About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Wish I'd Known

A few years ago Brian and I visited Ireland, having no idea that either of us had any ancestors there. I wish I'd known then what I know now.

There's a good bit of Irish on both sides of my family with my mother's side going on back to Scotland. In fact, that side of the family has a rich history that is closely connected to Scotland's history.

But ... on my dad's side there is a rich history in Ireland. I knew I liked Ireland. Below is a discription of my Irish roots. Just wish I would have known so we could have visited Killkenny Castle, pictured above, the home of my Irish ancestors.
Sir Theobald I Fitzwalter 1st Baron Butler of Ireland Walter (1165 - 1206)

relationship to you: 24th great grandfather

Theobald II, 2nd Baron Butler, Chief Butler of Ireland Le Boteler (1200 - 1230)
Son of Sir Theobald I Fitzwalter 1st Baron Butler of Ireland

Theobald III Le Boteler / Butler / Botiller (1223 - 1285)
Son of Theobald II, 2nd Baron Butler, Chief Butler of Ireland

Theobald, 4th Butler of Ireland, of Boteler (1242 - 1285)
Son of Theobald III

Edmund, Earl of Carrick, Justicar of Ireland, Butler (1282 - 1321)
Son of Theobald, 4th Butler of Ireland, of

1st Earl of Ormond James Butler (1305 - 1338)
Son of Edmund, Earl of Carrick, Justicar of Ireland,

James (2nd Earl of Ormond) Butler (1331 - 1382)
Son of 1st Earl of Ormond James

Joan Butler (1360 - 1383)
Daughter of James (2nd Earl of Ormond)

Maolruanaidh OCarroll (1225 - 1443)
Son of Joan

William Ely OCarroll (1325 - )
Son of Maolruanaidh

Roderic OCarroll I (1308 - )
Son of William Ely

Daniel OCarroll (1467 - 1567)
Son of Roderic

Roderic Carroll (1487 - 1587)
Son of Daniel

Donough Carroll (1510 - )
Son of Roderic

Donogh Fitzjohn Carrol (1555 - )
Son of Donough

Daniel Tiege Carroll (1580 - 1610)
Son of Donogh Fitzjohn

Charles Carroll (1599 - 1665)
Son of Daniel Tiege

Bridget Carroll (1631 - )
Daughter of Charles

Thomas Nowland (1648 - 1728)
Son of Bridget

Daniel Nowland (1695 - )
Son of Thomas

Augastine Nowland (1727 - )
Son of Daniel

John Nolan (1753 - 1819)
Son of Augastine

Nancy Nolan (1820 - 1865)
Daughter of John

China Owens (1849 - 1901)
Daughter of Nancy

William Linzy Dyson (1884 - 1973)
Son of China

Charles Clifford Dyson (1934 - )
Son of William Linzy

Amber Lynn Dyson (1961 - )
Daughter of Charles Clifford

On  a funny note, Sir Theobald I Fitzwalter 1st Baron Butler of Ireland Walter was married to Maude Baroness Butler Vavasour, who later married Fulk FitzWarin.  Fulk was the person that the legend of Robin Hood was based on and Maude was the person Maid Marion was based on.  Maude is in my linage and, you guessed it, Fulk is in Brian's.  I'm thinking we should dress as Robin Hood and Maid Marion next Halloween.  :0)

The Butler dynasty refers to the several branches of the Butler family that has its origins in the Cambro-Norman family that participated in the Norman invasion of Ireland in the 12th century. Variant spellings include le Boteler and le Botiller. The surname has its origins in the hereditary office of butler of Ireland. The family originates with Theobald Walter, 1st Baron Butler.

Butlers of Ormond

This is the senior branch of the family and later produced, Earls, Marquesses and Dukes of Ormond. Since 1391, the family was based in their stronghold of Kilkenny Castle. From this position, they were able to control the surrounding Gaelic kingdoms of Ormond, Éile, Ikerrin and part of Osraige. The last Butler quit the castle and Ireland permanently in 1935.


The family held the titles of Chief Butler of Ireland and Baron Butler. Prior to the creation of the Earldom of Ormond, the 1st earl's father had been created the first Earl of Carrick. However, this title did not pass to James Butler. After a gap of 7 years following his father's death, James was rewarded with an earldom in his own right - Ormond. Subsidiary titles for the earl in the Peerage of Ireland were added: Earl of Ossory (1538) and Viscount Thurles (1536).

