Monday, February 27, 2012

Gender Fender Bender

I am pretty worked up about an article I read via Facebook, via Tiny Prints, via

First of all, as many of the fans of Tiny Prints pointed out, stick with making great prints and cards, skip the other agendas.  Their job is to make paper look great. 

So, here's the article

And here is where I open my can of whoop ass:

Where to even begin?!  So, these "liberated", free-thinking, "gender-neutral" parents decide to raise their "infant" as a non-gender until the age of 5 when they "reveal" his gender due to a kindergarten application process.  They wanted him, Sasha, to grow up unbiased in gender until he was old enough to choose, therefore they did not allow certain toys such as Barbies or fire trucks.  Last time I looked, you know, flipped a truck upside down, I just never seemed to come across genitalia.  Who knew fire trucks had penis' but apparently that is what these parents thought. 

First, let me get genitals off my chest for a moment:  just because people have certain body parts does not mean they should procreate.  And, if they did indeed procreate, it doesn't mean they were cut out for parenting.  Here is where I encourage people to lovingly give their children up for adoption to people who aren't able to procreate but were designed to be parents. 

The presence of genitals does not equal loving parenting.

And why do people want to be parents, anyway?  This is something people should actually think and pray about before having unprotected sex, within our outside of marriage.  *No, I am not advocating sex outside of marriage.  God didn't set this rule in place to be a big jerk who likes to take the fun out of a spicy evening.  Have a spicy evening with your spouse, that's what He was saying.  And, Yes, I am advocating safe sex.  Entirely other post I have brewing in my head about this topic...wait for it...
But truly, just because a person has gotten married doesn't mean the automatic next thing to do is to become a parent.  Especially if they are totally inclined to self-absorption.  The lifestyle and calling just won't work for you...

My disgust for their (people in the article) parenting lies deep.  And yes, I'll probably get feedback from some out there reading that I'm judgmental and "to each his own"  or "their own" in this case.  But this is my blog and here is my spiel.

For the liberated, free-thinking people who believe they are allowing their child the ability to choose their gender by avoiding their gender altogether for 5 years or however long some may choose, they are denying them their basic human right.  And that's just on a political spectrum of being a human born in the United States of America.

What about the bigger, much more important picture of a human being born on God's beautiful green earth?  God designed each of us with gender.  It was the beginning of our identities.  "And God created them, male and female, He created them...AND IT WAS GOOD"  (Bold, mine!)

The stereotypes, both positive and negative, that surround gender are man-made

"Fire trucks are for boys."

"Barbie dolls are for girls."

"Pink is a girl color."

"Boys should like blue."

Penis' are for men.  That's the part they are made with.  Vagina's are for girls.  It's the part designed for them.  Penis' and vaginas are not stereotypes.  They are genitalia.

Have we really not come that far in the last several hundred years, at least here in America?  Em and I just completed one of my old books from when I was in Junior High called, "They Led the Way" about early American women who stepped over popular stereotypes like women's suffrage, education solely for males, and women running for public office.  And what about equal rights?  What is that all about if the basic truth of an infant is taken away from them for their most formative years?  Who's going to pay Sasha's counseling bills?

My friend would call this a "First World Problem."  I'm FOR SURE posting on that another day.  But seriously!  In the Third World, sometimes parents don't name their children for several years because of the high infant mortality rate.  Is this fair?  No!  It's child neglect and abuse just as much as denying a child to know their basic gender.  How EDUCATED, UNBIASED, and FREE-THINKING, are we that these are the issues we face in the First World and not if we should or shouldn't even name our dying child who is starving to death or has fallen sick with a horrendous disease that could be prevented through medication or clean sanitation and a balanced diet?!


I went to High Tea the other day to celebrate my mom's remission from breast cancer.  We were served at this "girly function" by men....  And let me clarify, it's not a "girly" disease.  Men have breast cancer, too.  They don't have cervical cancer, and women don't have prostate cancer, but if a "non-gender" raised boy gets prostate cancer one day, don't you think he'll know he's a boy?

Our society is becoming more and more perverted, meaning sick and corrupt, as it becomes more and more "free" in its thinking.  This is not to say people should not be free to think for themselves or make choices of their own.  By all means.  God created us with FREE CHOICE.  It was His first gift to us, but it came with a heavy price.  We're trying so hard to drop lines that divide, creating GRAY, but not in the areas that matter, and so what will the next generation do?  Dear God, please come back before we have to see...

What these parents could have done to love their child unconditionally rather than try to control his environment in the strictest of ways, was to love the child they were given, who incidentally was a son, to be a healthy, happy, and confident person. 

Our jobs as parents are not to freakishly try to control our children by boxing them in from the fears we ourselves have, and I'm talking to over-controlling Christian parents here, too.  But its to teach them, direct and guide them, watch for their God-given gifts and strengths to shine through and then nurture those gifts through direction and unconditional love, even establishing healthy boundaries, so they can be the best they can be, not be who we want them to be.  This is good parenting. 

