Wednesday, June 29, 2005

More Sadie Pics!

Who's cuter than Sadie (other parents: don't answer that!)? Here are some Bug Moments captured on digital film and posted for the enjoyment of all who stop by (especially friends and family who will be sent an e-mail alert):
As always, click on a picture to see it larger, brighter and more in-your-face.

Notes and Clarifications on the Above Pics:

Yes, we are big Mariners fans in this household, but Sadie went to a Twins game in May, and we got her a souvenir shirt. The MN Twins are probably our second favorite MLB team - at least in the American League.

Sadie and Mom are making Rumpledoodles in the second set of pics.

Sadie is going to be a ring bearer/flower girl at my friend Kadie's September wedding. This is the dress she is to wear in the ceremony - destined to become ever afterward her Angelina Ballerina dress.

This little dance move is Sadie's version of Balla Bambina, a Wiggles dance.

Sadie and her new Sandboat sandbox (before we put play-sand in it).

Sadie eats Pasta and Meatballs ("Possum and Lightbulbs") in a manner that evokes her mother about 29 years ago.

Sadie wears the turban-towel hat that her Grandma Sheri sent her, and she looks smashing as always.

Peace to All!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

My First Meme Tag!

I'm still not too sure what exactly a "meme" is (it's not in my Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary - 1993 pre-Internet edition - and I'm too lazy to go downstairs and check my more-recent OED), but it seems to be a little chain-letter-survey do-hickey passed from one blogger to another. Rebecca from doxology tagged me, and I'm so excited. Here goes. . .

Time Passages
What was going on in your life ten years ago - 1995?
I was really hoping to be tagged for this, just because ten years ago I became a Christian. Jason and I had been dating for one and a half years, and we had just moved out to California together. I had been studying the Bible for the previous few years, and I committed myself to Christ on my twenty-first birthday. This was also the year that a young Canadian singer/songwriter released her first album, I Can Hear You. Happy tenth anniversary in the recording industry, Carolyn Arends!
What was going on in your life five years ago - 2000?
Five years ago, Jason and I moved up here to the Seattle area. He began working at the local airline up in these parts, and I was transferred to Barnes & Noble in Issaquah. Later in 2000, I was promoted to being the Community Relations Manager at B&N, which was my dream job (until I became a mama).
What was going on in your life one year ago - 2004?
Last year at this time, Jason and I were planning a vacation to Las Vegas with his sister and her husband. We were enjoying our little one-year-old, Sadie, who was toddling about on uncertain little, chubby feet. I had just finished my first college class in almost six years at Bellevue Community College (Macroeconomics - absolutely fascinating!).
What did you do yesterday - June 27, 2005?
Yesterday, I started a new blog to record in detail my excessive admiration for Jane Austen's works - Austensorium. I also baked a new kind of bread - Victorian Milk Bread - which came out surprisingly well in a beautiful S-shaped loaf. Sadie and I danced to the Wiggles in the kitchen. I made steak and green beans and mashed potatoes for dinner, and we watched a re-broadcast of the Seattle Mariners' division-winning game against the NY Yankees in 1995 (ah - the glory days!). Later in the evening, Sadie practiced her alphabet letters. Oh, I also cleaned the bathrooms - pbbbbbblt!
What are you doing today - June 28, 2005?
Well, other than tackling this meme, I want to post some more Sadie pics to my blog for the enjoyment of distant grandparents. I also want to write out a detailed packing list for our planned journey up north next week for a week-long retreat on a British Columbia island - Keats Island - with Carolyn Arends. I guess I'll also plan dinner and dust and vacuum. And, of course, play, dance and sing with Sadie. A fairly typical day for this suburban homemaker and mom.
What will you do tomorrow - June 29, 2005?
Everything I didn't get to today! Plus, more singing, dancing, playing, reading and learning with Sadie.
Five snacks you enjoy:
  1. Anything salty - especially pretzels and potato chips
  2. Homemade bread and butter
  3. Anna's Ginger Cookies
  4. Carrot Sticks
  5. Apples

Five songs you know all the words to:

  1. Oh goodness - anything by Carolyn Arends - natch!
  2. "Oh How the Years Go By" as sung by Amy Grant
  3. "Hold Me Jesus" by Rich Mullins
  4. "Still the One" by Shania Twain
  5. "All That Jazz" from the musical Chicago

(**One song I am trying to memorize the lyrics to is the hymn "It is Well with My Soul.")

