Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day 15: Your Dream House

It feels weird to write this, but the house we live in is pretty much my dream house, with a few changes. I remember first looking at this house on when we were looking for houses to buy with my parents. This one was so unique in design in this area it immediately caught my eye. It's a colonial style. It was built in 1993 by a guy who lived down the street in a house just like it. He then lived in this one for a few years before selling it to the people we bought it from in 2006.

Our current house is my dream house if certain cosmetic features were changed, such as touch-ups on the walls and if it were a little better decorated. There are still several walls we would like to paint, curtains to hang and our master bedroom and the kid's bedrooms need some decorations too. We would also like to someday replace/repair the hardwood floors and front walkway and driveway which is currently an unsightly blue. When we moved in we quickly replaced the blue carpet and tackled the blue rooms, which were several. In the first 6 months living here, we tore out a wall and made another living room. My husband has worked very hard to make this home a more enjoyable place to live. We also had the siding replaced and repainted, and most recently completely changed the backyard.

I love this house. It has already housed so many memories for me. If these walls could talk, they would have a lot to say. This house has seen me in my best days and worst days. This house has been a place for church groups to meet, family dinners to be had, and important family meetings. This house has seen/will see all three of my kids learn to walk. Caley was a late walker, which bummed me out back in 2006. But within a month of us moving to this house, she figured it out and quickly started running around this house. This house has been the place where people can have conversations about Jesus through our hosting various community groups. I love this house, it's my dream house because I know for a fact Jesus has given it to us and we strive to use it to glorify him.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 14: A non-fictional book

It's funny that the next blog day on my list of "30 days" is "a non-fictional book" because I've been reading just such a book and wanted to do a review of it anyway.

The book I chose is "America + the Pill" by Elaine Tyler May. It was very interesting. I liked the picture on the front cover, which is why I picked it up at the library without even really knowing what it would be about. (Really, who has time to browse books in meaningful amounts of time when chasing after 3 kids at the library?) In "honor" of the 50th anniversary of the FDA approval of the oral contraceptive, May set out to write this book about the history, development and evolution of "the pill." She covered how it was developed and pushed through largely by Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood. Sanger believed women would only be equal with men if they had full control of their fertility and pushed for a woman-controlled contraceptive such as the pill. She also described the motivation for developing a pill in the 1950s-1960s--population control. Many people believed people on the world were multiplying at a fantastic rate (because of the baby boom) and largely because of the book "The Population Bomb" by Paul Ehrlich. People were worried that space in which to live, food health and safety and other resources would soon run out. In the 1950s, people believed "the Pill" would end world hunger and create world peace by controlling reproduction. (Many people still believe we are overpopulated, but I don't, here's a video which explains why). The Pill was also advertised as making every child a "wanted" child, since the possibility of a surprise pregnancy would be lower.

After the Pill had been developed, tested and was in widespread use, people realized it wasn't going to single-handedly end hunger and create world peace. But it did have many effects. May discusses how it affected men, since they were not part of the contraceptive plan, their wives/partners could take the pill without their knowledge, and some men suffered depression because they were unable to get a woman pregnant. The Pill also had a big role in the Sexual Revolution and contributed to lowering the cultural stigma against unmarried sex. May discusses the trends of who was taking the pill. She also has an entire chapter about a pill for men, and the various difficulties with creating such a medication, and that no man would really take a pill every day so the funding is different than when the woman's contraceptive was developed.

Her final chapter is about the Pill today, and how it is different than the original contraceptive approved in 1960. She quotes many women who responded to a survey for the book ranging from loving the pill to absolutely despising it. May concludes, "Although the pill was not responsible for the emancipation of women,  it did provide an important tool for millions of women to effective control their fertility, freeing them from fears of pregnancy and constant childbearing and enabling them to take advantage of expanding opportunities for education, employment, and participation in public life" (p.168).

My take: I am not against contraception, or the pill in general. To each his own and, for Christians, whatever God would have for you, provided it's not taking a life. But I took issue with this book mainly because of the author's tone. It seemed a stretch to refer to women before the pill was developed as afraid of pregnancy and "constant childbearing." I'm sure there were women who felt this way, but the way she said it kind of rubbed me the wrong way. She also flippantly threw in abortion as a means of birth control that was "widely accepted."