Not hands-off ignorance.

Deep breath.  Okay.  I'm off to get my son from his crib. 

He is a boy and he can be whatever God has called him to be, for God's glory, not my own scientific experiment or political agenda.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Here's a video my mom just sent me...

Will our generation forget those who have lived before us?  Those that worked so diligently and made our cushy lives possible?  The ones that no matter how crotchety they may seem on the outside, endured more in their lives than we can even fathom?  The part of the population we curse for driving/walking/existing too slowly in front of us? 

Those still living, though not to the fullest, maybe with the aide of diapers and pureed food, without memories able to be shared?

Are we so busy living our lives that we forget simple things, no matter the age, like saying, "Hello!"

Are we annoyed because we have to repeat ourselves several times in order for them to hear us?  That we have to raise our voices because their hearing aids aren't in...

I don't think so.

I think we, and by "we" I mean anyone who hasn't gotten AARP literature in the mail yet, are afraid.

We are afraid of getting old.  We are afraid of not being in control.  Afraid of the unknown.  Afraid our bladders may give out or we'll need a new set of teeth...or more realistically, we're afraid of being alone.

"When I grow old, I want to live to such and such an age and then go quietly in my sleep..."

Who frickin' doesn't?!  I mean, that's my grampa's dream, but it's still not happening for him just yet.

Old people aren't scary...they are just you and me, but crinklier and a heck of a lot wiser.  They all have stories, boat loads of them, some seasoned with beauty, others with pain, loss, sadness. 

On a daily basis, I don't sit around and think about old people.  My mom does.  She visits my gramps every. single. day.  This winter we've been passing the "sick" baton more than I like, but when I think of it, not that I want to get my grampa sick, but avoiding visiting him b/c my kids are sick is a lame excuse...

It's about as irrational as my faulty thinking 5 and a half years ago when I literally thought:

I don't want to kiss Noah on the lips because he might get sick...and die, or something!

I mean, really!  What the honk?! #$%^&* 

So, instead of being afraid of having nothing in common with an old person, let's ALL stop focusing on ourselves (this is written by me, to me, in case you are getting cranky at me, thinking I THINK I have it altogether...this is a smack down for me, too!), that we even need to find ANYTHING in common, and let's sit and just LISTEN.

Be specific with questions: 
  • Do you remember how old you were during the Depression?  Were you born yet?
  • What did you and your siblings do when your parents had to work?
  • Did you ever date anyone before you met Grandma?
  • What are some of your earliest childhood memories?
  • What did you and your friends like to do for fun?
  • When you met Grandpa, do you remember what you first thought?
  • What was your wedding like?  Or did you elope?
  • What was your first job?  Your favorite job?
  • Do you remember what life was like around the Civil Rights Movement?
  • How old were you at your first memory of our country going to war?
  • What was your favorite subject in school?
  • When you were a kid, what was your dream job or a goal you wanted to reach in life?  Did you?
  • When did you know you wanted to marry Grampa/Gramma?
  • What was it like to be a parent for the first time?  Were you scared?  Did you want to do it like your parents had or change up a few things?
  • Lots and lots of questions...

Yes, some of their stories will be completely crazy, maybe even inappropriate for the grandkids to hear, but who cares?!  They are real people with real stories to tell...I just wonder how many of their stories have never been told...

So here's a dare:  I dare you to get yourself an old person.  If you have one that you already spend lots of time with, great!  That is so great!  Maybe introduce that special old person to another old person. 

My gramps is in a residential care home with about 6 other old people.  They all have their own recliners and most of them nap the whole day long, but whenever we walk in with Em and Ryan, they wake up.  Em went there the other day with my parents and took her stacking cups...she did a little "show" for the folks.

Feel free to come here and post a story about your old person or put a link to your blog so we can read it.  The point is, there are lonely old people "out there" that would love just a "hello...."

Afraid to take them candy b/c their teeth will fall out?  Afraid to kiss them b/c you might make them sick?  Afraid to sit and listen, look into their eyes, and hold their hand b/c you might be touched by something bigger than yourself?  That you might fall in love with the old person and then they'll go and die...

It's okay.  No one ever was condemned for loving their neighbor...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Around the World... who knows how many days?

Em and I read a book during homeschool last year about a man in his hot air balloon who raced around the world, a race against the clock.  He wanted to beat a record.

What if there were no time frame?

What if the point was just to see God's creativity in His big green earth, learn new cultures, eat new foods, love on people, and take in the beauty in the faces of God's people to the ends of the earth?

I imagine the guy in the balloon who raced around the world missed out on the bigger picture.  Sure, he was the fastest, but did he get to truly experience the trip?