Created Marquess of Ormond in 1642, which title became extinct in 1758.

Created Duke of Ormonde in 1661, and created the Duke of Ormonde in the Peerage of England in 1682. After 1682, the spelling "Ormonde" was used almost universally. The title was forfeit in 1715. Subsidiary titles for the duke in the Peerage of England were added: Earl of Brecknock (1660) and Baron Butler (1660).

In 1715 the second duke was attainted and his English peerages declared forfeit. In 1758 the de jure third duke (Irish) died and the dukedom and marquessate became extinct.

The eighteenth earl was created as Baron Ormonde, of Llanthony, in the county of Monmouth in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1821 on the coronation of George IV. Later, he was created the Marquess of Ormonde in the Peerage of Ireland in 1816. On his death in 1820, that title became extinct and the earldoms passed to his brother, for whom the title "Marquess of Ormonde" was re-created in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1825. That title became extinct in 1997, while the earldom became dormant.


The Lordship of Ireland in 1450

Norman Lordships and native kingdoms.The patrimony of the Butlers of Ormond encompassed most of the modern counties of North Tipperary, South Tipperary, Kilkenny and parts of County Carlow. Only the earldom of Desmond would have had more extensive land holdings than Ormond in the Lordship and Kingdom of Ireland. Following the successful Norman Invasion, the ancient Gaelic lands would have been annexed to the crown and passed as baronies or fiefs to the supporters of the crown (the victorious barons). These (administrative) baronies corresponded to the (Irish) túath ("country") or trícha cét ("thirty hundred [men]") of a Gaelic chief, for example Éile. However, sometimes baronies combined small territories, or split a large one, or were created without regard for the earlier boundaries. In the Norman period most Gaelic chiefs were killed, expelled, or subordinated by the new Norman lord; in the Tudor period, many Gaelic and Hibernicized lords retained their land by pledging allegiance to the Crown under the policy of surrender and regrant.

In 1837, the remains of the following Bulter castles were recorded in County Kilkenny alone by Lewis.

"Granny or Grandison Castle, in Iverk, is one of the most considerable: it was the residence of Margaret Fitzgerald, the great Countess of Ormond, a lady of uncommon talents and qualifications, who is said also to have built the castles of Balleen and Coolkill, with several others of minor note. The Butlers owned the castles of Knocktopher, Gowran, Dunfert, Poolestown, Nehorn, Callan, Ballycallan, Damagh, Kilmanagh, and Urlingford..... The castles of Drumroe, Barrowmount, and Low Grange, are said to have belonged to Lord Galmoy;"[1]

Early figures

Theobald Walter, 1st Baron Butler

Theobald le Botiller, 2nd Chief Butler of Ireland

Theobald Butler, 3rd Chief Butler of Ireland

Theobald Butler, 4th Chief Butler of Ireland

Edmund Butler, Earl of Carrick, 6th Chief Butler of Ireland and second son of the 4th Chief Butler .

James Butler, 1st Earl of Ormond and 7th Chief Butler of Ireland.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

My 20th Great-Grandfather Was A Rebel

And that's not a bad thing. There are some things you should rebel against.
(This is primarily for my family to see so sorry if I bore everyone else with the family history stuff)

Apparently our family has a rich Scottish history and are related to some Kings of Scotland as well as the patriot William "Braveheart" Wallace.

