Thursday, March 31, 2005

State sanctioned murder

**edited**
Rest in peace, Terri. May God's arms comfort you today. May His mercy and grace rain down on those left in this world.
-------------------------------------------------------------
Well, a 41 year handi-capped woman will most likely die today. Her husband, in name only, allowed this happen.

Why are we supposed to take his word for Terri's life? How do we really know her wishes? Should anyone be given that much power over another person?

If she isn't capable of pain -- why so much morphine?

Why hasn't she been allowed to have an MRI or PetScan? Why so many broken bones in her scan? Why did it take Mr. Shiavo 7 years to say, "Oh, by the way, Terri wouldn't want to live like this."

Too many questions -- not enough answers.

What harm would come from allowing her to live? What harm would come from granting a divorce and handing care over to her parents?

Someday, up in heaven, we can ask Terri what her true wishes were. I would like to err on the side of caution and deal with her later, then starve her to death and own up to that.

We are being told that Ms Shiavo is in her final hours. Today may be her last day here on earth.
To make matters even worse -- Michael is not allowing her parents/siblings to be at her bedside.

How cruel can one person be? Is power more important than compassion and empathy?

I pray for God's grace and mercy on everyone involved -- including our own nation.
It is a sad day for everyone when we legally kill someone via starvation. If we don't get you with abortion, we will get you will legal mercy killing.

:: sigh :::

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Sure hope the Pope has a living will....

A feeding tube was placed this morning. A lot are claiming that he may never speak again after trac surgery. He is severely compromised in his efforts and duties. His Parkinson's is progressing at rapid rates. This affects his thinking and abilities.

And yes, I realize full well that this post will come across as sarcastic. I mean no disrespect to the peaceful and important man - honestly.

I do hope people will stop and think though. Isn't it ironic that Terri - a devout Catholic had her feeding tube removed and the Pope has one placed?

I pray for God's grace and will to flow.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

You want her to do what?

Emily signed her contract for volleyball yesterday. This is going to be such a nice opportunity for her! She is a bit intimidated by some of the girls -- not because of their attitude, but their ability. Some of them have been playing for 4 years. They are very welcoming to new players.

Emily will have practice Mondays from 3 - 5:30 and Wednesdays from 7:30 am - 9.
Fortunately, they practice about 5 minutes from our house so I am not driving all over creation.

All of the girls had to sign a fitness contract. They are to do 30 situps, 75 jump-rope rotations and jog for 1.5 mile each day. You go girls!
In a moment of weakness (!) I told Em I would join the exercise program with her. I won't be jogging (hurts my knees) but I will speed walk with her.
Sarah has a work-out routine a lot like the above for gymnastics, but she has more stretching/upper body toning in her day.

We had 65 degree weather yesterday! It was positively glorious! I had all the windows open and flip flops on! Happy Happy.
Today should be more of the same weather. ::: sigh ::::
Beautiful.

Well, I should scoot. We need to get a few things done before swim team this afternoon.
Love, hugs and prayers to all.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Peep Peep

So -- the house is now over run with Easter candy. I don't know about you, but I adore Easter candy. In the holiday candy scheme -- Easter wins.

Did you have a nice Easter? Hope so!

We had a wonderful visit with Rick, Laurie, Kate and Megann. Our time together is so special.
It was hard to say good-bye early this morning. We are planning another get together in the next few months.

Most of our activities for the week are on break. This makes me happy. Too happy?

Emily does start her volleyball practice this afternoon. She is joining The Falcons, a group of 20 homeschool students in North Fort Wayne.

I continue to hold Ms. Shiavo in my prayers. May God's will and grace fill her spirit.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

CONGRATS!

CONGRATS to Miss Sarah!

She made the recreational expo team for gymnastics! She found out this afternoon.
You should see her smile!
Our life is about to change. A lot.
Love to all.
K.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Bars, beams, vaults -- oh my!

Sarah had try-outs for the rec. team this evening. It was two hours of concentration, tumbling, flipping and balancing. From what I could see...she did pretty well.

We will know the results tomorrow.