My love continues to grow for a sweet little handsome boy and his family.  They are on an adventure with an unclear time frame. 

Their dream as a family has been to see the world, which is why they named their youngest guy Trek Atlas...and they are living that dream presently in Nicaragua...but it's a bittersweet adventure because Trek has a fatal condition, and of course, they don't know the day he no longer will be on the journey this side of Heaven...

I want you to know I met Jarrett and Chelsea.  This isn't some Internet story for attention from people who don't really exist.  We ate bacon together.  They are as real as it gets :)

I held Trek's sweet little body in my arms on January 12, 2012.  He's a real boy, with captivating eyes, who brings so much joy to his family and anyone who is able to meet him.  And I'm not going to lie, I have a crush on him, for reals! 

Jason is headed to Bangladesh today for his dream job, "To help women and children in 3rd world countries..."  He works for Compassion International and is the ministry director of their Child Survival Program.  After receiving world class care for our son, his eyes were opened to health care throughout the rest of the world and he asked God how he could make a difference. 

However, the reality is even the best care in the world was not enough for our son.  And it isn't for many other children who have incurable diseases, in the first or third world.

Trek Atlas Ingram has one stamp on his passport, thus far.  I'm not sure he'll ever step foot on the soil of Bangladesh, but a Flat Trek will be headed there for the next week with Jason to bring smiles to cute kids and their moms. 

And the reason Jason will be there in the first place is because his own son, who only lived 7 months on this earth, changed his heart and perspective to what really matters:  Loving God without regrets, living life to the fullest, casting off all restraints...not a bucket list of selfish indulgence but a list of living life that has no beginning and is lived out fully until the end, whenever that may be, all for the Glory of God.

Want to help Trek get stamps on his passport?  You don't have to actually GO anywhere, but if you live anywhere other than Maui, Colorado, or Nicaragua, then Trek's never been to your neck of the woods. 

You can get your own Flat Trek with more information here.

You can encourage the family on their Facebook page or on their blogs, here, here, and here.

Thanks for letting me share here about this sweet little guy.  He has really touched my heart and I can't stop praying for him and his family because it's just all too familiar...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

If You Need Another Good Laugh...


Go ahead. 


Some day you may grow unwanted could happen!

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Funny

(Photo: What's Cooking in America)

After dinner Em was searching the freezer for the stash of chocolate chips.

As she was going to shut the door a bag of walnuts slipped off the top shelf.

In her 9 year old way, she tried to shut the freezer door while the walnuts fell in mid-air instead of having to bend over, pick them up and replace them on the top shelf...

As Jason and I witnessed this from across the kitchen, I cried out:

"Careful not to slam your nut sack in the freezer door!"

Yes, Emily had to brace herself on the kitchen counter she was laughing so hard...and yes, Jason's cheeks turned a little red.  It was funny, but thankfully this girl still has bladder control, even at 40.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Trekking Around the World

Remember this?

It's been a while.  I wouldn't expect you to, but I sure do.  One night, 5 years ago last November, we had gotten some yummy Chinese take-out and were sitting in Noah's room at The Children's Hospital.  As we finished up and started cracking open our fortune cookies, I grabbed one and said, "This one's for Noah."  If you can see in the picture, that's medical tape, the kind that used to keep tubes and crap attached to my sweet boy.  We used it for other things, as you can see.

At the time I remember thinking, "Oh how great it would be if You would heal Noah, God, and we could go all over the world (a lifetime dream of mine) and tell everyone of Your faithfulness, love and power."  This was my initial response to reading, "You will step on the soil of many countries."

It's because I had seen myself with a grown son...remember?  And so I naturally thought it was Noah...since he was my only son at the time and all.  And Noah did step on the soil of many countries, so to speak, just not physically with his two sweet little feet.  His blog hit every continent before he died, but that wasn't quite what I had been thinking...

Well, fast forward 5 years.  This post isn't about Noah.  It's about how my heart leaps out of my chest every time I see pictures of a sweet mama and her boy, so very much in love, who are on a journey.  It's about how I can't get them out of my mind, not because I want to, but because God continues to put them on my heart, all throughout the day.

I have mentioned him here before, but I'm asking you not to turn away.  I KNOW reading about a kid that is dying is nothing less than gut-wrenching.  It's HARD.  It SUCKS.  It's a volume of books filled with descriptive words that can't really describe the heartache.  I freaking GET IT!  It's why hundreds stopped reading my blog after Noah died.  I understand.  It's not as fun as Pinterest or Facebook or a hundred million other things.

But I'm literally begging you to let your heart pray for Jarrett, Chelsea, Peyton, Conner and Trek, as they set off on a journey of living life to the fullest, one day at a time.

You see, someone close to them contacted me to pray for them...she had read Noah's blog and couldn't stop thinking about some of the similarities.

