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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Natural Born Killers?

I probably knew it was coming sooner or later and should have been more prepared to better deal with it, but today for the first time since enlisting, rather than be thanked or acknowledged for his service to his country, my son was called.....a "killer." I must say I didn't deal with it too well. I got all mama bearish and quite defensive on a public social networking group.

I understand there are many who don't agree with or support this war. That is fine. To be completely honest, I am not sure where I stand on the war itself, but I do believe now that we are in the midst of it, we need to see it through to the end.

I understand we may not all agree on politics and such, whether we sway more to the right or left, conservative or liberal, or somewhere more in between. I try and keep an open mind and see all sides. I respect you and your opinion whether I agree with it or not.

What I don't and can't tolerate is disrespect to the service men and women who serve our country and fight for the freedoms you and I enjoy whether liberal or conservative, right or left! They fight for us ALL just the same.

Our service men and women didn't start this war. It is not their fault we are in it. Don't blame them for something they have no control over. If you want to blame someone, blame your politicians or those who commit acts of terror.

The war is happening, and because we have plenty of men and women who voluntarily serve, there is no draft. So those who don't want to serve aren't required to.

So, while you may not wish to support this war, PLEASE support your service men and women. It's because of them we are able to keep the freedoms we still have. It is because of them you or your sons and daughters don't have to serve in a war you don't believe in. If for nothing else, be thankful to them for that!

And please, keep in mind when you call our military personal "killer", "baby killer" and other degrading remarks, you are not only hurting them, but those who love them like a protective mother, wife or girlfriend.

From the bottom of my heart to all who have served and currently do serve: THANK YOU!!!

When Did It All Get So Complicated?

In this age of such accessible media there is so much information out there, but rather than finding it helpful to have so much information at my fingertips I find it overwhelming and confusing! I am on the verge of unplugging and turning off the noise for a while!

It's not so much the amount of information that is so overwhelming as it is the conflicting information. And it's about EVERYTHING, and I do mean EVERYTHING!

Our health: steady cardio at a moderate rate or high intensity intervals? Light weights with more reps or heavy weights with fewer reps? Are eggs with their yolks good for us or bad for us? Can Tooty Fruity Cearl really be made with whole grain? If so, does that make up for the glow in the dark food coloring and other junk in it?

Religion: Do all paths really lead to the same place? Does it matter if we commune once a week or once a month? Grape juice or wine? Hymns or praises?

Politics: Can you really believe any of them?

Education: New math versus traditional? Phonics vs. Whole Language Approach?

You get the idea...there is just so much information, and so much of it is so conflicting. Who do you believe? Are we really any better off with all of this information so easily available to us? Lets see; with all that health information is America becoming any more thin or fit? Are we really any better educated today than we were lets say fifty or a hundred years ago? Are we really drawing any closer to God?

I'd have to say from my own observations, the answer to all of these would be a big NO! But how can that be when we now have access to more information than ever before? We have cable news available to us 24 hours a day on no less than 10-20 different channels with opinions from every side imaginable. We have newspapers available to us from states and sometimes countries other than our own. Then of course we have the Internet. Oh, and satellite radio. We can even get news, information and the Internet from our cell phones now!

I don't know about you, but I feel more confused about all of the above than ever before! I think we are so busy filling our heads with so much outside noise we don't often take the time to stop and listen to our own thoughts or that inner voice. I think most of us have a good sense of right and wrong, fact and fiction, if only we'd take the time to stop and listen.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Does Size Really Matter?

It seems it does and I couldn't help but giggle a little when I was thinking about it these last couple of days.



It seems when it comes to technology, the smaller the better. Whether it be our Ipods, cells, laptops or anything else that you can plug in, the smaller the better. I have an older Ipod Video which I love. I like having a screen big enough to actually SEE the video I am trying to watch(especially now in my 40's when my eyes aren't as good as they used to be) But it seems to most, my Ipod isn't as valuable or even cool as the latest generation that are so little even my Ipods screen alone is bigger than the whole new device!



I remember when cell phones, back then; car phones first came out. Those things were HUGE!! Even bigger than most house phones of the day(does anyone really have a landline anymore?) Now most are so small, some can even fit in your ear.



