Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Who Needs Expensive Toys

So much money has been spent on fancy electronic toys for Charlotte. And what does she decide to play with? A thrift store sneaker!

New Photo Editor

Thanks to Cameron's wonderful pictures and her suggestion in a comment on my Resurrection Sunday pictures, I played around with one of Charlotte's pictures to see if Picnik was a good idea or not. Here is the before, straight out of the camera:
Here is the after.

Leave a comment and let me know which one you like better.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Good-bye Darryl

Jennifer asked me to write a post about this tree we saw on Easter morning. We were entering the Historic Bok Sanctuary, which is a 240-acre garden and nature preserve created for the public by philanthropist Edward Bok. Jennifer and I like to go there on cool Sunday afternoons.

As we were driving on the entrance road, passing through the orange groves that surround Bok Sanctuary, we noticed this odd tree, virtually lifeless, but covered in oranges. I immediately commented that it reminded me of Darryl Barker—dead, but still bearing fruit.

Darryl was a friend of ours who just died the day before. His death came after three weeks in a coma resulting from a motorcycle crash. Darryl was 24 years old, a husband, a sheriff’s deputy, a college student, and the Worship Pastor at his church, CrossRidge Church. During his three weeks in the hospital, many people had opportunities to see and experience the glory of God.

Jennifer wanted me to write this post because, she says, I’m better at this sort of thing. Yet, I don’t know what to write here. Instead of trying, I’ll just let you read a post from Joy, the woman who was married to Darryl and was there with him when he died. This was posted on the website that provided updates to Darryl’s condition.

I want to share with you all the greatest story of life I have ever known. My husband Darry knew how to live. Everything he did was to glorify God and serve people. I have talked to two of our close friends who remarked that Darryl did more in 3 weeks of laying in a hospital bed than some people do in their entire lives. Darryl was always perseverant and passionate. He had no regrets!

As an answer to prayer this morning Darryl had the most wonderful nurse. His name was Greg and I'm sure with his accent Darryl may have thought Allistair Begg was in the room with him. Greg let me listen to Darryl's lungs and heartbeat. His lungs were amazingly clear. Then I helped give Darryl a bath. I got to cleanse his face, arms, and torso. And then Jesus took Darryl home.

Darryl left this earth very comfortable and peaceful. His last moments were spent with me caressing his hands and skin. All through this experience God has shown me that He is in control. He reminded me that we could not control Darryl's life or his death. I know this is hard for all of you. It is for me too. But be assured that Darryl is beginning a new life much better than one we could ever imagine on this earth.

I am not sure what I can add to Joy’s words, except maybe this:

“My eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now as always, with all boldness, Christ will be highly honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For me, living is Christ and dying is gain.” (Philippians 1:20-21, CSB)

200th Post Meme

It happened so fast I didn't even realize it. But on Sunday, I published my 200th post to this blog. I feel as if I just finished my 100th post. In honor of my 200th post, I am going to answer the questions below... sort of a 200th post blogland tradition.

Do you like the look and content of your blog? I am not a big fan of my current look, but, drum roll please.... that will be changing soon! Stay tuned for the big announcement. As for the content, I am in a phase right now where I am trying to decide about that. I really blog for my family and to keep a record of my daughter's life. But, I also have a lot of ideas in my head and use this blog to share those ideas, as well as rant about whatever pops into my brain. Plus, since I spend so much time on blogs, I'd like to find a way to make money doing it.

Does your family know about your blog? Of course... it is a labor of love for them.

Can you tell your friends about your blog? I can and I do. This is a blessing and a curse. I have one friend that I haven't been spending as much time with as I used to so I felt like we weren't connecting. I mentioned this one day and she didn't understand. She knew exactly what was going on with us because she had been reading my blog.

Do you just read the blogs of those who comment on your blog? Um... I have 4-5 regular commenters and most of them don't have a blog. I do read lots of blogs though. As of right now, I have exactly 75 feeds in my Google Reader, and that is after I pared it down a bit this weekend. I really should spread some more of my own comment love. That would make me a better blog buddy.