Here is where my heart is wrecked.  We never wanted Noah to be stuck in a hospital bed his whole freaking life.  That was never our dream for him...but because of a whole hellofalotta reasons, we were stuck.  There were days I dreamed of stealing him out of the hospital and taking him home...but we couldn't because we didn't have home health care at the time.  It was a big mess.  The closest I got to showing him the world was this...whoopdefreakingdo!

Anyway, Chelsea's heart is living out what I wished I could have done with Noah. 

Am I living vicariously through them?  Only the freedom part...I lived all the rest already.

Either way, my heart is crying out for them to RUN, PLAY, LAUGH, CRY, REST, STARE, LISTEN, SING, NUGGLE, SMOOCH, HOLD ON and LET GO all at once. 

I pray for God's love to fill every corner of their lives with such fullness that this time in their lives will ever be etched in their hearts.

I hate what they are going through but if I had it to do over, which I don't wish for, but if I could go back, I'd run like hell out of that hospital and live whatever amount of time I had with my boy, free from the beeps and meds and tubes and tests and pokes and drugs and smells and unknowns. 

I'd run.

I don't despise what we went through, I do have to say, because 5 years later, I'm grateful to at least have the perspective that life is short.  It's time to live, today, right now, to the fullest.  Time and the people in our lives are literally gifts from God for our joy. 

It's time you, or someone you know, stop holding back.

Hug tighter.

Kiss longer.

Stare at your children.

Laugh your ass off.

Play on the floor with your kids.

Tell your husband you love him.

Tell him you are sorry.

Hold hands.

Turn off your freaking television.  Hell, throw the damn thing away.


Stop caring what others think of you.

Trust God sees the bigger picture.  Relinquish the control you think you need to have.





Live in wonder.

Baby Trek Atlas may not physically touch the soil of many countries in his short life time, but the way he's living with his big brothers and mommy and daddy who adore him...well, he's experiencing more love than many do in a lifetime.  And, if you spend some time reading his mama's blog, I would venture to guess he'll have you looking around, wondering what matters, and making a few changes and tweaks to what is important. 

That's Trek, a 9.5 month old, teaching us a thing or two.  That's him stepping on the soil of many countries...

Life is short.  How will you spend it?

Friday, February 03, 2012

Go Green

These are some veggies I've been juicing lately.  I couldn't rotate the picture for some reason, which is annoying, I know, but what has stood out to me the most as I've juiced one or two times a day is how colorful the foods are and how great I feel.  For some reason when I eat a salad or a plate full of sauteed veggies, I don't really notice that the colors are so vibrant!  This has GOT to be good for me!

Pretty much if you add lemon, lime, or fresh ginger to any juice recipe, it's a winner!

The veggies pictured previously did not create this smoothie.  I got it from the Juice Lady's recipe for Cherie's Awesome Green Smoothie.  Here is a link to more recipes.

Yes, it's thick.  I'm slowly chugging it as I post...

And just for fun, this is what I'm wearing as I post!  It's a snow day here in Colorado, so that's Em in the background with her friend, suiting up to head back outside for a second round of snow fun!  And me?  Well, several years ago I found that green treasure at the Goodwill Thrift Store.  You know you want one!  I couldn't resist buying it because it was SO retro and out there!  Jason and I shoveled the driveway together earlier today...and this is what I wore...I'm so glad he loves me even though I'm a weirdo!
So, I'm not going to lie.  The smoothie by Cherie Calbom is delicious, but it's thick going down.  Here's the recipe and then I'll share my thoughts:
  • 1 Avocado, peeled and seeded, cut into chunks (I forgot to cut it into chunks)
  • 1 cup raw spinach
  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled if not organic, cut into chunks (I used a regular one)
  • juice of one lime (I used 1 Tbsp organic lime juice from my fridge)
  • 1 Tbsp green powder of choice (I used Garden of Life Perfect Food RAW)
  • top with 2-3 tsp ground almonds (I skipped this as I am avoiding nuts right now...)
Then it says, place the top 5 ingredients in a blender and blend well, until smooth.

Let's just say, I put it all in the blender and nothing happened.  I even have a high-powered blender.  I added a little water...this helped...for a little bit.  I added 8oz of water which finally allowed the ingredients to become a smoothie.

So, here's the deal.  It actually tastes good.  It really does.  But.  But.  But.  I had what I think is a brilliant idea, since, really this drink is like trying to chug guacamole...

Add one or two more avocadoes, some fresh cilantro, a tomato and salt, up the green powder to 2 Tbsp and double the lime, then serve with fresh veggies sticks, yummy root chips or corn chips.

Seriously, your kids (or your husband) won't know it's got spinach, cucumber or the green powder in it.  It's like that Deceptively Delicious book by Seinfeld's wife...except taken up a notch.

And, always, always, always eat this wearing your green retro snowsuit from the 70's.