Monday, November 30, 2009

A Month in Our Life: November 2009



Truly a month for thanksgiving, November brought us a new home with new roommates: Erika, Ticha, Andy, and two cats. I am so thankful for their generous hearts and offer to share their tiny, new (to them) home with two new people. We now live in a house where I can cook in the kitchen, do laundry, and play with my baby all at the same time. Each of our new roommates loves my baby (well, except the cats, although one seems to be warming up to him) and he loves playing with each of them. This makes for a wonderful gift of spare snippets of time where I can easily wash the dishes or organize a corner of the closet. Thank you!
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This move also means we are officially out of the burbs and into the Denver city limits. It's a far cry from living in DC - we're certainly not in the hood - but we are no longer surrounded by the materialistic excess that defines so much of the suburbs. Of course, we will miss Oma and Opa and Shooter the dog, as well as our friend and neighbor Lisa and her three super fun, rambunctious boys.

The past month was a huge boom months for my baby's vocabulary. We seem to have moved from A words to B words: bread and ball-ball and Bible and baby (meaning all children, not just babies) are favorites. But the all time favorite word of the month is basura (trash in Spanish).
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My baby actually runs down the sidewalk and turns into the alley yelling bura, bura because he knows there are dumpsters around the corner! He tells me pee pee and poo poo, refers to all fruit as apple, and said his first three-syllable word: Erika (who owns our new home).

A few pictures demonstrating other fun activities this month:




Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mamatoto - The First Year

June 25, 2008 - June 25, 2009

1 hour


1 day


1 week


1 month


2 months


3 months


4 months


5 months


6 months


7 months


8 months


9 months


10 months


11 months


1 year

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mamatoto

People often tell me, "I bet you can't wait until your baby is old enough for school, then you'll have some time to yourself." Actually, they're wrong. I often feel nobody understands what I am doing or why I am doing it. But nobody really needs to understand my life or even like it. I am responsible to God alone for how I raise my child. This article by Evangeline Johnson, printed in the November 2005 edition of Above Rubies, always encourages me to keep a godly perspective of motherhood. (You can find other great articles at www.AboveRubies.org.)


Friends With Who?

Are you amused by printed warnings that are apparently obvious? Warnings like "Do not put fingers in food processor" or the one I saw on the side of a septic tank, "No swimming allowed." Well, lo and behold, to add to the collection, I found one in the Bible. I laughed right out loud before I could help it.

It is in Titus 2, the famous passage where we are told to love our children. Have you ever stopped to think about that? Of course, all mothers love their children! Why tell them to do something they already do? Barring a few twisted women, all mothers would die for their children. What an obvious thing to write.

I thought I had better investigate. I found that the Greek word for love in this verse is philoteknos which literally means "to be a friend to your children." Her's the crutch. It's easy to love, but are we their friend?

The human heart cries out for friendship and God designs it to be met by... not the TV, not the dog... but the mother. The mother is God's first display of friendship to the world. Why? So our children will know how to be friends with God and friends to the people around them. By doing this, we either make or break society. We literally affect our whole culture. Instead of being a redundant statement in the Bible, it is one of the most important!

Friendship, at its most basic level, is hard to come by in today's families. Yet it is the highest cry of the human heart. What do friends do? They want to hang out together. But what do we see today? Children hanging out with TV... children hanging out with anything or anyone but their mother. Statistics reveal that over 50 percent of children less than two years of age have a TV in their bedroom!

The latest figures, via internet, show that in the last 30 years the average time parents spend with their children has dropped by 40 percent. This tells me that friendship has literally been shipped out the door. Our lives have become too busy!

Webster's Dictionary defines friendship three ways:

1.One who is attached to another by affection, which leads him to desire his company.
Are we attached or detached? My friend has a saying, "Wherever you are, be there!" We can easily miss the relationships we have right now by not embracing the present. Do we desire the company of our children or are we tolerating them until bedtime?

You may say, "Look, lady, "I'm around them all the frantic day. What do you want from me?"

What I propose is to "hang out" with your children, just like best friends, for one week! Lay down the phone from all your other friends and acquaintances and symbolically get on the phone to your children! Include them in whatever you are doing.

Boswell, the famous biographer of Samuel Johnson wrote about the best day of his life. It occurred one day when his dad went fishing with him. Boswell said that day changed his life forever. The rest of childhood was a blur, but that day..."that day my Dad was a friend to me and I learned what life was about through example." Some historian decided to track down the diary of Boswell's father to see how he reflected on the most important day of his famous son's life. The entry read, "Went fishing today - a whole day wasted!"

A lot of mothers think they are wasting their time. No, you are not! "But I'm cleaning my house, shining my tea pot." Many mothers are more of a friend to their house than their children. Yes, we must keep house, but you will notice that is further down the list in Titus 2 than loving your children. God always puts things in order of importance.

When we were first married my husband said, "We will include our children in everything we do. If we can't we won't do it!" Consequently, our children have gone to a lot of things other children have never gone to, and we have not gone to a lot of things that we could have gone to. Our children have learned to sleep anywhere and behave well. Remember the Word does not say to make friends with the church functions but with out children.