Does your blog positively affect your mind? I believe so. It allows me to get thoughts out of my brain. I really do better when I can work my ideas out in writing. Blogging helps me to organize the random thoughts I have and to make coherent sense of them.

What does the number of visitors to your blog mean? I just checked Google Analytics, which I use to track my blog visitors and I have had 734 unique visitors to my blog in the last 30 days. Counting returning visitors, I have about 35 people who check out my blog on a daily basis. I sure wish some of them would stop and say hi! (hint, hint)

Do you imagine what other bloggers look like? Not really. Most of them post pictures of themselves so I don't have to imagine. All bloggers are beautiful people... blogging is a habit that is easy on the eyes. :)

Do you think that blogging has any real benefit? Beyond keeping me from going crazy? Beyond preventing my parents from moving in next door? Can you say, "hello Marie and Frank!"? Yeah... it's got benefits! The more pictures, the further away the family stays. (Just kidding mom and dad. Really, I am!)

Do you think that the blogosphere is a stand-alone community separated from the real world? From my perspective, absolutely not. I blog about very real world things and so do the bloggers that I read, especially my favorite frugal blogs (see below).

Do some political blogs scare you? Do you avoid them? I am not scared by political blogs, but I don't read them. I mostly scan CNN or World Magazine Online for my political news. I don't specifically avoid them, they just aren't something I am interested in reading during this phase of my life.

Do you think criticizing your blog is useful? Depends on who is doing the criticizing and how it is done. I am always open to helpful suggestions.

Have you ever thought what would happen to your blog if you died? Not until I read this question. Now I wonder... would Bruce know to print out all of my posts and publish them in a book for posterity? I hope all of my visitors would at least comment on my last post and tell the world how much they will miss me.

Which blogger has had the greatest impression on you? My blogging style has been most affected by Michelle at Scribbit, Meredith at Like Merchant Ships, Crystal at Biblical Womanhood and Money Saving Mom, and Janel at Pearls. My desire to blog though was influenced most by Erica at her family blog and Rachel at her family blog.

Which blogger do you think is the most similar to you? I have no flippin' idea!

Name a song you want to listen to. My Sharona... ever since Michelle posted about her new mini-van this morning I can't get it out of my head! Ugh! Thanks Michelle! I probably need to hear it to get over the rattling around in my brain.

Since I lifted this meme directly from OrgJunkie, I am going to extend the same two invitations she did:

  1. If you enjoyed reading this, go ahead and do it for yourself but be sure to let me know so I can go on over and read it!
  2. In honor of my 200th post I would love to invite you to leave a comment and say hello and if you’d like I would love to hear about which of my organizing posts has been the most helpful for you.

Thanks for playing along!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Charlotte's First Trip to Disney - Part 3

I don't have that many pictures left to share of Charlotte's first trip, so this post should wrap it up.

Ths first picture really should have gone with Part 1, but I didn't have it at the time, so here it is now. Her Grandpa Sabin LOVES to have his picture taken with Charlotte. I'm not sure exactly how many he had Bruce take, but it was a lot.
Towards the end of the day Charlotte was really tuckered out. She was cool like that though in these flowery blue sunglasses.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Over-the-Hill Gang Rides Again

We sat down tonight to watch the 2nd movie of 20 on our Family Movie Classics DVD. Tonight's feature is The Over-the-Hill Gang Rides Again.

Plot Synopsis: This movie opens with Sargent Nash Crawford visiting one of his former Texas Ranger friends, George. George is sitting in a saloon, has just won 10 hands in a row and is being accused of being a card cheat. As Captain Hayes still has a quick mind, he quickly realizes that George has been cheating and needs to be rescued from a possible gunfight. He quickly refers to his friend as Wyatt (pretending he is the infamous Wyatt Earp) and the situation is diffused. Once they leave the saloon Crawford explains that a mutual friend, The Baltimore Kid (played by Fred Astaire), has been accused of murder down in Waco, TX and they need to gather up their gang and go down to rescue him. Captain Hayes is not in this movie.

