(Watch out...they just might!)
Friday, April 30, 2010
(Watch out...they just might!)
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Weird goal, right? I know, but it's something that my younger sister and I would talk about wanting. Geez, we were weird kids...most little girls would dream of long hair and curvy figures, but nope, we wanted collarbones and armpits. Ha!
What are some of your body goals (both strange and normal!)
Monday, April 26, 2010
For me, religion has always been about faith. And faith is about believing in what you can't see, touch, feel, smell, etc. Any time there is something about my faith I can not fully grasp (like the Trinity, or annulments) I always just agree to live by the Church's teaching on the matter and will ask God for a clear answer if/when I get to Heaven. I guess I sort of have the faith of a child.
My husband, however is a truth seeker. He has a very strong faith and has always questioned why things are the way they are. He searches out the reasons behind the beliefs and researches and discusses topics until he gets a satisfactory answer. He loves theology and philosophy, and that is what makes him such a great religion teacher. He has already studied the proofs for God's existence, and questioned the morality of human nature, so that when his students ask him something - he is ready with a logical response.
I think both approaches to faith are fine, as long as they are all based on truth.
What makes both of us crazy is when people accept ALL religious beliefs as truth. That can not be possible. If I said the sky is blue, and you say the sky is green, only one of us is stating the truth. And we can't both be right. The same theory holds true to religion. If I say there is a God, and you say there isn't a God - one of us is correct and one is not. We can't both be correct in saying the complete opposite of each other.
I think this is one of the reasons that society is so "messed up". Everybody feels that whatever anybody thinks about religion is just fine, they are all acceptable, they are all true.
But what happens when that philosophy starts to spill over into other areas, such as sin. We don't want to be "judgemental" when someone is sinning, so we ignore it and begin to accept it. And while we should ALWAYS love the person who sins, we should NEVER love the sin. But we are so accustomed to stay out of it for fear of being labeled as hateful or judgemental that what we are really doing is helping to perpetuate it.
Yes, we are human beings with free will, and God has given us the right to choose what we want to believe. But just because we can choose it doesn't mean we always make the right choice. There is absolute truth and fallacy, there is good and evil, and there are facts and opinions. Let's not get them confused.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Andrew at age 3.
Hanging around at age 5 (and a half!).
Eamon swings around 18 months.
And still enjoys swinging at 3 (and a half) with his cousin, Maeve, also 3.
And Maggie at 6 months - gosh this little girl just kills me!
And growing up way too fast at age 2, with her cousin, Tommy, age 3.
Hug your kids, praise them, show them you love them through discipline and rewards. Because in this life, nothing else matters more.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
I walked into the family room the other day to check on Maggie because she was being awfully quiet ~ which usually means she's up to no good. She was very nicely sitting on the couch looking at her Curious George book.
Me: Maggie, What are you doing?
Maggie: I reading.
Me: Where are your pants?
Maggie: I took them off.
Me: Why did you take your pants off?
Maggie: Because I was shaking my butt!
P.S. We are not allowed to say "butt" in the Martin house, so I corrected her through my giggles, which was very impactful, I'm sure ;)
Monday, April 19, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
One more funny from Eamon
What are you thankful for today?
Monday, April 12, 2010
"WHOA, our very own swing set?"
Thursday, April 8, 2010
NFP: Natural Parenting Can Start Before Conception
by Katie Kimball on April 7, 2010
in health & nutrition
Some might label my parenting style as “green” or “crunchy,” but all labels aside, I simply seek to be a good steward of the earth’s resources and keep my kids safe from toxins and as healthy as possible.
What I do, I want to do naturally.
For those who are proponents of unmedicated childbirth, breastfeeding, babywearing, and wooden toys, it only makes sense that natural parenting would begin before conception.
There are plenty of opportunities for considering parenting before the first pink plus sign.
Wouldn’t you want your reproductive system to receive the same natural care you give your nutrition and your children’s health?
Oral contraception is the only drug approved to treat a healthy condition as a disease and rewire a normally working system so that it malfunctions. The Pill’s effectiveness lies in ultimately stopping your reproductive system from performing properly, thus preventing pregnancy.
For those who want to be natural parents, who don’t give their children over-the-counter medications or antibiotics when we can avoid them, it is a natural extension of our parenting philosophy to keep our children’s first home – the womb – chemical free.
It’s organic parenting at its finest.