Right now, we are praying for God's will.

More school violence

Children, in school - killed. Shot to death by a fellow peer.

When will this nightmare stop?

I'm not naive. I know the world is a different place. I know there is no easy answer to this growing problem. However -- enough is enough. It is a sad day in this world when children are fearful of death when they attend school. I mean, can you imagine walking through metal detectors and security officers on the way to homeroom? Can you imagine the horror of hearing gunshots in your classroom? The screams? The violence?

There are usually a list of warning signs. Parents need to wake up. School officials need to take a firmer stance on threats. Kids need to start talking when they hear/see something going on.

As a society, we need to stop glorifying violence in music, TV, games and movies. I'm not talking about unnecessary censorship -- but what child needs to witness these acts over and over? What adult? It is senseless. It provides no positive influence to one's life. Parents need to say, "NO. You will not do that!"

Kids need to learn how to be kind to one another. I remember high school. It was brutal at times. There are kids walking around with rage, spite and pure hate. There are kids walking around with twisted humor, snideness and loss of self control. Who is teaching them the proper way to behave around people? Who is keeping them accountable? Who is parenting them at home?

Too many parents put the responsibility of child rearing into the school's court. That isn't fair.
School is a learning establishment - not a glorified babysitting service. This is an ongoing problem. What does it say about our society when we have to train educators in lock down procedures and trauma care? What is this? School or prison?

I also find it alarming that most news channels are NOT running this as TOP NEWS. It is the 3rd or 4th story. Have we become immune to the seriousness of this? Is it so common that it doesn't phase the general public? Do you know how many children died last year in school violence? 58 kids. Gone. Where is the outrage?

I think society became complacent after the horror of Columbine wore off. That is a mistake. So many people walk around and say, "Oh, that would never happen in our area."
Think again.

In the end, I know many of you are sitting there saying, "Well Kim -- you homeschool. Why are you so fired up about this? You don't have to deal with it."
You would be wrong. All children matter. Our community matters. If a basic foundation such as school becomes a warzone...what else can we expect?

I will say this -- homeschooling should never be done because you are afraid of violence. That isn't a good reason. Nothing should be done out of fear.
However..I admit. Each time I hear about these stories, I am re-affirmed in our decisions.
I know I can't (and won't) keep our children in a bubble...but children shouldn't have to fear for their life while learning algebra.

My prayers for the families involved. May God protect and comfort them.

Kim

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Humanity

Before I sign off for the week...I need to share my feelings on Ms. Shiavo's situation.

I know we all have an opinion on this matter. Some of us may agree. Some may disagree. In the end, I think it is important that people talk...regardless of their stance.
There are three sides to this story. His side. Her side. The truth.

I am going to make every attempt to make this short and concise. There is a lot I could say, but bottom line is this -- Terri is a breathing, living, beautiful child of God. She matters.

Is she leading a fulfilling life by society's standards? No. Does she contribute to her community? Not necessarily. Can she tell us how she feels and thinks? Not really.

Is she vegetative? No. Is she void of reaction? No. Is she a nameless face in a hospital? No.

Does she want to live like this day after day? I don't know. None of us really know. She didn't leave a living will.

Currently, law states that a living will is necessary for medical decisions to be made in cases such as Terri's. Since there is no living will - it is puzzling to me how this case progressed over 15 years. Terri did not legally state her wishes. Therefore, caution should be used - as well as a good dose of conscious to determine the value of her life.

Many specialists have stated that Terri could have learned to speak again, as well as swallow (which is a very complex skill) with intense therapy. When Mr. Shiavo was awarded 1 million dollars in malpractice money -- instead of providing that therapy to his wife, he put her in a hospice type center. Her refused further care for her. He made these choices for Terri -- claiming over and over that she would have wanted this. Maybe she did, but can he prove it? No.

Meanwhile, Mr Shiavo has gone on with his life. He has a common law wife (which is odd considering he is still legally married to Terri) and children.
What happened to "until death do us part" and "in sickness and health"? What about being a faithful spouse, even when it is hard and upsetting?