Next, we flash over to their near-blind friend who is celebrating his upcoming nuptials to a sweet gal (who must be 70+ years old) with a bachelor party, complete with 3-month old corn whiskey. The night before his life of wedded bliss is to begin, he gets the wire from Crawford that he is needed and he can't turn him down. In a moment that may or may not have intended to be funny, he asks his bride-to-be to assure him that she will indeed wait for him. She insists that she will and off he stumbles.

When the Gang arrives in Waco, they are told that the Baltimore Kid has already been hung for his crimes - held up the cargo station, stole $10,000, and killed the Marshall and his deputy. Then, they run into Amos Polk (the crooked judge from the first movie), who is now running the newspaper in town and was the one who called for this gang of retired Rangers.

The Gang decides to commiserate in the local saloon that evening (which looks just like every OTHER saloon in these movies). While there, they find the Baltimore Kid. Apparently, his wallet had been stolen by the leader of the gang and this was a case of mistaken identity. They take him back to their hotel and clean him up so they can salvage his reputation in town.

The next morning they go off to clear up the Baltimore Kid's reputation with the Mayor. At this point, it is unclear how this movie could still be so much longer since everything goes so well. Amos plans to print a story to clear the air for the town. Then, before anyone really figures out what is going on, the Mayor offers the job of Town Marshall to the Baltimore Kid.

Because Nash and the other Gang members know Kid isn't really prepared for this job, having just been rescued drunk from the saloon, they offer to serve as his 3 Deputies. Shortly thereafter, their first outlaws arrive in town. The Gang helps the Kid handle the problems without the Kid ever realizing that he is doing okay because of the Gang's help.

With the help of a local waitress, the Gang starts to put together the story of the man who impersonated Kid (and was killed). They realize that the rest of his vicious gang is headed towards town to settle up the score and collect the $10k stolen from Wells-Fargo.

To keep this long story from getting too much longer, when the vicious gang arrives, the Over-the-Hill Gang solves that problem for the town with the same wit that helped them in the first movie. This time they dropped hay bales on the bad guys heads and shooed cows out of the saloon onto Main St. The twist in this movie is that the Baltimore Kid pretends to get shot and die. This helps the Kid escape the embarrassment of having been a poor Marshall and to get a fresh start up north.

Review: This movie definitely moved more slowly than the first one. I found myself doing a LOT of multi-tasking while I watched it. I checked out blogs, ate some ice cream, packed Charlotte's bag for the weekend, and caught up on some news reading. I am glad I watched the other movie first. I really only sat through this entire movie so I could finish my plot synopsis above. Were it not for my dedication to the 2 people who might read this blog, I would NOT have finished this movie! So, 70 minutes later, all I can say is that I have now watched a Fred Astaire movie. Maybe if he had danced a little for us it would have been worth it!

Bruce asked me if I'd pay $0.25 to watch the movie, and immediate response was, "I'd pay $0.25 to NOT watch the movie!"

Typing Test

85 words


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dear Mom and Dad

The following letter was written as a submission to Michelle's March Write Away contest hosted at her blog. The theme was "the next 20 years." I decided to write about the next 20 years from the perspective of my daughter, looking back on them as she prepares to graduate from college. Maybe I'm a little optimistic, but what new parent doesn't dream of the best for her babies?


Dear Mom & Dad,

I can't believe I am going to turn 21 this year. My college days have just flown by and now I am officially a proud member of the class of 2028! 20 years ago as you watched me read my first book, were you two dreaming of this day? I never expected to feel such excitement about graduating from college, but it just hit me today that I am almost done with this phase of my life. I will be turning a corner this year and life will never be the same as it is now. Anyway, before I head off into the "real" world, I just wanted to take a moment to write down some thoughts about my first 20 years with you.

First, Mom, thank you so much for keeping that blog. I can't tell you how many nights I've sat up re-reading your posts and looking at pictures of me as a little girl. It means so much to me that you made the time to document the life of our family so carefully. Having read the words you wrote as a 30-year old woman helps me better understand you as a 50-year old woman. I can see how you poured your heart into making our family and home a haven. Someday, I hope to be as devoted to my family as you have been to us.