Same thing with computers, back in highschool they still took up whole walls, now they can fit in a gals purse.



So, clearly smaller is a indication of better technology.



Then we have our food. The exact opposite is true here. The BIGGER the better. No one would dream of going to the golden arches and leaving with anything less than a SUPERSIZED meal! We know because it's bigger it must have more calories, fat and all that other stuff we really don't want or need, but somehow the eating out experience just isn't the same unless it's SUPERSIZED!



Even a simple thing like soda has evolved in size incredibly over the past 20 years or so. I remember being a young teen and a BIG GULP was a BIG deal! A whole 320z! What a treat! That was a huge amount of soda! Now, it's nothing. I don't know what the equivalint today is(I don't drink the stuff) but I know I see people all of the time leaving our local Circle K with soda cups that are no smaller than 64 or so ounces. That is probaly close to a whole days worth calories assuming you're drinking non-diet.



Homemade often isn't much better. Our plates have grown in size as well, meaning you can load even more food on!



Then people really wonder why our waist lines are growing?



Cars are interesting, because the "cool" ones go both ways. Some go for the big gas guzzlers like Suburbans and other SUV's, even if they only have 1.2 kids and never go off roading. While to others nothing is cooler than a small, cute little sports car! I mean who wants a boring, safe medium sized Sedan?



Which really is my point in all of this. Do you see a pattern? I sure do. Smaller gadgets going straight into our ears with their electomagnetic waves and other cancer causing who knows whats are preferred over larger, maybe safer models. BIG fat burgers and supersized fries and a mumbo jumbo soda which are laden with fat and calories that will eventually lead to heart disease and or obesity if enough is consumed is preferred over a "kid sized" meal which used to be the norm even for adults just years ago. Many prefer an air polluting, gas guzzling SUV or a not so safe if you're in an accident sports car, over a medium sized, yet I guess boring sedan.

In our world today we have lots of choices available to us and I think that is a good thing. It seems alot of our choices involve size. I just wonder whether we are consistently making the right choices for our health, the environment and our futures?

Monday, June 21, 2010

How Many Bibles Do You Own?

If you're like most people, you probably own several. I can't even guess how many I own. I think I may go and count them later just out of curiosity. But, if I had to guess I would say at least 30! I know even several of my atheist, Buddhist and Muslim friends own Bibles. There is clearly an abundance of Bibles in America. Anyone who wants one can have on, even those who don't want one can easily get one and usually for FREE!!

We watched The Book Of Eli last night. Without giving away the whole plot for those who haven't seen it, let me just say it is basically a battle between good and evil for the last remaining copy of the Bible. Both sides understand the power of the Book. Of course the evil side wants to use it to control people. The lengths both sides will go through to obtain and keep this Book that we just take for granted really makes you stop and think. At least it did me.

It isn't just this fictional movie, but there are plenty of real life examples of people groups who valued this book both in the not so long ago past and even now today who would do just about anything for their very own copy of the Bible.

I saw a movie several years ago based on fact about the illegal printing of Bibles in the former Soviet Union. These people literally risked their lives to assure there would be Bibles for those who wanted them. It showed how people would share one stapled together copy of the Gospel of John. People would risk everything for this book. This was not very long ago, and probably still happens in several places around the world.

Not too long ago our church participated in putting together copies of the New Testament for a native tribe in Papa New Guinea. These people were so excited to get a copy of the Bible in their own language that they walked several miles, some with bare feet, all with smiles on their faces to receive their own copy, which they paid for with what little money they had. Several tribes came just to see and share the joy even though it wasn't in their language, they knew that soon it would be. Can you imagine a scene like this taking place in America? I sure can't.

Here in America most church goers don't even take one of their 30 or so Bibles to church anymore. When I grew up, we all took our Bibles to church, and used them. Even the children. There was hardly a person under the age of 10 that couldn't locate the chapter and verse the pastor was teaching from. Today I am surprised when I see adults my age and older who can't quickly locate a chapter, or aren't even sure if the chapter they're looking for is in the New or Old Testament.

Yet in places where the Bible is so precious, whole entire books of the Bible are memorized. Many here in America don't know more than one or two verses by heart!

Many like to claim America is a Christian nation, and of course the other side likes to argue that it isn't. Looking at the evidence which side do you agree with?