It is for that reason, among others that I have a hard time buying Mr. Shiavo's case. His actions are shady, at best. He has not proven himself to be a man of honor. I mean, I can understand wanting to move forward -- but Terri isn't dead. She is still his wife. Why is he "married" to someone else? He continues to say, "Terri wouldn't want this. I am protecting her. I want what is best for her". Those are just words. Actions speak much louder.

Terri's heart is beating. Her EEG is not flat lined. She has eye sight and movement of body parts. She appears to recognize her parents and on several occasions, made attempts to smile.
She relies on a tube to deliver her nourishment 3x a day. That is now gone. Terri will not die from her disability, she will die from starvation. A cruel and inhumane way to die. Men on death row receive a more compassionate journey into death.

Earlier, I asked if Ms Schiavo contributed to society. Upon further thought -- I think she does contribute. She has people that love her. She challenges us to think about our values. Her experience should teach us one important thing.....GET A LIVING WILL!

It isn't enough to talk about the "what if" with your family -- it needs to be in writing and notarized. Do it this week. Do it for your family. Once the form is processed, make numerous copies. Give one to everyone, including your medical provider.

Right now, congress is hashing this whole situation out in D.C. I wish we didn't have to legislate this very personal ordeal. However, when laws are not followed and questions are left unanswered, someone has to protect the voiceless. That is what we do in America.

Have a blessed Holy week as we prepare for Easter. As a Christian, I am reminded that, "You can't keep a good man down." Praises praises praises.

Hugs to all.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Irony alert! We live in a twisted world.

Warning -- heavy thoughts ahead.

What kind of society have we made for ourselves? Are we really better off than generations before us? Have we evolved into brighter, happier people? Are we living with more rights and freedoms? Truly?

Picture if you will....

A one time famous football player is found guilty of murder in civil court. He walks free in Florida.

Gangs terrorize neighborhoods.

Terrorists panic our land.

Mothers drown their children in lakes and bathtubs.

Convicted felons prey on sleeping children, kidnap them from their room, violate them and murder them.

A group of people make the decision to end a woman's life by withholding her food/hydration.
(which could take 2 weeks).

Meanwhile.....
A corporate leader sells her stock and tells a lie. She goes through court. She serves jail time. She pays fines. She is under house arrest. She wears an ankle bracelet. She can no longer vote due to her felon status.

See a problem here? I do.

When will our society wake up? How many people must die before we realize that the rights of a criminal do not supersede the rights of law abiding citizens. It needs to stop. Immediately.
Do you know how many children die at the hands of a repeat offender each year? It is staggering.

It is time we (collective) stand up for something, because right now, we are falling for everything.

Parents. Hug your children. Protect them. Over-protect them. If we don't, who will?

I pray for God's grace to rain down on our world. He can save us from ourselves. Thankfully.

In memory of Jessica Lunsford. Rest in peace. Prayers for her family, who are left to pick up the pieces.
P.S. Some wonderful news to share --- we have a new nephew! Jeff's brother and his wife welcomed a new baby boy into their family. Welcome Troy!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Refresh

There may have been some changes to our blog since your last visit. In order to see the latest and greatest -- hit F5 to refresh the site. This should update the system if it wasn't done automatically.

Thanks.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Snow. Snow. And oh yeh, snow.

Mr. Pasted on Smile with blue screen behind him:
We may have light snow showers this afternoon.

Mother Nature: Bahahahahaha. Light showers? I think not.

Me (while looking out the window): ::: bleep bleep :::: It is snowing. A lot.