William Wallace (1272 - 1305)
relationship to you: 20th great grandfather

Elizabeth Wallace (1295 - 1320)
Daughter of William

Lord Richard Galloway Ball (1320 - )
Son of Elizabeth

Sir William Knt Ball (1360 - 1420)
Son of Lord Richard Galloway

LORD John BALL (1405 - 1465)
Son of Sir William Knt

Lord WILLIAM Joseph BALL (1450 - 1480)
Son of LORD John

Lord Robert William Ball (1475 - 1546)
Son of Lord WILLIAM Joseph

William Ball (1505 - 1550)
Son of Lord Robert William

John Paris Ball (1525 - 1599)
Son of William

John Ball (1548 - 1628)
Son of John Paris

William Ball (1573 - 1648)
Son of John

Colonel WILLIAM Atherold BALL (1615 - 1680)
Son of William

Richard Ball (1645 - 1677)
Son of Colonel WILLIAM Atherold

John Ball (1670 - 1742)
Son of Richard

George Ball (1720 - 1801)
Son of John

John Ball (1756 - 1809)
Son of George

Kezziah Ball (1790 - 1856)
Daughter of John

John Gray (1818 - 1856)
Son of Kezziah

Albert Commodore Gray (1845 - 1909)
Son of John

Roy Gray (1884 - 1921)
Son of Albert Commodore

Fern Lorene Gray (1909 - )
Daughter of Roy

Judith Lynn Davis (1938 - )
Daughter of Fern Lorene

Amber Lynn Dyson (1961 - )
Daughter of Judith Lynn

There are some pretty interesting stories of several of the people in this line but the one most American's are aware of (thanks to Hollywood) is that of William Wallace. Here is his story.

William Wallace was born on 1272 in Ellerslie, Scotland. He was the second of three sons of Sir Malcolm Wallace (a minor laird possessing little political power and nobility) and Margaret de Crauford (the daughter of Sir Reginald de Crauford, the Sheriff of Ayr).

Edward I 'Longshanks' succeeded the English throne on 16 November 1272 at the age of thirty-five while in Palestine and crowned on 19 August 1274 at Westminster Abbey, London, England. King Edward I was later to become William Wallace's deadliest adversary.

During this period Scotland was a peaceful and prosperous kingdom under the rule of King Alexander III.

Initially William Wallace was educated at home by his mother, then given schooling and religious education by the monks of Paisley Abbey. Though William Wallace could read and write he was probably more interested in activities such as horsemanship, hunting and swordmanship - sparring with his elder brother Sir Malcolm Wallace Jr. and younger brother John Wallace (later to become one of his trusted comrade-in-arms).

On 19 March 1286, King Alexander III's death plunged Scotland into a state of turmoil. The main perpetrators were Robert Bruce 'the Competitor', 5th Lord Annandale (grandfather of the future king of Scotland - Robert Bruce) in the South and the Comyn's in the North, they were both fighting for rights to claim the Scottish Crown.

The situation escalated when Robert Bruce 'the Competitor' was excluded from being one the Guardians of the Peace (consisting of two earls, two barons and two bishops, appointed by the government of the child monarch, Queen Margaret of Scotland 'the Maid of Norway'). Therefore Robert Bruce 'the Competitor' together with his eldest son, Robert Bruce, the 1st Earl of Carrick (father of the future King of Scotland - Robert Bruce) and co-conspirators instigated the revolt of the Turnberry Band in September 1286. The Guardians of the Peace sensed a challenge to the Scottish Crown and mobilized an army to its defense in the spring of 1287. By the time of the army of law and order were fully mobilized the revolt of the Turnberry Band had lost its momentum. Then Scotland lulled into an uneasy peace for about three years.

When William Wallace was seventeen or eighteen years old he traveled to Dunipace to further his education and lodged with an uncle (a younger brother of his father), a cleric at the chapelry of Cambuskenneth Abbey. At this stage William Wallace demonstrated an aptitude for a career in the Church (a typical role for landless younger sons), e.g. expressing his intellect by showing his command of French, Gaelic and Latin. The credit for initiating William Wallace's passionate desire for liberty goes to his uncle-priest; this can be summed up from his favourite phrase:

Dico tibi verum, libertas optima rerum;Nunquam servili sub nexu vivito, fili.

My son, I tell thee soothfastlie,No gift is like to libertie;Then never live in slaverie.

During 1289, protracted negotiations occurred between King Edward I and King Eirik II of Norway. The negotiations were about the marriage of King Edward I's five years old son, Edward, the Prince of Wales (later to become Edward II) and the six years old Queen Margaret of Scotland, King Eirik II of Norway's daughter. These negotiations resulted in the Treaty of Birgham being ratified on 28 August 1290.

Then Queen Margaret of Scotland traveled from Norway for her arranged marriage with Edward, the Prince of Wales. During the voyage she succumbed to an illness and on 26 September 1290 she died, shortly after landing on Orkney.

Then the main contenders for the Scottish Crown were John Balliol and Robert Bruce 'the Competitor' (both factions were prepared to seize the Scottish Crown by force), in total there were thirteen contenders.

