite decided which yet. I think a big side of lint would go nicely with all that global warming garbage he’s been feeding us.

The end.
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