So anyway, off to gymnastics we go. It is now snowing hard. It takes a few extra minutes to get to the gym. We fluff out our hair, stomp our boots and complain to one another.

sidetrack from my weather vent to follow

Sarah started her new class today. New coach. New skills. Sarah hit a few bumps -- but got through them. She shows the most strength in tumbling. She needs concentrated instruction on bars. She is one determined girl though. Sarah dreams of the Olympics. Wowee.
Her coach invited her to try out for a recreational team after class. This isn't competition level, but a nice practice/experience with plenty of opportunity for expos, etc.
Jeff and I are talking it over...we'll keep you posted.

back to my original rant

So, while I am sitting in the gym sipping on my very bad coffee (note to myself....take my own coffee from now on) I see that it is white-out conditions outside. Lovely. No really. It was very pretty. Of course, my adoring eyes quickly turned to a glare when I remembered that we had to drive home. Ugh. It normally takes 20 minutes to get home. Today, a full hour. A full hour of white knuckle driving. We witnessed two minor accidents. Not fun. The snow was bad enough, but it was wet snow. Wet snow in 23 degree weather leads to ice. Ice leads to chaos.

Spring? Come now. I beg of you.

rant over

There is a family reunion in New York in August. We are going to make every attempt to get up there. We've been in Hoosier-ville for almost 3 years (yes, really) and it is pathetic that we haven't made the 6 hour drive up there. Ideally, we would like to make it a long vacation for us. Perhaps we will leave Buffalo via Canada, enter Michigan and drive down to Indiana. Lots of pretty stops along the way. The kids want to play in the sand this summer. Sounds good to me...especially while I stare at white frozen stuff in the backyard.

A special HIPPY HIPPY BATHDAY (toddler de-code: Happy Happy Birthday) to my baby sister, Tena. We love you, sweetie. A quarter of a century today? :: snicker :::
(if I disappear, check Tena's closet -- she has locked me up and placed duct tape over my mouth)

It is time to get some sleep. Love and hugs to all.
K.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

So, I think our hound dog needs analysis....

Stop laughing. It is a true concern. Baxter is one whacked out dog.

For those that don't remember, we rescued Baxter from the pound last summer. He is a basset hound mix. Mixed with what, we don't know. Perhaps that is part of the problem?

Now, before I go on bashing poor Baxter -- let me say, he is the most gentle dog in the world. He is so patient with the kids. The boys are very attached to him.
Baxter isn't going anywhere. We are committed pet owners.

Having said that.........

He whines. Constantly. Almost non-stop. At first we thought he was going through a transition phase. Makes sense, right? We loved on him and made him feel safe. After about a month...it grew annoying. He whines when he is sitting at your feet. He whines when he is laying on the couch. He whines when he walks through the house. He whines outside.

The vet has ruled out any health problems associated with this whining. She thinks he is just very needy. She did mention a behavioral therapist for dogs...but, well...no.

Great. Six kids aren't needy enough?

So -- we make attempts to help Baxter through this. We have discovered that if you are touching him, in any manner, he is calm. It could be as simple as placing your thumb on is head while he sits next to you. Is he at your feet? Place your foot against him. Viola. Happy dog.

Now in principal -- this seems like a nice compromise -- but let's be realistic. We can't always cater to Baxter's incessant need for validation. Besides, you would think with all of the kids around him on a daily basis, he would relish a few moments of quiet, no touch time?
You would wrong.

I've tried ignoring him when he whines. Hey - it works for the kids -- why not the dog? Oddly enough, it doesn't work. It's like he enjoys whining? Sadistic? Perhaps.

One other thing (and then I will stop ranting about our poor dog) -- he doesn't know what he wants (except constant touching). In, out, in, out, in, out. You get the picture. He whines to go outside, at which point he promptly sits at the back door and whines to come him. You let him in, he whines to go out. There is no pleasing this dog. For that reason, we are giving serious thought to installing a doggy door in the side garage door. An expense that will be worth my sanity, I pray.

Where is Baxter now? He is my foot rest as I type this note. No, I'm not kidding. He seems utterly content and my feet are toasty warm. For once, we are both happy.



Smile. God blessed you with another day.
Kim

Monday, March 07, 2005

Momma's home!

What a wonderful, wonderful weekend! I feel so energized and rested.

The Stroh House was incredible. It is an older house with charm, history, character and life.
It is a very large home and I spent a lot of time just checking out the different areas. The woodwork was amazing.

The hostess was great. She was attentive to our needs (us moms were pampered big time) and had wonderful stories to tell of the area. I look forward to going back for other retreats in the near future.