To Conceive or Not to Conceive, Naturally
Everyone knows that sex can result in pregnancy, and each couple must make their own decision about whether they want to achieve or avoid pregnancy at a given time. If children just aren’t in your short-term plan, you have some options to prevent or avoid pregnancy, and each impacts the earth and your health in various ways.
Impact on Earth
Impact on Body
Increased estrogen in water supply (that cannot be filtered out), plastic waste from packaging, “feminized” and sterile fish – possible serious animal kingdom impact
Irritability, decreased sex drive, increased risk of many diseases, especially breast cancer, infertility/trouble getting pregnant later, losing already fertilized eggs
Condoms, other barrier methods
Plastic waste never breaks down, spermicidal pollution
Invasive chemicals and materials – what might be leaching from these items?
Injected Hormonal Contraceptive
Increased hormones in water supply, hazardous medical waste
Similar to oral
Natural Family Planning/Fertility Awareness
Zero negative impact; see positives below
When my husband and I got married, there was never any question about our choice of birth control. I was “green” enough to know that I never wanted to put drugs in my body when I didn’t need them, and my husband didn’t want to ask me to deal with all the possible side effects of oral contraception.
Our parenting began when we used to pray for our possible future children as we took evening walks as freshmen in college. Long before we even thought about registering for a baby sling, our parenting was “natural” as we made the choice each month whether to seek or avoid a pregnancy and act accordingly, without the help of drugs or products. I had never purchased organic spinach, but I was keeping my uninhabited womb as organic as possible with natural family planning.
What is Natural Family Planning?
Natural Family Planning, or Fertility Awareness, is the process of observing a woman’s naturally occurring physical cues to fertility, including basal body temperature, cervical mucus, and other symptoms. Fertilization can only occur during a 24-hour stage each cycle, and fertility is easy to determine for a few days on either side of that window.
Charts help a couple keep track of the woman’s fertile and infertile stages, and they can decide whether or not to be intimate based on their desire for a child (or not) at the time. Natural Family Planning is not the rhythm or calendar method.
Benefits of Natural Family Planning
Beyond simply avoiding the harmful physical side effects of artificial contraception, the advantages of Natural Family Planning are many:
For the Woman:
Her body is respected and preserved from chemicals, and she can become aware of health issues related to her fertility, including stress-induced illnesses and more. The decision to avoid pregnancy is completely and immediately reversible. Financial cost = $0.
For the Environment:
There are no chemicals, no packaging waste, and no trips to the doctor for injections or prescriptions. Breastfeeding infertility, often encouraged in natural family planning, even results in fewer feminine products entering the landfills and sewage systems. Contrast this with oral contraceptives, which have caused an increase in estrogen in our water supply that is very troubling. Estrogen (and other synthetic hormones) cannot be filtered out of drinking water, so children and adults alike who drink city water are getting greater exposure to these female hormones.
With 100 million women worldwide using oral contraceptives, this risk is no small potatoes.
For the Marriage:
Longevity is the major benefit: less than 5% of NFP users divorce, compared to 50% in the rest of the (American) population. This is likely a result of NFP’s other marital benefits:
increased communication (discussing “child or no child” every month)
deep respect for one another and each one’s life-giving abilities
cycles of “courtship” and “honeymoon” keep the intimacy fresh, as couples abstain during the fertile period (Yes, when choosing to avoid, it’s like a honeymoon when the fertile phase is over!)
the self-discipline practiced through intermittent abstinence increases both spouses’ self-control in other aspects of life
decreased fear of unwanted pregnancy – you know immediately if you are taking a “risk” or not, unlike the failure rate of oral contraceptives
Information on Natural Family Planning
I cannot say enough good things about NFP. If you truly want an organic, natural home, consider learning about how your body can tell you when you are fertile and when you are not. There are a few different methods, all 99% or more effective at achieving the desired result:
Sympto-Thermal Method (see the Couple to Couple League for classes in your area)
NaPro Technology/Billings Ovulation Method (see the Creighton Model FertilityCare System for more information)
Ovulation Method (see a 27-minute video here to get a grip on the basics)
How is NFP different than contraception?
Find a doctor who will be able to work with you as you strive to have organic fertility.
This may be a touchy subject for comments. I do encourage discussion and assume everyone will be respectful with their opinions. I welcome any questions for me as an NFP user.
I am indebted to Colleen Martin of Martin Family Moments for her connection between NFP and “going organic”.