Five things you would do with $100,000,000:

  1. I would tithe 10% to my church right off the top.
  2. I would give about 90% of the remainder to crisis pregnancy centers and free-market economic scholarships.
  3. I would pay taxes after the charitable giving had been deducted.
  4. I would pay off all our debts - that wouldn't amount to much, but it needs to be done.
  5. I would buy about 25 acres and build a nice-sized custom house with a huge kitchen, at least five bedrooms to fill up with kids, a garage full of cars for my automobile-deprived husband, a ten-stall horse stable with an indoor riding arena and a good-sized separate house for my dad and Nancy.

Five locations you would love to run away to:

  1. England - especially Jane Austen haunts
  2. Italy - everywhere!
  3. Greece
  4. Australia
  5. The Holy Lands, especially Jerusalem - first in my heart, last on my travel list because of security

Five things you like doing:

  1. Being a mom - scratch that - I love it!!
  2. Reading
  3. Writing
  4. Playing on the Internet
  5. Baking

Five things you would never wear:

  1. Those yucky low-rise pants that show off your "plumber's corner"
  2. Midriff-baring tops
  3. A bikini
  4. Bellbottom pants
  5. Cowboy boots

Five recently seen movies that you like:

  1. Topper with Cary Grant and Constance Bennett
  2. The Awful Truth with Cary Grant and Irene Dunne
  3. The Adventures of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland
  4. The Lady Eve with Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda
  5. Madagascar (actually seen in a movie theater - a novel idea for the parents of a toddler!)

Five famous people I'd like to meet:

(**Okay, I'm going to assume that this means famous people who are alive and whom I have never met before and who are not Jesus - without these assumptions, this list would look very different and be comprised mostly of dead people (e.g. Jane Austen, Isabel Paterson, Carole Lombard), cool people I've been privileged to meet already (e.g. Carolyn Arends), and my Savior.)

  1. Thomas Sowell
  2. Walter Williams
  3. The Wiggles - assuming Sadie were with me - yes, this is cheating
  4. Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki, the creators of VeggieTales - yes, this is still cheating
  5. Randy Winn

Five biggest joys of the moment:

  1. Jesus - my savior, my hope, my joy always
  2. Sadie - my sweet little bug
  3. Jason - my wonderful husband
  4. The blogging community and all the wonderful pro-life people I've met therein - a great joy and comfort in this modern "culture of death"
  5. Books - "I cannot live without books." --Thomas Jefferson

Five favorite toys:

  1. My KitchenAid hand mixer - cobalt blue, very powerful - my kitchen gadget of choice
  2. Our portable DVD player - don't leave home with a toddler and get on an airplane without one!
  3. My computer - my portal to the outside world and my virtual community that helps me keep my sanity here in commie-land
  4. Chrissy Dog - technically Sadie's favorite toy - literally - but mine too because he brings her so much joy
  5. Our digital camera - capturing all those priceless moments of childhood, bread-baking, and garden growing (plus, Camp Carolyn!)

Five people to tag:

(**This will be the most difficult, since I know so few bloggers. Here goes. . .)

  1. Carolyn Arends (oh, she'll probably never see this, but I'll give it a go anyway!)

(**If you've been tagged with this before, I apologize. I know most bloggers from others' blogs, so it is rather clumped, and we all seem to know the same people.)

(Do you like my patriotic homage to my country's upcoming birthday in the color scheme of this post?)