Then a naïve William Fraser, Bishop of St. Andrews (one of the Guardians of the Peace) invited King Edward I to assess each contender's rights to the Scottish Crown. King Edward I agreed, but he had to be regarded as the Lord Paramount of Scotland in order to act as the adviser on the successor of the Scottish Crown. Finally all the contenders readily acknowledged King Edward I as their Lord Paramount and were willing to receive his judgement. A factor that might have influenced their decision was the fact that the majority of the contenders had substantially larger estates in England than in Scotland and therefore would have lost their English estates if they defied King Edward I.

Then on 11 June 1291, acting as the Lord Paramount of Scotland, King Edward I ordered that on a "temporary basis" every Scottish Castle to be placed under his control and all Scottish officials to be replaced by English ones. Two days later, in Upsettlington, the Guardians of the Peace and the leading nobility of Scotland gathered to swear allegiance to King Edward I as their superior and direct lord of the kingdom of Scotland. All Scots were also required to pay homage to King Edward I as their Lord Paramount, either in person or at one of the designated centres in Ayr, Dumfries, Inverness and Perth by 27 July 1291.

Sir Reginald de Crauford in his capacity as the Sheriff of Ayr administered the homage to be paid to Edward I and would have immediately noticed that his son-in-law's name didn't appear in the list that complied. Then Sir Malcolm Wallace and his eldest son fled north to Lennox to avoid the imposed penalties for not complying to swear to the oath. This resulted in Lady Wallace and her younger sons (William and John) having to be sheltered by her father, Sir Reginald de Crauford.

Then Sir Reginald de Crauford sent the eighteen or nineteen years old William Wallace to Kilspindle in the Carse of Gowrie, together with his mother and younger brother to reside with an uncle of Lady Wallace. William Wallace then attended the nearby church school in Dundee, to be doctrine in the ways of the priesthood. It was at this church-school that William Wallace met John Blair, who later becomes a Benedictine monk then Wallace's future chaplain and comrade in arms.

In the latter months of 1291, an English knight called Fenwick murdered Sir Malcolm Wallace at Loudoun Hill, because of his unwillingness to yield to King Edward I's authority.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Yes, There is a Santa ... or at Least a Bunch of Elves

Oh my ... what do I even say ....
After coming home from the Christmas Eve service tonight I was sitting at my desk when Brian kept insisting that he needed to take a picture of me beside the Christmas tree.
I told him he was nuts and that it wasn't going to happen.
He persisted. Never mind that I had already changed into my grubby pj's.
(Whitlock will appreciate the Ohio State shirt though.)
So ... I walked in to see what all the fuss was about and saw this ....

a huge box, accompanied by a smaller box and an envelope with my name on it.

I gave him a dirty look because we agreed not to do this.

That's when he began clicking pictures and blinding me with the flash.

this is me, trying to save my sight.

Then I opened the envelope and saw that the gifts were from

the Pine Ridge crew.

Next question - "do I dare open it"???

I did.

and found a mouse.
The good kind of mouse, not the kind that run through your house eating things.
And in the big box ...

was a printer.

A nice printer.

A really, really, really nice printer.

Their original plan was to buy me a laptop but they told Brian this two days after we ordered one with Brian's Christmas bonus.

So they got a printer.

And if they only knew .....

My current printer is SO ghetto. It can only print ONE piece of paper at a time and with that I have to physically put my fingers halfway into it and hold the paper down so that it will feed through - otherwise it jams.

But with this baby ... oh wow ...

I bet they expect me to work now, huh?

Seriously - THANK YOU guys. You really shouldn't have. No really, you shouldn't have.

But I'm glad you did.

You still have bathroom duty on the trip though. ;)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Family History from England

Thomas Palmer is one of my relatives that came over from England. Below is an account of that trip. Apparently he, his wife, and 6 year old daughter boarded the ship for America in November of 1621.

Thomas Palmer, born 1590 in London England and died either in N. Farnham Parish or Accomac Co., VA 1633.
Thomas married Joane Jordan, born between 1608 and 1613 in England.