I was on the birth control pill for several years but since Amelia was born we have chosen to not go back onto a daily med to prevent pregnancy. There are many other ways, and in my experience the pill did not help me understand my body more, rather it made it more confusing and difficult to understand. May's claims that the Pill gave women their freedom and equality with men, while true in the business and women having the same roles and responsibilities as men sense of the phrase, I don't agree that women and men should have to be "the same" to be equal. Women and men have different, but equal roles. I thought the book was interesting to read and ponder as a reflection of what the pill did to American society. Originally Margaret Sanger pushed for a woman-only contraception, but now women complain about having to control contraception. This isn't May's fault in writing, because it's true, but it's interesting how things change over time. 60 years ago women said, "why can't we control our fertility? Men get to do it all" and now they're saying, "why can't men control their fertility? We have to do it all."

As a side note, unrelated to this book, I have to link to this article by Mommy Life's Barbara Curtis about which was a better technological advance: the birth control pill or the washing machine. She is, in this post, responding to the Vatican's statement that the washing machine has done more for women than the birth control pill. I'm inclined to agree!
Read it here.

So there's my long-winded and somewhat rambling entry for "non-fictional book." Hope you enjoyed it! :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 13: A Fictional Book

I generally prefer to read non-fiction books rather than fiction stories. So most of the fiction books I read are children's books, and a favorite is "The Little House" by Virginia Lee Burton. It's such a sweet story about a little house personified and aging, but cared for by a loving family. I love the illustrations and how it shoes the passage of time. I especially remember watching the Disney video as a kid, and when I realized it was also a book, loving it even more.

Here's the Wikipedia article, and here is the Disney video:

Thursday, September 09, 2010


Of the aforementioned "crazy stories" involving my husband.

White Trash Community Group:

To see some more hilarity, check out Ande's blog:

A story

When Bill and I met I was a new 18-year old, and we were married when I was 20. So my "crazy, single life" was anything but. And I'm totally thankful for that. The only downside is I don't have a lot of crazy stories of random people. Most of my crazy stories involve Bill, and for that I am also thankful. He's pretty crazy. So the only time a guy, other than my husband, really showed interest in me was on a Caribbean cruise. I don't remember the specifics but I was on the cruise with my parents and brother David. We were hanging out in some lounge area and this guy who didn't seem "all there" approached me and we started chatting, I was just trying to be friendly. He starts asking me where I'm going on vacation, so I start naming off the ports the cruise will be visiting over the next week. Surprised he says, "Oh those are the same places I'm going!" OMG look how much we have in common!!


Friday, September 03, 2010

Yay for Amelia!!

I wanted to document that little Amelia is pretty much potty trained! This was a goal I wanted her to achieve in the next few months, and it was accomplished in no small part because of the help of my parents! My mom did a great job of keeping Amelia in underwear during the girls' last trip to Astoria, including reinforcing her with stickers when she had potty success. Thanks Mom! One less thing on my list for the fall!

Day 12: something I am OCD about

Something I am OCD about...had to think about this for a while. But I decided the thing I am most OCD about is my schedule. Not down to the nitty gritty, but the general schedule of my week.
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and "home days" and Tuesdays and Thursdays are outing days. Tuesdays are bible study day, which has been the case for almost 6 years, and Thursdays are grocery and errand day. For a long time Wednesdays were grocery day, but in the last 6 months it changed to Thursdays so I can take advantage of the produce sale at Cost Cutter. Finally switching my schedule so I can get better deals at the grocery store was a huge decision for me. When the schedule is thrown off, I just feel off and short-tempered.
In deciding Caley's school schedule, I figured our home days would become our school days. Now it's just a matter of keeping M, W, F sacred, not for the sake of my sanity, but for the sake of my children's education! Say no when something comes up if it's going to make the rest of the week stressful. Sit and plan, and make time to plan. Reminders to myself.

Day 11: A photo of me recently

This is me being bored while waiting for Bill to come home and the kids were still napping. Doesn't happen very often, but when it does, I don't know what to do with myself except take pictures. Most of the other pictures are of me making a silly face.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Day 10: a photo taken over 10 years ago

This picture is from my high school grad night, June 2000. The other lovely lady is my best friend Jennie. We still live within 30 minutes of each other and I'm so thankful for her friendship over the past 14 years!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010