Peace to All!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Obligatory Krishna "The Fetus Eater" Rajanna Post

Like any community, virtual or otherwise, certain news stories sweep through like proverbial wildfires, singeing all discourse with their influence until they die out and normal discussion can resume. The pro-life community is not immune to this sort of media overload and perverse attraction to the exaggerated and peculiar. Because our passion centers around righting the most horrific of modern travesties - the wanton slaying of pre-born human babies - we never seem to lack for a macabre story-of-the-moment on which to focus our indignation. The story of this moment is the now-infamous (to pro-lifers, at least) abortion butcher, Krishna Rajanna from beautiful downtown Kansas City, Kansas. I'm not above the fray, so here's my offering:

This fearless provider of essential women's health services came under persecution in August 2003 because evil anti-choicers "blew the whistle" on his caring and courageous facility, Affordable Medical and Surgical Services, that helped women take full responsibility for their bodies by mercilessly slaughtering the innocent babies who happened to have temporary residence inside them. This poor, beleaguered defender of a woman's right to take a contract out on the life of the most defenseless of human souls was simply too busy ensuring that nothing stood in the way of a woman murdering her child to keep his death chambers sanitary or his person clean. Oh yeah, he also supposedly liked to mix a little bit of aborted human beings in with his curry for a tasty luncheon (and so nutritious too - what a way to get those yummy, all-healing embryonic stem cells while by-passing completely those rabid religious freaks who think somehow that the only persons entitled to embryonic stem cells are the babies to whom they belong - but I digress).

Jill Stanek, a writer of exceptional power who brims with righteous anger, has picked up this story and has written an opinion piece on it for World Net Daily (complete with picture links - not to be missed!). Here are some choice quotes on the lengths to which Butcher Rajanna was willing to go to ensure that a woman's experience in his mill was one that she fully deserved:

These are quotes and summations from the testimony of William Howard, the Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) detective who was the first on the scene to respond to an employee theft incident reported by that gem of a human person, Krishna Rajanna.

"The clinic was dark, dingy, had poor lighting and smelled musty. There were dirty dishes in the break-room sink and on the table, trash everywhere, and roaches crawling on the countertops."

"Rajanna lacked personal hygiene. His hair was messy, hands dirty, and his clothing was sprinkled and stained. He put on old, used foot booties while we were there."

Howard's partner spotted dried blood on the floor of the procedure room [read: killing floor] and said that the room looked nasty.

Of course, add to this one employee's account to Howard that she and others witnessed Rajanna "microwave one of the aborted fetuses and stir it into his lunch." [Not that there should be anything wrong with this - it's not like they were human or anything.]

Rajanna dropped the theft charge after he had difficulty recalling when the alleged thefts occurred and was not organized enough to locate any documents to support his allegations. Now, the Kansas City Police Department had a very different type of case on its hands.

Kansans for Life (KFL) had been trying to call to the attention of the Kansas Board for the Healing Arts Krishna Rajanna's "medical practices" for years. The Kansas Board of Healing Arts rightly replied that since abortion has nothing whatsoever to do with healing, and less still to do with art, this case was out of their jurisdiction. Okay, that's not what happened, but it should have. No, the BOHA (as in evil laughter: bo-ha-ha-ha-ha) lackadaisically disciplined him in 2000 and 2001 ("Oh you naughty, little baby butcher, shame, shame, shame!") and finally revoked his license a few weeks ago. Who would like to figure the odds of that having happened had the grisly testimony of the KCPD and the relentless pursuit by KFL not been given prominence by the alternative media?

This whole controversy sparked in Kansas a legislative bill requiring abortion clinics to obtain an annual license from the Department of Health and Environment, hire surgeons as their medical directors and report patient deaths to the state within a day. The measure also mandated that the department set standards for equipment, medical screenings, ventilation and lighting. This bill passed the state legislature and was vetoed by Governor Kathleen "Abortion is All About Women's Health - No Really, It Is" Sebelius. You can read the follow-up to the June 14 World Net Daily article here.

Okay, so there's the bare-bones of the situation. Why does this admittedly-disgusting case have pro-lifers all up-in-arms? I mean, really, it's gross and ghastly, but is it all that controversial?

Why should we be surprised to find that the earthly outposts where Satan does some of his finest work would resemble scenes from Hieronymus Bosch's Hell? Why would we think that one of his prime demons of destruction would not be abhorrent in appearance, filthy in practices, absolutely degenerate in all aspects of his life and his work? Isn't it stranger and more unthinkable (and hence truly more horrifying) that babies be torn from the womb, either ripped into pieces or burned through with saline, in a clean, cheerful environment by a smiling, wholesome-looking butcher and disposed of sanitarily, like so much garbage? When we reflect on the place where innocent children are consigned to death by their mothers - by the ones who should most be interested in their protection and welfare - why would we ever imagine that it would be a wonderful world of happiness and light?