Thomas, wife Joane and six year old daughter, Priscilla arrived in VA aboard ship "Tyger" in Nov 1621;

This is a copy of the original Muster Roll (click to enlarge)

They lived at "Jordan's Journey " in Dominion of VA near City Point, Charles City Co. Feb. 16, 1622/23; 2. Oct. 16, 1629

This is a map of the area (click to enlarge)

Member of House of Burgesses; represented Shirley Hundred Island; 1622-29

Commander & Captain of Company of Shirley Hundreds Island troop

This document shows him living there (click to enlarge)

1630 Represented Shirley Hundred Main.

Mar 1630/31 appointed Justice for the monthly courts for upper portion of counties of Henrico & Charles City, VA;

Died 1633. Only wife Joane & daughter Priscilla are mentioned--Joane listed as head rights under John Baker as patentee.

Here is the link :

Thomas Palmer (1580 - 1633)
relationship to you: 10th great grandfather

John Palmer (1633 - 1686)
Son of Thomas
Robert Palmer (1662 - 1731)
Son of John
Parmenas Palmer (1719 - 1761)
Son of Robert
Joshua Palmer (1747 - 1835)
Son of Parmenas
Parmenus Palmer (1790 - 1840)
Son of Joshua
Susannah Palmer (1800 - 1849)
Daughter of Parmenus
Elizabeth McCafferty (1825 - 1876)
Daughter of Susannah
Albert Commodore Gray (1845 - 1909)
Son of Elizabeth
Roy Gray (1884 - 1921)
Son of Albert Commodore
Fern Loraine Gray (1909 - )
Daughter of Roy
Judith Lynn Davis (1938 - )
Daughter of Fern Loraine
Amber Lynn Dyson (1961 - )
Daughter of Judith Lynn


For Christmas I gave Brian a subscription to Ancestry.com. While he's been busy researching his genealogy, I've been busy working on my side of things ... and what I've found is interesting.

It seems that family on my mother's side goes back to England with some funny stories to go along with it. Today I found this particular link back to Edmund Moodye in England in the early 1500's. Who was Edmund Moodye, you ask? Well, basically a nobody. Edmund was just a lowly knave in King Henry the 8th's court. While out running along the sides of the horses of the titled men, Henry in full armour was crossing a creek and the horse slipped, thus dumping the King into the water. He could not get up without help, being a tad heavy in weight and with armour. Edmund ran over and held the King's head above the water until everyone could dismount and help right the King. For this bravery, he was awarded the title SIR EDMUND, given a manor at BURY ST EDMUND (a town), and a pension. The manor is STILL around and several generations later was "sold to George Washington's ancestors". A heraldity shield was also given.

A more humorous story suggests that King Henry the 8th was out Hawking (a sport) and tried to pole vault the creek when he went head first into it and got his head stuck in the mud.

Either way, our dear old Edmund saved the life of the king and was given all the honor due him.

Edmund Moodye (1499 - 1562)
relationship to you: 15th great grandfather
Richard Moody (1528 - 1574)
Son of Edmund
George Moody (1560 - 1607)
Son of Richard
Samuel Moody (1592 - 1657)
Son of George
John Moody (1640 - 1679)
Son of Samuel
Frances Moody (1663 - )
Daughter of John
Elizabeth Man (1659 - 1735)
Daughter of Frances
Thomas DRAPER (1699 - 1743)
Son of Elizabeth
Mary Ann Draper (1718 - 1761)
Daughter of Thomas
Joshua Palmer (1747 - 1835)
Son of Mary Ann
Parmenus Palmer (1790 - 1840)
Son of Joshua
Susannah Palmer (1800 - 1849)
Daughter of Parmenus
Elizabeth McCafferty (1825 - 1876)
Daughter of Susannah
Albert Commodore Gray (1845 - 1909)
Son of Elizabeth
Roy Gray (1884 - 1921)
Son of Albert Commodore
Fern Loraine Gray (1909 - )
Daughter of Roy
Judith Lynn Davis (1938 - )
Daughter of Fern Loraine
Amber Lynn Dyson (1961 - )
Daughter of Judith Lynn

The shield given to Edmund

The letter pronouncing him "Sir" Edmund Moodye

Other tales that I've heard for years are also apparently true. I've always heard that we were related to Sir Francis Drake and lo and behold, we did find this link:

Sir Francis Drake (1540 - 1596)
relationship to you: 1st cousin 12x removed
Edmund Drake (1520 - 1566)
Father of Sir Francis
John Drake (1460 - 1554)
Father of Edmund
John Drake (1500 - 1588)
Child of John
Bernard Drake (1528 - 1586)
Son of John
John Drake (1566 - 1628)
Son of Bernard
William Drake (1596 - 1640)
Son of John
Thomas Drake (1687 - )
Son of William
William Sr Drake (1707 - 1770)
Son of Thomas
John Drake (1732 - 1792)
Son of William Sr
William Drake (1756 - 1829)
Son of John
Abram Abraham Drake (1799 - )
Son of William
Johnson Drake (1828 - 1898)
Son of Abram Abraham
Susie Lizabeth Drake (1876 - 1930)
Daughter of Johnson
George Lovest Davis (1902 - 1972)
Son of Susie Lizabeth
Judith Lynn Davis (1938 - )
Daughter of George Lovest
Amber Lynn Dyson (1961 - )
Daughter of Judith Lynn

Who was Sir Francis Drake? Well, that depends on who you ask. To the English he was something of a hero - to the Spanish, he was a pirate. He was an English sea captain, privateer, navigator, slaver, a renowned pirate, and a politician of the Elizabethan era. Elizabeth I of England awarded Drake a knighthood in 1581.

Being Christmas, its also quite interesting to look at the genealogy of Jesus. He has some interesting folks in his linage too. I do believe there's something to family influence through both nature and nurture but ultimately, who we are is up to us and it is our mission to be the person God created us to be.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas 2010 (Part One)

We celebrated Christmas at our house yesterday. It was a good time but we missed Logan and Jenn. Logan is sick with a high fever and is in fact, very close to having meningitis. Pray for him. He doesn't have insurance, is in the Police Academy and working. He's feeling the pinch to need to work to pay bills but is way too sick to go in. We'll celebrate Christmas with them on Christmas Day.
At the risk of having waaayyy too many baby pictures ... here is our first Christmas with the twins.

Owen opening his gift

Eli opening his gift

First visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus
(thanks Toby & Maxine)

Owen thinks this guy is a little strange

Mrs. Claus is cool though

Eli is checking him out
.... thinking about it ...
and decided that he's one of the good guys

Eli also likes cold, hard, cash

Cody made me a stable for Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus

and Brian gave me a cycling helmet to keep my head from being splattered.
It has tattoo designs on it and the wording ... well ... seemed appropriate.

Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

I Think I Like This

I was so impressed with the homemade laundry detergent that I began researching other homemade cleaning supplies.

And I found a homemade toilet bowl cleaner. I've tested it and it works well, is cheap and easy to mix up.

Here is what I did:

  • Bought an empty squeeze bottle (this one happens to be tilted too to make it even better)
  • Bought a bottle of Castile soap at Target for $9.99 (pictured) Its cost a bit but it will last a very long time
  • And used some Baking Soda that I already had.

In a glass mixing up with a spout, mix 3/4 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of water. Stir so that its thick. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the castile soap to this and stir again. Pour into the squeeze bottle and you're done!

To use it, just squeeze it around the inside of the toilet bowl like you would the store-bought stuff, let it sit a few minutes and scrub with the toilet brush. It clings to the bowl just like the store-bought stuff. Baking soda has been a well known cleaner and deodorizer for many, many years.

You should note that while the toilet bowl is clean and smells clean, it is not disinfected. To do that you can pour in some bleach after you clean it.

While the castile soap was about $10, you only use 1/2 teaspoon of it so it will last a long time.

I like it because it works, its cheap, and it doesn't take but a few minutes to make - and its "greener" and non-toxic to pets or kids.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Crazy Love

We've been going through the book, Crazy Love by Francis Chan on Sunday mornings. Its a great book. I'm not easily impressed, but I came across this book quite by accident and well ... I was impressed. I still don't know what the book is about because I've not read it all. I'm only on Chapter 3 and I've only watched the videos that go with the chapter I'm on ... so ... I'll let you know if I change my mind about it when I finish. ;)

Today's discussion was interesting. The question we were discussing was, "when did you 'get it' and realize that you LOVE God - not just believe in Him or serve Him, but LOVE Him?

Some were honest and said they didn't think they'd ever really "gotten it". I imagine that if most people who fill pews on Sunday were honest they'd admit the same.