Now, Dad, you were never the mushy type, but I still always knew you loved me. Especially when you would ask me, "so, what's The Girl up to this weekend?" I still like it when you call me The Girl, even though I am old enough to vote. And I will vote Dad; this year is my first presidential election. You taught me that it is important to use my voice... just like my namesake did. I may never go to Asia like her, but I will always try to use her legacy to remind myself and others of the importance of living my life for the glory of God.

Both of you made growing up easy. I never had to wonder who would help me with my homework or whether or not I could ask the 'hard' questions. Dad, remember that time in middle school when I asked you about the birds and the bees? You did blush a little until Mom stepped in and explained that no, I really did want to know about how plant pollination worked; we'd been studying it in Ag class.

God couldn't have picked two better parents for a girl like me. There are so many experiences from my childhood and teen years that made such an impact on me, I hardly know where to begin.

I guess my earliest memory is growing up in that dome! None of my friends got to live in such a cool house. You really set the green lifestyle bar high in Frostproof with that house. It was neat to see conservation in action everytime I pulled into our driveway. It didn't make me the coolest kid on the block to live in such a strange house, but it definitely proved a point about being different and not worrying about it.

Being different. That reminds me of something else that you two did for me that was awesome. You gave me the best family when you adopted Mihaela from China, George from Africa, and the twins from across town. We really stuck out in a town like Frostproof, didn't we? But neither of you ever flinched when we got strange looks from the folks in town. I am so proud to be their big sister!

Being the oldest had its privileges too. The first mission trip we took to New Orleans will forever be one of the best weeks our family ever had. Your example of selfless service was imprinted on my heart that week in a way that mere words couldn't have done.

What I really want to say is that my first 20 years have been amazing. God sure knew what he was doing when he put us together as a family. I pray that in my next 20 years I will start raising my own family in the way you have shown me. And while you have always encouraged me to be my own person and an independent thinker, I will always be your little girl.

Charlotte Moon

Curr Click Easter Egg Hunt

I don't talk about homeschooling a lot on this blog, but it is something we plan to do for Charlotte. To that end, I already subscribe to a website called CurrClikc (formerly Homeschool E-store). They offer a free download every week and I am saving them up for a time I can use them with my own children. I've even used some of their products with my middle school students. They are having an Easter Egg Hunt this week so I went and found all of their eggs. The list below was compiled after finding 40 of their eggs. If you get more information, feel free to leave it in the comments!

Leave a comment if you find more or to tell us what you ordered! Happy Hunting!

FREE copy of Proverbs to Live By Paperdolls (Book I) from A Godly Legacy Publishing.

20% off the Rabbit Hill Novel Study from New Learning Publishing

50% off Glue and Trace Worksheets for Preschoolers from

50% off My Book of State History from ABCBooks

FREE copy of The Growing Dictionary from Brandenburg Studies

25% off Full Package Fabulous Household Forms from Bahama Blessings

Easter Egg Hunt: 25% off Cinderella, Rumplestiltskin, The Frog Prince (audio product) from Alcazar Audioworks

25% off Parables from Nature - Volume I (audio product) from Alcazar Audioworks

FREE Ancient Greece Lapbook from Knowledge Box Central

40% off Web Site ABC\'s from MotherBoard Books

FREE Touchy Buggy Collection from Color Goddess Creations

20% off Sight Words List A Teacher from Child 1st Publications

30% off the Proud to be an American set

$11.00 off Passover & Jesus from Fruitful Vine

75% off any title from D.M. Bocaz-Larson

FREE copy of Bible Study for Homeschool Mom - Sample eBook from Fruitful Vine

75% Off Student Planner from Fruitful Vine

$4.00 off any title from Historical Fiction Unit Studies

25% off any title from The SMARTseeds Company

20% off Preschool Activities in a Bag-Book 1 from Activity Bags, LLC

20% off Preschool Activities in a Bag-Book 2 from Activity Bags, LLC

10% off any title from Highlights of Homeschooling

50% off Forensic Science from Ready-Ed Publications

$2.00 off any title from Secondary Solutions

30% off An Elegant Floral Alphabet from Lighthome Publications

$5 off of the Oceans and Marine Life unit study from Soli Deo Gloria Resources

15% off State Study-50 States Complete Notebooking Pages Set with Bonus Pages from