All right. Probably a lot of pro-lifers will take me to task for these sentiments which I am about to express, but I think that more abortion mills should be like Old Rajanna's. Going in to kill your child should not be pleasant, should not be reassuring, should not, in any way, give you comfort or solace. I know, I know . . . sympathy for aborting women is all the rage right now in the pro-life movement. It is quite en vogue right now to see them as victims, as dupes in the game of death that the pro-aborts hold so dear. I say: tough pucky of the bull kind. Inside a woman - deep in her core, in the very essence of her soul - she knows that murdering her child - no matter how small that child is - is wrong, wrong, wrong. She needs to be held accountable for this - if women are truly responsible, rational, intelligent beings, then there is no excuse for killing an inconvenient child. Period.

Have you ever seen a movie or read a book about evil? So often, that evil is not explicitly shown as such from the onset of the story. In order to show the most horrifying evil, the storyteller will introduce you to an attractive character - a disarmingly nice guy or a sexy, charismatic woman. You are drawn to them, like them, sympathize with them. Then - BOOM! A crack appears and the full tide of evil spills out - their faces become as ugly as their souls, their actions turn from understandable to reprehensible - they turn heart-stoppingly, gut-wrenchingly scary. This is the kind of terror that grips us most - the incomprehensibly evil and demonic cloaked unassumingly in everyday ordinariness or even in exceeding beauty.

Compare this exemplification with the "obviously evil" portrayals in some storytelling. Whether the villain skulks about with a cape up to his face, or the monster has bolts protruding from his neck, or the raging man-beast shows off his wildly tufted facial hair and canine teeth, you know in a moment that this guy means trouble. Most often, these portraits verge on cartoonish and provoke laughter and revulsion rather than stone-cold terror.

Rajanna fits much more readily into this latter group. He is an overtly evil man in an evil profession - appearances match actions. Nobody meeting him for the first time would be drawn to him as a person - no one would expect better from him than they would get. His business is stopping and destroying life, and he brings to this vicious and violent line a certain panache for depravity that embodies the way that any sane person should view the institutionalized mass-killings of children for profit. So, Old Baby-Eater doesn't startle me - he's what I expect from an industry of death.

Now, what follows is what I find truly chilling and haunting and soul-churning (and almost more evil than KR):

The man who kisses his wife and children good-bye in the morning and then goes off to his "office," puts on his white coat, chats amiably with his "patients," and smilingly rips children from their home and chops them into disposable pieces and labels these remains "toxic waste." He calls himself a doctor. Maybe on weekends he goes to his United Methodist church and sings in the choir about the Holy One.

The husband and wife who have two beautiful, well-cared-for children on whom they lavish all that money can buy. They live in a nice suburban home, with two cars in the garage and a well-manicured lawn tended to by professional gardeners. Then, they find out that they are pregnant with a third child - a unique but oh-so-inconvenient human soul that is the product of their (presumably) intimate love. A quick swing by the local abortionist, and it's off to Bloomingdale's for a new tennis outfit.

The abortion advocate who is being interviewed on television - averring in a reasonable, well-modulated voice that of course a woman has an unmitigated right to murder her child in the womb - a "right to choose" - all the while resting her lovely hands so gently on her own swollen, pregnant belly.

The strict vegetarian whose undefiled lips have never touched steak and who rescues unwanted pet rabbits in her spare time and finds good homes for them to be adopted into, yet aborts her child that was conceived inconveniently through a not-so-fastidious, casual sexual encounter.

The "pro-choice" woman who excitedly buys gifts for the baby that her pregnant friend is carrying - acknowledging by her actions that, yes, there is definitely a little human in there - and yet would think nothing of it if that friend had instead changed her mind and aborted that child's young life.

A country, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights - among these life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - that apathetically sits back and allows its littlest, most vulnerable citizens to be systematically eliminated under a morally bankrupt assertion that one person has a legitimate "choice" to end another's life.