Having kids and/or grandbabies helps. I think it would be tough to imagine a "crazy love" without kids. I know when Eli and Owen were born I watched them sleeping in their crib and thought "I'd die for these babies. And I'd kill for them too ... and not think twice about either".

Crazy love to me means that you think about the one you love all the time. You can't wait to see them. Can't wait to spend time with them. And you look completely silly too - but you don't care. You do weird things - things that people who don't understand, don't understand. People shake their heads and you and say things like, "oh she's one of those (grandma)".

I suppose its no different when we're crazy in love with God. Does your relationship with God look like this?
This post isn't meant to be legalistic, as in, you'd better be like this or you're not a good Christian. Its just something to think about ...

Parenting 102

Before I continue with the parenting topic, let me reiterate that I do not think I'm in a place to give "advice". I consider this more of a "what I've learned" topic rather than advice. Things tend to look different when you're a little older and I'm not sure I would have not had the same opinion when I was a young parent. I think that may be due to the fact that by the time you get older you've sorted out what things are important and what things aren't.

For instance one of my big regrets in raising my two boys was that I too often punished them for being too loud in church. I'm not sure what's "too loud" and what's not but I am pretty sure that the only people who get really bent out of shape about a kid being a kid in church is their parents and really cranky people who are just going to be cranky no matter what. I've discovered that most people really don't mind a young child playing in the seat or even talking quietly. Now if they're crying or talking loudly they probably should be taken out of the service but DO NOT punish them for that. They're doing what they're supposed to be doing - being a kid. Its simply not fair and not healthy and not right to expect a child to sit quietly throughout an hour to an hour and a half service. I know when I punished my kids for being too loud in church, it was because I was concerned about what other people thought of my mothering. It had little to nothing to do with my kid. I bet I'm not the only young mother who has fallen to that .... and folks, that is not a good reason to punish your child.

I noticed something else the other day. I was sitting in the narthex at church when a young mother was showing her very young child the Christmas decorations at church. For those who don't attend our church, we have several trees that make up a forest with snow along the sides of the narthex and in those trees are placed several little ceramic animals. The mother wanted her child to see the pretty decorations but kept tell her not to touch them. And of course, the child was determined to touch the animals as many times as possible. Her mother would smack her little hand every time she did, which was so many times I lost count. I sat and watched and laughed inside at how people are so different. I remember a few years ago when I was babysitting a small child for a friend and how we had sat in the floor of that same narthex, next to the same display, pulled out the animals and played with them.

You see, kids learn at church in different ways than we adults do. They learn by touching, exploring, holding, and by how we adults respond to their childlike ways. Ever seen how a baby will touch your face all the time? Its his way of learning about you. Its hard for kids to connect with something if they can't touch it.

When my kids were born I traded in my white ceramic nativity set for a plastic one that they could pick up and play with. I wanted them to be able to have their hands all over that thing if they wanted to. And they did. I particularly remember how baby Jesus would always go missing every year - until we would discover him in Mary's arms. Logan was not content to let him lay in a manger - he apparently felt that Mary should hold her baby and every year would take him out of the manger and put him in Mary's arms. It was his way of being a part of the Christmas story. He wasn't aware of that at the time, but that's exactly what he was doing.
Let your kids touch things. If they break, fix it or replace it. Whatever it is, its not more important that you're child.
Now you say, that's all very well and good Amber but children need to learn to respect other people's property. Of course they do. I just don't think that church is the place for that. Teach them that when you visit other people's homes. Church is God's house. And he welcomes those little one's and so should we.
If we're really all about souls, we should consider that our most likely place to reach people for Christ is right there in our children.
Oh and speaking of church - take your children to church, don't send them. Kids learn way more from our actions than from our words. The world if full of people who regret not taking their kids to church. I know of few if any who regret taking them. Whatever it is that is taking you from church ... its not worth your child's spiritual development and its certainly not worth their soul. But the church isn't what it should be, ou say? Well neither are the schools, or little league games or anything thing else in life. There will be plenty of time to teach them how to deal with all the imperfections and disappointments that you've experienced at church when they're older. When they're little - take them. And make sure its a kid-friendly church you take them to.

If you missed my first post about parenting it can be found here.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Being Grandparents is the Best

This one is hilarious!