$5 off History of Ancient Times Complete Notebooking Pages Set (c.5000 BC - c.500 AD) from

FREE Copywork Notebook Pages (Patriotic Designs) from

10% off Journey to Beijing Grades 1-3 from Teacher Created Resources

10% off Journey to Beijing Grades 4-6 from Teacher Created Resources

30% off any title from Grace Bound Books

FREE WisdomKids: I Know You

25% off My State Scrapbook from Toytown Treasures

15% off all Butterfly titles from Enrichment4You

20% off Creating Confidence from Youth Excel

20% off Building Relationships from Youth Excel

20% off Solving Problems from Youth Excel

20% off Discovering Dreams from Youth Excel

20% off Leading Yourself from Youth Excel

Monday, March 17, 2008

Charlotte's First Trip to Disney - Part 2

For some reason this picture makes the day look like it was really overcast, but it wasn't. Just windy. Very windy. This trip to Disney marked Charlotte's 7-month birthday, as well as the first time she ever rode in her stroller sitting up like a big girl.
Of course, being at Disney didn't mean we had to skip nap time. Fortunately for Charlotte, the seat lays out flat so she could get good and comfy. All together now, aaaaawwwww......
This is the very first ride Charlotte ever went on - Winnie the Pooh. She was too interested in the ride to bother looking at her dad and the camera.
After Winnie the Pooh, Charlotte for to see what a small world it is. They have revamped the ride since I was on it last and now there is even a small display for Israel.
We ended our day at Disney with dinner at Chef de France in EPCOT. They have the BEST onion soup we have ever eaten. After dinner we toured the countries on our way out and Carolyn had to have her picture taken with this larger-than-life troll. I wonder if he's busy next weekend Carolyn?

Charlotte's First Trip to Disney - Part 1

When we got in the car last week, I leaned over and told Charlotte we had a very special day planned - she is going to Disney! Judging by that grin, I think she is excited!

Once we got there, we had to wait for her Grandpa Sabin to show up. He has the secret passes that we need to get into the parks. Charlotte was a good sport hanging out on Carolyn's lap as we waited.

Once our happy party made it past the gate, we had to go and check out what kind of legacy we were leaving Charlotte. Yep folks - that is a picture of Charlotte's mom and dad hanging out on a big granite wall in front of EPCOT. I don't think that kid next to us liked getting his forehead squished by Carolyn.

Next, we had to hop on the Monorail in order to make it to the Ticket and Transportation Center so that we could take a bus to the Magic Kingdom. This was Carolyn's (and Charlotte's) first ride ever on the Monorail. Sorry the picture is blurry.

While we were on the Monorail, Charlotte decided it was time to eat. In a first for both mom and Charlotte, I kept nursing her even after we got off the Monorail and waited in line for the bus to take us to the Magic Kingdom. You can't even tell what we are doing in the picture!

Well, that's it for Part 1! Stay tuned for Part 2 coming later this week. More Charlotte cuteness is on its way!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Do I need a new blog?

Is it possible that I need to start a new blog to share all of my breastfeeding and lactivist stories and thoughts? They seem to be pretty prevalent these days here at Family Musings. Today is no exception.

While reading a blog I enjoy on Sundays called Post Secret, I came across this secret postcard that someone had sent in. I just don't understand the selfishness of some women. Really, a perfect figure is more important than the future health of your own baby? I can't help but think that this woman's breasts had already changed as a result of her pregnancy and probably won't ever be the same ever again.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Over-the-Hill Gang

Bruce and I recently bought a 20 movie pack of family classics. We thought it would be fun to watch old movies together and then even more fun to tell you a little about them and also what we thought of them.

Our first movie is The Over-the-Hill Gang. It was produced in 1969 by Aaron Spelling. It sure is a far cry from Beverly Hills 90210.