Yep, these are the things that drive my complete abhorrence of this despicable practice of abortion. Krishna Rajanna is a gross, disgusting, but completely understandable reflection of this vile infanticide. Why would you expect a person whose living is earned through murder to be any different? It's the normalcy of the others described that torments my soul - the monsters hidden among us.

Why should we keep whitewashing the tombs or scrubbing the outside of filthy cups and platters? Why not let the outside match the inside - as Rajanna has clearly decided to do? Why not embrace this honesty instead of shrinking from it? The depravity of sanctioning abortion through legalization is starting to peep out through cracks in the seemingly-benign rhetoric of the pro-abortion establishment that has too long been strangling this country. Rajanna is merely one of those cracks through which you can observe the abyss of Hell.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Sailor's Hornpipe

Sadie Says . . .

"Jenny Linsky dances the Sailor's Hornpipe the best,


I dance it a lot better than you guys!"

(Thus spoke Sadiethustra to hapless Mom and Dad after observing our sad renditions of said dance - which were, by the way, only undertaken after her strong and repeated exhortations to cut a rug in the mariner way.) (From the mouth of babes, eh?)

Jenny Linsky dances the Sailor's Hornpipe
(From Jenny and the Cat Club by Esther Averill; The New York Review of Books, 2003 - reprint)

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Sadie and Jesus Again: Prayer and Dental Hygiene

Two things that Sadie loves to do are pray and brush her teeth.

When Jason was putting a decorative fence around our tomato plants two weeks ago, Sadie clasped her hands and bowed her head and said, "Let's pray." She proceeded to lead us in a prayer of thanksgiving for our home and our family and our tomato plants.

Last night, in the middle of dancing around the living room with Mom and Dad, Sadie stopped and said, "I want to pray." Clasped hands and bowed head and a prayer of thanksgiving for "Mama and Daddy and me" followed.

So many times, before doing anything, from reading a book to eating a piece of candy, Sadie wants to "pray first."

Sadie is also constantly stealing into the bathroom and grabbing her toothbrush or my toothbrush and brushing her teeth. She's very proud of her small, white "chompers," and loves to show them off at every opportunity.

The cool thing about her two latest obsessions is that they are both very, very good for her and are hardly ever inappropriate. Can a child brush her teeth too often? Oh, probably . . . but I do not think Sadie goes overboard by brushing 3-4 times a day. Can a person pray too often? I do not think so. About five years ago, I awoke in the morning with the imperative "Pray without ceasing" placed upon my heart. This command was seared into my being, and, while I have certainly fallen short of pure obedience, it serves as a constant tether from God's heart to mine. If I stray too far from His purpose, it gives me a little pull and draws me back onto my knees.

Two schools of thought seem to exist on the ritual of prayer. The first I shall call the "C.S. Lewis School." Clive thought that it was very important to kneel while praying - "The body ought to pray as well as the soul. Body and soul are both the better for it. . . .The relevant point is that kneeling does matter. . ." - although not the most important thing - " . . .but other things matter even more. A concentrated mind and a sitting body make for better praying than a kneeling body and a mind half asleep. (The Joyful Christian by C.S. Lewis, pg. 89-90)" The second I shall call the "Ronald Reagan School." In this school, prayer is "all the time and anywhere. 'Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, if you want to pray you pray.' (When Character Was King by Peggy Noonan, pg. 98)"

I think that I tend to mix both schools, both setting aside formal times for communion with the Most High, but also, through the boldness granted by trust in my Savior, calling on God at a moment's notice. I find that a quick prayer for strength or guidance, particularly in the midst of a stressful family situation, helps me to focus on Him instead of myself, and this "stepping back" grants immeasurable peace. I know that this privilege of prayer has helped to keep me from saying or doing things to the people I love that I would later regret. The adage holds true: We don't pray to change God, but to let God change us.

More and more, as I grow in this blessed faith given to me ten years ago, I want only to live these words penned by Keith Green:

Make my life a prayer to You
I wanna do what You want me to
No empty words and no white lies
No token prayers, no compromise

Keith Green, circa 1982 (from Make My Life a Prayer by Keith Green, Harvest House Publishers, 2001)

To my Sadie-Bug: Keep on Little Prayer Warrior. I love watching you grow and learn about the Lord. He Who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it . . .