2.A companion who is kind, promoting the good of the other.

Friendhsip comes before discipline and order. Before you freak, let me explain. I am a firm believer in complete obedience. That goes without saying! However, it is far better to have friendship, than everything perfect with no relationship. That is dead meat!

Some belive that to be "buddy, buddy" with you child destroys order. Wrong. Do I propose they should start calling me by my first name? No. Respect is a must! Respect and obedience must come out of trusted friendship. They will then realize that discipline comes out of desiring to see the best for them. Discipline without relatinoship breeds rejection, which is the seedbed of rebellion. You may be able to enforce external compliance, but without friendship there is no real heart change. They might be sitting down on the outside, but they will still be standing up on the inside. Submission is a heart issue. No child on earth submits his heart willingly without the love of frienship.

3.Having a favorable opinion of them, noble opinion from a pure source.

Some friends tear each other down like it's their favorite thing to do. True friendships encourage each other - daily! Everybody yearns to be validated, worth-while and encouraged. I grew up on it. If children don't get it in the family, they will look for it somewhere else.

I have often thought that it would be great if every person could have their own funeral service before they die! I long for people to hear the beautiful words people say about them at their funerals, words they should have heard while they were alive. If only they knew how much they were loved, how talented they were, how beautiful they were etc. Let's not wait. Children long for encouragement and friendship from their mother.

There is a level of trust in friendship that can be damaged by the following:
  1. Outbursts of anger. And, on the flip side, the silent tratment. If anything kills friendship, it is these two. They are like a bad smell. We can put nice perfume on when we go out, but what if our children are getting stink bombs at home? Do not use your children as your emotional toxic waste dumps. Treat them like friends.
  2. Betrayed confidences. There is nothing worse than a child overhearing their mother talk badly about them to another person, even their father. It takes the very stuffing right out of them, then and there. Do not label your children, deal with them!
  3. Favoritism. This is extremely destructive. If your friend treats another better than you, it sours your friendship pretty fast. It is the same with your children.
Remember the obvious, "Don't use your hair dryer while you are in the shower and do be a friend to your children."

Your friend Vangi!

Evangeline Johnson
Primm Springs, Tennessee
Howard and Evangeline's 10 children are Zadok, Sharar, Rashida, Crusoe, Jireh, Arrow, Tiveria, Sahara, Iqara, and Saber Truth.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dairy

Problem: To pasteurize milk, workers heat it to 160 degrees for 45 minutes. This heating process not only kills bad bacteria, it also kills good bacteria, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. and alters the milk proteins, fatty acids, and amino acids. It destroys 50% of calcium, 50% of magnesium, 66% of vitamin A, 60% of vitamin B-complex (including folic acid), 50% of vitamin C, 66% of vitamin D, 90% of enzymes, and 95% of amino acids, altering the remaining 5% of amino acids. The resulting lack of enzymes means that those people whose bodies don't produce lactase (the digestive enzyme necessary to digest the milk sugar lactose) on their own cannot consume dairy products (termed lactose intolerance). Furthermore, the altered milk proteins cause dairy allergies in many people.

Problem: Homogenization breaks up whole milk's large butterfat globules into tiny particles that are easily suspended in the milk. This results in milk that doesn't need to be stirred and has a longer shelf life. However, because the resulting fat molecules are so small, they easily pass through the intestinal wall directly into the blood stream, where they build up as plaque inside arteries.

Problem: Today's dairy farmers inject their cows with antibiotics and growth hormones that unnaturally raise milk production from 500 pounds a year to 3,000 pounds a year. The milk produced by these cows is itself laced with hormones, which are often blamed for early onset of puberty, and antibiotics.

Solution: Organic raw milk. Modern sanitation standards, sterile holding tanks, milking technology, and bovine health standards have made pasteurization unnecessary in today's world. (At the time pasteurization was discovered, approximately 65% of cows had tuberculosis and 15% of cows had brucellosis.) Pasteurization typically drops the bacteria count to about 25,000 per cubic centimeter, but the count starts to rise as soon as the milk is cooled. (Because pasteurization also kills the good bacteria, they are less able to keep the bad bacteria count in check.) The FDA only requires the bacteria count be less than 75,000 at the time of sale. Certified raw milk, on the other hand, is required to have a bacteria count of less than 10,000. Therefore, raw milk is virtually guaranteed to have less bacteria than pasteurized milk. In fact, in the past several decades, all salmonella outbreaks and most listeria outbreaks traced to contaminated milk actually came from pasteurized milk.

Raw goat's milk is also a great alternative to cow's milk because it is significantly easier for humans to digest. While cow's milk digests in approximately 3 hours, goat's milk digests in only 20 minutes.

In What the Bible Says About Healthy Living, author Rex Russell, M.D., lists his milk preferences (from most preferable to least preferable) as follows:
  • Organic raw milk
  • Non-homogenized pasteurized milk
  • Pasteurized nonfat milk
  • Pasteurized homogenized milk
For local raw milk sources, visit www.RealMilk.com.