Plot Synopsis: Jefferson Rose, a young, Boulder, Nevada newspaper publisher, tries to run for mayor of his corrupt town. His father-in-law, Captain Oren Hayes, is a former Texas Ranger who happens to visit town the day Jefferson is roughed up by a few of the Sheriff's finest. Captain Hayes admires young Jefferson's desire to clean-up the corrupt politicians and decides that he and three of his pals will come to town and take care of business for young Jefferson.

Each of Hayes three friends had something unique to offer the Texas Rangers. The first pal was the quickest draw. The second had "eyes in the day like an eagle and at night like an owl." The third had "spotless character, courtly manners, and spit-and-polished appearance." By the time Hayes' telegram finds each of them, we see that they aren't quite what they used to be - slow, near-blind, and a card cheat.

When their first attempt at riding into Boulder and ridding it of the nasty trio of Sheriff Barnes, Mayor Lundy, and Judge Polk doesn't go over so well, they reconvene and decide to try to divide and conquer. The Sheriff becomes convinced that Mayor Lundy has hired one of the Rangers to kill him. The Judge becomes convinced that the Mayor is going to dump him after the election because of some unmerited early releases from prison.

While the Texas Rangers succeed in convincing the Sheriff and the Judge that the Mayor is out to get them, they don't quite outsmart the Mayor. In fact, the Mayor hires several outlaws to do the work for him. This requires the Rangers to really think about their next move. The end result is a shoot out at Cassie's Corral that is clever, surprising, and cheesy all at once.

Review: Overall, I felt this was a decent way to spend 70+ minutes. I couldn't find a rating for this movie, but think it would probably by PG based on current standards. There was no profanity, no sexual innuendos, and the only violence came at the beginning when Jeff was roughed up by the Deputies and then again during the shoot out at the end. Even within these violent scenes, there was no blood and no one died; again, compared to today's standards, they were very tame.

One minor complaint for my modern ears is that I sometimes had difficulty understanding what the characters were saying. Their old, wild-west accents didn't work too well with my modern, Florida ears.

Bruce gives this movie 2 out of 5 stars. He says it was reasonable entertainment for the cost of 1/20th of $5 that we paid for the set. In the end though, this movie is rather forgettable and I agree with Bruce. It was definitely worth the $0.25 we paid to have the privilege of owning this movie.

My Favorite Blogs & Websites

For anyone who might be interested, here is a list of my favorite blogs and websites. I'll try to update it on a semi-frequent basis, and I might even try to keep it in alphabetical order!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Breastfeeding in Public

I have nursed Charlotte in public more times than I could possibly count. It was never a big deal to me. I have read in various places though that some women have a hard time doing this, due to personal comfort, the baby's needs, or the prevailing attitude towards breastfeeding in their culture. To protect myself, I carry a copy of Florida's laws regarding breastfeeding in my diaper bag. I want to be prepared to back up my right to feed my daughter when she is hungry, regardless of where we happen to be.

I have nursed in the mall, at numerous restaurants, while shopping, in my car on the side of the road, in the homes of friends, and now at Disney. Not once did anyone ever say anything to me, though I have noticed that most men try to avoid looking at me at all. I try to nurse modestly, but sometimes Charlotte pulls off and there are moments that reveal more than most people are expecting to see in public. When this happens I try to cover up quickly, but I am not terribly bothered; I know Charlotte can be distractable in public so I try to coax her back to the breast or we end the nursing session.

My most recent nursing in pubic (NIP) experience that I want to share with you happened last weekend at EPCOT. I was having a drink at the Electric Umbrella while nursing Charlotte. I specifically chose a table in a corner so I could be discreet. About 10 minutes into Charlotte's meal, I began to focus in on the conversation at the table next to me. Suddenly, I heard the women clearly say that it is "totally inappropriate" to breastfeed in public.

While I was being discreet, I also wasn't hiding what Charlotte and I were doing and I just KNEW she meant for me to hear that comment. And if you know me, you know it got my blood boiling! This unenlightened woman went on to recount times she had been in the grocery store and saw not one, but gasp! two women breastfeeding their babies in slings as they did their shopping. I was so enraged at her attitude towards something that is completely natural. I started rehearsing all of the things I was going to say to her once I was done nursing Charlotte. It irked me that she kept uttering the phrase totally inappropriate.