There were 8 of us on the retreat. We all showed up between 4 and 5 on Friday. We found our rooms (we had our pick of 10 bedrooms). At 6 we were served dinner and dessert. The food was simply prepared and so comforting. Best part? We didn't have to cook it or clean up after it. A couple of us tried (out of habit) and were quickly urged out of the kitchen.

We spent the rest of the evening way up in the re-done attic (which also served as the honeymoon retreat). The room was enormous. There was a large sitting room with 3 couches, 3 tables, a bar (complete with microwave and sink) and French doors out to a veranda.
The other side of the room had a large bed, closet, bookshelves and jacuzzi tub. There was also a full bathroom off to one side.

We quickly pushed the tables together and got to talking. So much fun. A couple of the ladies brought their HUGE stash of beads for jewelry making. I've seen this done before, but never tried it myself. I'm hooked now. We each made a bracelet to remember our weekend, complete with one matching charm (a butterfly).

Saturday was spent resting, eating, talking, crying (one of the moms lost her husband of 13 years 9 months ago. They have 6 children) and exploring the house grounds.
We headed home late Saturday night.

Jeff and the kids had a nice time. He made his famous waffles for them, as well as cookies. They went to the movies and played. They made it easy for me to get away for a bit. No worries.

I woke up feeling awful on Sunday. My sinuses were in over-drive. Jeff took the girls to church while the boys and I stayed home. I feel a bit better today.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day! Best wishes and prayers to you.
Kim

Friday, March 04, 2005

There she goes....

........friend, wife, mother, woman.
She is slipping away for the weekend. She will be 90 miles away from home, surrounded by nature and friends. Who is she? She is, me!

I am leaving for the Stroh House in about 2 hours. This will be my first time away from the kids since the boys arrived. I'm nervous, but excited.

Please pray for Jeff and the children while I am away. I know they will have a great time.
Also, please pray for our retreat. Pray that is full of energy, friendship and safety.

Blessings to you and yours.
K.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

It is retail therapy, not shopping

Shopping 2
Of course, I must restrain my therapeutic exercises to keep the home fires burning -- but I do get that rush of excitement when I enter a favorite store. Ladies, you know what I'm sayin'?

We went to Indianapolis this past weekend. It was a spontaneous "Let's get away for the day" type trip. We walked around downtown (Indy has done a superb job with revitalization) and enjoyed some window shopping. The girls had some left over Christmas/birthday money -- so they did some shopping at Nordies (that's my girls!!) They found some terrific deals.
I browsed through the shoes and purses. Yumm, the smell of leather.
Girls, have you seen the new Coach line? Purrrrrty. I'm not even that into purses - but these caught my eye! Pretty aside, I can't see spending $200 for a small clutch. That's crazy talk.

We had a nice lunch, drove around a bit and hit Trader Joes before coming home. I did a good deal of shopping at Trader Joes, stocking up the pantry. I wanted to buy some wine...but Indiana is a blue state. No alcohol sales on Sunday. Of course, you can go to a restaurant and indulge in many drinks, get in your car and drive -- but you can't buy a bottle of wine, drive home and drink it there. Kinda backwards if you ask me.

We got home around 8 in the evening, just in time to put the boys to bed and relax. It was a nice day. We are going to try to get back down there this summer for a long weekend. The Children's Museum is one of the best in the country. Plus, I would really like to visit the City/Farmer's Market.

I heard from Sarah's coach this morning. He wants to have her re-evaluated this Saturday. She is going to move up to another level. This is both exciting and un-nerving. This is going to throw off our schedule since she will switch coaching teams. Oh well. The girl has a dream. We will do what is necessary to help her reach it.

For those watching American Idol....isn't Bo just the best? I'm not a "rocker" chick...but I have to admire his talent and uniqueness. I also like Anwar. The ladies don't really speak to me. Perhaps one of them will step away from the crowd tonight?

With that, I will sign off for today. Hugs and love to all. Stay in touch.
K.


P.S. I hate snow.