I hope you are always 100% cavity-free - in your teeth and in your soul.
Peace to all!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Happy Birthday, Randy Winn!

Randy  Winn

Happy 31st birthday to my favorite Seattle Mariner!

The best and most under-hyped player we've got, Randy may not make the $12 million per year of an Adrian Beltre, nor get all of the fawning accolades of an Ichiro, but he rocks my baseball world in his quiet, under-stated, consistently awesome way every game. I love you, #2!

I hope you celebrate this happiest of days by helping to kick some fish-butt all over Florida ("Boo dem Marlins!"), then maybe enjoying a hearty meal at Charlie's Steakhouse in Tampa. I hope Blessings is there to bless your day too!

Happy road tripping, and we'll see you back in Seattle next Tuesday...

Peace to you, and thank you for being such a wonderful player!

Randy and Blessings Winn
(from Mariners Menus, 2004)
(photo by Ben Van Houten)

Randy and Blessings Winn

(from Mariners Menus, 2004)

(photo by Ben Van Houten)

Saturday, June 04, 2005

The Beauty of Bread

Bread is holy, and the process of breadmaking is like a religious rite. A loaf of bread may seem the simplest of sustenance, but in its depths lies the sum of human experience and cultural development. I truly believe that bread is one of the greatest gifts that God has given mankind, and this gift is one of those which set us apart from the beasts, to whom no almost-supernatural concoction of flour, water, salt and yeast has been given.

I love making bread - not in a bread machine, Lord deliver us! - but in the old-fashioned, time-honored, kneading, rising, waiting, punching down, rising, waiting again way, perfected by generations of bakers since the dawn of time. Taking five hours to produce two loaves of crunchy, yeasty pre-tastes of heaven is a lesson in patience too often not learned in the hurry-hurry world of today. Bread and babies and good marriages and vegetable gardens teach us that wonderful things, the very best of things, take time and nuturing and love and commitment to know and see and appreciate.

Bread is also one of God's great metaphors - the symbol of plenty and fulfillment.

I made one of my favorite bread recipes last week - Mantovana, which is olive oil bread from Mantua in the Lombardy (Carole Lombardy - ha!ha! - just kidding!) region of Italy. Here's what it looked like (one full loaf, and one loaf half-eaten from dinner on Friday night):

Mantovana Bread

Despite my philistine aversion to poetry, I am in love with this poem I found in a cookbook (More-with-Less Cookbook by Doris Janzen Longacre - a book with a good heart and some great recipes):

The Beauty of Bread
(A Mennonite Poem)
Be gentle when you touch bread.
Let it not lie uncared for, unwanted.
So often bread is taken for granted.
There is so much beauty in bread:
Beauty of sun and soil,
Beauty of patient toil.
Winds and rains have caressed it.
Christ often blessed it.
Be gentle when you touch bread.
—Author Unknown

And here are some of the many references to bread found in The Holy Bible:

"If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them, shall eat your bread to the full and dwell in your land safely" Leviticus 26:3-5 (NKJV)

"...Give us this day our daily bread..." The Lord’s Prayer

"The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread." 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 (NKJV)

"And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me will never hunger and he who believes in Me shall never thirst." John 6:35 (NKJV)
Peace to all, and joy in earthly bread and the Bread of Life!

Friday, June 03, 2005

A New Look

Hi-dee-ho Blog Readers (i.e. Jason and Dad and a few others who stop by)!

Welcome! The Musings of Justine has gotten a 6-month anniversary facelift.

I changed some colors around to lighten up the look of blog - make it a little more feminine, but, hopefully, not too girlie. I also added an image of Mt. Rainier to the background of my header (Mt. Rainier got a little cut off, but the beautiful lake in the foreground can still be seen). I've been learning as much as I can about HTML and CSS, and it's been a lot of fun to play around with my newly-obtained information.

If you haven't traveled down the sidebar in a while, please do. I've added a baking journal and a salute to Canadians, as well as some cool site-linkage buttons.

I appreciate your stopping by. Let me know what you think. Peace to you!