"Excuse me? Why should my daughter have to hide while she eats? Do you wear a blanket over your head while you slurp your meal?"

"It is not my fault that people in this country can't handle seeing a little breast doing what it was designed to do."

And maybe a couple more that aren't safe for little ears... all of these retorts though, were in my head.

After switching sides (and being slightly less modest than I might normally be about it), I continued to script the reaming I was going to give this uninformed, prude of a woman. While doing that, a restaurant employee came over and asked to wipe up some water on my table. As she came closer and realized what Charlotte was doing, she expressed excitement about how wonderful it was that I was breastfeeding Charlotte. She had nursed her own children and thought it was one of the most wonderful things that a mother could do.

Now let me reiterate that I have never had anyone say anything negative to me about NIP. On the other hand, I have never had a complete stranger say anything positive to me about NIP either. This employee completely made my day when she engaged me in a conversation about the benefits of breastfeeding and how perfectly natural it is.

I could not have been more thrilled because I KNOW the woman at the next table was listening to us. It was such a perfect moment.

When Charlotte and I did finally finish nursing and she was snugly back into her stroller, I walked up to the group at the table next to me. In my sweetest voice, I said, "Excuse me. I couldn't help but overhear your conversation about breastfeeding. One of you mentioned not knowing where to look when you saw a woman breastfeeding. Well, as a breastfeeding mother, I want you to know it is just fine to look us in the eye, and even say hello. It is totally appropriate." (Notice I tried to use the word breastfeeding as much as possible and to turn her own phrase back onto her?)

It wasn't until a little while later when I was recounting the story to Bruce and Carolyn, trying to slow down my adrenaline, that he pointed out something very important to me.

God had sent the restaurant worker to me to save me from my own self. He knew that I needed the encouragement to temper my enthusiasm for lambasting the strange woman at the table next to me. It is amazing to me how to brings just what we need, just when we need it.

"My God will supply all my needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4.19

Thursday Thirteen - 4th edition

Hmmm... I've already done 13 reasons I haven't been posting so I can't do that list again. How about 13 things I love about Charlotte Moon instead?!
  1. Her name.
  2. Her dimples. She has 2, one one each cheek.
  3. Her smile.
  4. The way her nose crunches up when she smiles with her eyes (see the last picture).
  5. How soft and smooth her baby skin feels, especially after a bath.
  6. The large wave-like curl that is growing on the top of her head.
  7. How when she first wakes up in the morning she likes to just look around and grab her toes.
  8. The smile I get when she first sees me, in the morning, or when I pick her up.
  9. The way her hand rests on me while she is nursing.
  10. Her laugh. It is infectious!
  11. How she snuggles up to me at night and uses my bosom as her pillow.
  12. When she melts into the snugly comfort of my arms as she falls asleep.
  13. And finally, I love how she now knows what to do when the camera comes out. She just perks right up and flashes a cheeky grin for us!

I could go on forever probably, but this is Thursday Thirteen. Visit the official site for more 13 fun!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Green Cleaning

I've always tried to pay attention to what I use when I clean the house. (No jokes about the when part allowed!) But now that I have a little one ready to crawl all over everything, it seems more important that I use products that are non-toxic. I've read about Basic H in several places and might just give it a try, especially if I win this week's giveaway from Crunchy Domestic Goddess.

One thing I am already doing to help make the world a little bit greener is to not use all of the lights in my classroom. Now, during FCAT testing they will all be on. We don't want anyone thinking it is nap time. But in the normal course of teaching, I just don't need that much light for the students to see properly.

