Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cousin Time!

From October 21-26, Caleb's sister Miriam and her family, the Everts, drove in from Michigan to visit. We had a wonderful time. It was great to see all the little cousins interacting. It was also special for Mares and me to have one-on-one time with Miriam and Nathan in the evenings. That's not something we get much of, unfortunately. Highlights were visits to little Occoquan park, Fantasy Park, the Air and Space museum downtown, Wegmans, Ikea, the homeschoolers' All Saints' Party, Occoquan farmer's market and so much more.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It's Official


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Our Three Treasures

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Praying for the Little Ones

We got back a little while ago from prayer time at the abortion mill, outside which prayerful vigils have been taking place. 40 Days for Life has successfully advocated for the lives of moms and dads and little preborn babies these last several weeks. Already, about 300 known saves for little lives have been reached. God's grace is amazing. As I held little Cal, and the sun shined in our eyes, I was amazed... amazed by the impact of goodness one little life can have on so many others. Thank you, Lord, for our treasures and for our parents' yes to your goodness.

Friday, October 15, 2010

We can get BREATH!

After learning about photosynthesis and how plants and people recycle each other's "air," Madge put her knowledge to work today in thinking about how we can get some "breath" today.

Mom: We're going to head outside and get some exercise at a park.
Madge: I'm getting out of "breath"* and I need to get energy.
Madge: Mom, I know what we can do, we can pick up some leaves and smell them! Then, we can get BREATH! What do you think of that?!

I love you, Madge, such a thinker!


Sweet Moments

How fun it is to fly away to Neverland..."When you reach for the stars don't forget who you are. And please don't please turn around and grow up too fast." (Mindy Gledhill: Hourglass)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Supreme Court Decides Today on Vaccine Producer Liability

From the NYTimes:
The safety of vaccines is at the heart of a case expected to be heard on Tuesday by the United States Supreme Court, one that could have implications for hundreds of lawsuits that contend there is a link between vaccines and autism.
It will be interesting to see how the Supreme Court handles the issue. The fact that the government set up an administrative law court to deal with liability marks vaccines as a curious topic. The liability resides with and, subsequently, any compensation comes from the government, not the vaccine producers. (I wonder whether there is a precedent for this for any other drug or pharmaceutical product?)
Under the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, such claims typically proceed through an alternative legal system known as “vaccine court.” Under that system, a person is compensated if their injury is among those officially recognized as caused by a vaccine.
While I doubt it's as critical as the article paints it, today's decision will definitely have some impact on future vaccine discussion and practice.
M. Beck, a lawyer in Philadelphia who defends makers of drugs and medical devices, said in a phone interview that a ruling in favor of the Bruesewitzes would allow hundreds of lawsuits asserting a link between vaccines and autism to go forward. “If these cases go forward, it will make it economically unfeasible for anyone to make vaccines in this country,” said Mr. Beck.
UPDATE here:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Drum Roll for the Big Three-O!

This weekend, we're celebrating the most important birthday of the year, save December 25 and September 8. Mares is turning 30! The big three-O has arrived.

(I posted this photo because Mares looks so gorgeous in it. But looking at it again, it's even more perfect because it shows how much of a mother she is: Notice in her right hand she is holding the refuse from the girls' snack after a performance at the Kennedy Center. Always the mommy!)

Lots of fun is in store for my cougar-wife this weekend. I love you, Mares. Happy pre-birthday!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Vaccines to help reduce world population?

In a carefully-crafted speech earlier this month, Bill Gates stated:
The world today has 6.8 billion people... that's headed up to about 9 billion. Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent.
Get full text and article here>


Rumpelstiltskin at the Kennedy Center

On Tuesday, October 5, Madge went with her friends to enjoy a life-size puppet play of Rumpelstiltskin at the Kennedy Center downtown. She went with her friends, Teresa and Lucia, and met up there with other friends-- more homeschoolers from our area.

Rumpelstiltskin is near and dear to our heart. This past August, we did a family performance of this play as a part of my extended family's talent show in Holland, Michigan. Madge was the miller's daughter, Mary was Rumpelstiltskin, Pita was the woodsman, Baby Caleb was the baby, and I was the king and the miller. Madge loved performing the play so sure enough she enjoyed watching it as well.

It's really neat that the Kennedy Center has an entire curriculum and set of events for school groups (including those who are home educated).

We're so blessed to be in this area with so many wonderful arts/We're so blessed to be in this area with so many wonderful arts/entertainment opportunities.

Annual Shenandoah Camping Trip

From September 30 to October 3, we joined five other families for our Annual Shenandoah Camping Trip, kindly organized by the Daly family. As always we had a great time! It had a rough start, however. When we arrived Thursday evening, it had been raining all day. It continued to rain till around 2am. Setting up the tent in the rain and in a haphazard way didn't keep us as dry as I would've liked. :)

The kids were all excellent campers. Never a word of complaint about the rain or the cold. (Nighttime could be a bit different since in a half-conscious state, the girls seemed aware that they were out of their normal environment but unaware of where they actually were.)

It was a beautiful trip for the senses. The campsites were right on the river, which was gorgeous. The leaves were starting to change color. The cool mornings left a sheet of fog hanging over the river. The campfire aroma was a constant throughout the weekend.

Some memorable moments: hiking as a group up a nearby mountain, Maddy climbing trees, "treasure-hunting" in the forest, roasting marshmallows, games and rosary around the campfire, boating on the river, setting up the tent in the rain, great conversations with friends, 12 kids (all under the age of 5) playing together and doing the funniest of things, big group meals with excellent food.

We had a great time and can't wait till next year. (Hopefully, I'll put a photo slide-show up soon.)