FCAT Test Prep

My students might think I am the dorkiest teacher ever... but if wearing this human billboard helps even one of them to remember a great test-taking strategy then it was worth it.
I got this idea from a Reading Coach at my husband's school, only they used it for vocabulary words. I've worn this most of today and have gotten many strange looks, from students and other teachers even. Do I mind? Not in the least! I am willing to do just about anything to help them remember how to respond to certain questions. I've even recruited other teachers to wear subject appropriate tips.
For the math teacher - Use your reference sheet & calculator.
For the science teacher - Read ALL of the possible answers.
For the reading teacher - Underline key words and phrases.
I might make more... we'll see how time goes.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Musings on Musings

Recently, I realized that there are a lot of blogs that use the word musings in their title. So, for my 3rd edition of Thursday 13, I thought I'd share some of them with you. I only read 1-2 of the most recent posts on each of these and in no way am I endorsing them as having content you will value.
  1. Musing Minds
  2. Magpie Musings
  3. Thailand Musings
  4. Middlezone Musings
  5. Science Musings
  6. Tai Tapu Musings
  7. Musing
  8. The Musing Mommy
  9. The DeafBlind's Musing
  10. Random Musings
  11. Musings of a Maternal Mind
  12. California Musing
  13. Musings by Mommy

Disclaimer: Linking to these sites doesn't mean I agree with them... they are just here to illustrate that musings are a common theme among bloggers. If I wanted to include posts that had the word musings in them, this list would have to be posted on the Thursday Three-Thousand site! :)

Visit Thursday Thirteen for more list goodness.

Blogging Around the World

Recently, I checked the Google Analytics report that tells me where people who view my blog come from. I was really surprised to see so many countries highlighted. It might be hard to see on the map below, but in the last month, I've had visitors from the US, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Australia, Latvia, India, Spain, Serbia & Montenegro (hi Ionel) , the Cayman Islands (hi John), Croatia, Romania, Switzerland, Iceland, Kenya, Sweden, South Africa, Indonesia, the Philippines, Ireland, the United Arab Emirates, Iran (!!!!) and 22 other countries.

I think that is pretty cool. If you are visiting and live somewhere other than the US, please leave a comment and introduce yourself!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Love in My Arms

With all due respect to those dads out there who read my blog, I think being a mother is the best job in the entire world.
I feel this especially in those moments when I my daughter's body melts against mine as she surrenders to the comfort of my softness and her own sleepiness. There is little else in this world that makes me feel so special then as to be the one who can provide that security for her.
P.S. - Don't you think my flannel pjs are adorable?!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Darryl Barker

Darryl Barker is a friend of ours who likes to ride motorcycles. As a matter of fact, we sold him his most recent bike. Unfortunately, last Friday, he was involved in a very serious crash. While we was wearing protective gear (including a helmet) he is facing life threatening injuries.

I ask all of you who read this little blog to please pray to God for Darryl and his wife Joy. A website has been set up to keep track of updates. I encourage you to visit and learn about how amazing God has been to this family since last Friday. He truly is the one on whom they are leaning right now.

Some have questioned how I can still let Bruce ride his motorcycle. And the answer is simple. He is in God's hands 24-7. God is in control of his life and if he wants to get our attention, he doesn't need a motorcycle to do it. God could use a spider if he wanted too, but I still make Bruce catch all of those 8-legged creatures! We try to live a life that gives Him all of the glory and credit, through every circumstance. I can only hope I would be as wise as Joy if I were faced with a similar situation.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Pull & Bang

Charlotte likes to pull on things. She also likes to spend time in her walker, so long as it is in whatever room we are in. She has to be in eye-sight of Bruce or I. She doesn't have object permanence yet. You put her love of pulling on things and Momma and Daddy in the kitchen, and this is what you get:

Charlotte also likes to hang out in her high chair (now that we've got it assembled!). After we had a small taste of banana and brown rice, she decided to form a one-baby band. Enjoy the music!

Little Girls in Camo

I have previously said that I planned to never dress my daughter in camo. Two things this week led me to change my mind.

First, I went to Youth Fair. If she wants to enter a hog in the Youth Fair then she will will need to wear camo to hide all the mud she will get on her. Camo is okay for slopping hogs.

Second, her dad put his camo hat on her. Not much I can do about my rule now.

On a completely different note, since I shared the frostbitten car with you the other day, I thought I'd show you this beautiful sunrise from the next day.