I can't help but wonder what happened? I don't think it was always like this. I know it wasn't. If you look at school texts from less than even 100 years ago, it is clear that Christianity was alive and well in America. I don't mean just the superficial signs of Christianity such as owning a Bible or going to church, but actually LIVED and PRACTICED. Today the Bible or any mention of the contents of isn't even allowed in the government schools.

If Christianity was based on how many Bibles we owned, or how often we went to church we might win the argument that America is a Christian nation. If it is judged on how much of the Bible we actually know or how much we cherish it or the lengths we'd go through to protect it.....I am not so sure.

As one of my good friends email siggy says so well: "going to church makes you a Christian no more than standing in a garage makes you a car."

Sunday, June 20, 2010

But I Don't Want To Be Thin!

Words I thought would never come out of my lips, yet I sit here giggling a little as these exact words escaped my mouth quite to my surprise just the other day.

Growing up I was always super skinny, never able to gain weight even though I wanted and needed to. Then as I got older and started having children, that changed pretty quickly. At my heaviest I was 152(NOT pregnant at the time!) That’s pretty heavy for me at 5′3". About five years ago thanks to a sound program I got down to a healthy 120. About that time I got involved in Kendo and more weight melted off. I couldn’t keep it on, it was just like when I was young. I could eat whatever I wanted and it still kept coming off. I soon was down to barely 100 lbs! I wasn’t trying to lose weight at all.

Well, things in my personal life changed, I had to give up my Kendo lessons as I now had a young grandbaby to raise and the weight started coming back on. Not alot, just 10 or so pounds that I desperately needed anyway. But as the pounds came on, I started thinking I was fat!! While taking Kendo, I was a size 1 and now I was wearing a 3 and convinced I was fat! I was probaly "skinny fat" but was surely far from overweight at a size 3.

As I started to creep up to a 115lbs and a size 5, I started working out at home using DVD’s and eventually discovered weight training thanks to P90X. As my body started changing, so did my goals. Rather than wanting to be "skinny" I wanted to be lean, muscular, "buff". Not only has weight training been great for my body, it has been even better for my mind and self image issues. It has made me more mindful of my eating. Rather than starving myself to be thin, I now eat to "feed" my body and muscles.

The funny thing is I am now a tight size 5, more comfortable 7 and weigh between 115-118 lbs. This is an increase in both size and weight and yet I am constantly asked if I’ve lost more weight! I personally think I look much better now than I did before, though I still have a ways to go in regards to the look I am trying to achieve.

The funny part though was a couple of evenings ago before I hopped into the shower, I tried on a pair of pants and went out to show my husband who commented on how thin I’ve gotten and while I would have LOVED to have heard those words a couple of years ago and am sure it was meant as a compliment I was actually annoyed and shouted "but I don’t want to be thin!" I think my husband probaly thought I was nuts, and who knows, maybe I am.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Navy Corpsman!!


From the U.S. Navy Facebook Page:

Happy 112th Birthday to the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps.

President William McKinley signed the law establishing the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps on 17 June 1898.

The men and women of the U.S. Navy hospital corps provide much of the immediate care to service members injured in the line of duty aboard ship, and with deployed Marine Corps units.

The men and women of the U.S. Navy salute you!

To learn more about medical support services in the navy go to: http://www.navy.com/navy/careers/healthcare/medical-support.html

I also found this poem while researching the history of the Navy Hospital Corpsman:

I'm the one called "Doc"
I shall not walk in your footsteps,
but I will walk by your side.
I shall not walk in your image,
I've earned my own title of pride.
We've answered the call together,
on sea and foreign land.
When the cry for help was given,
I've been there right at hand.
Whether I am on the ocean
or in the jungle wearing greens,
Giving aid to my fellow man,
be it Sailors or Marines.
So the next time you see a corpsman
and you think of calling him "squid,"
think of the job he's doing
as those before him did.
And if you ever have to go out there
and your life is on the block,
Look at the one right next to you...
I'm the one called "Doc."
Harry D. Penny, Jr. HMC(AC) USN
A BIG thank you to all Navy Corpsman past and present, and a BIG Happy Birthday to the corps!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Incredible Pictures Formed by Thousands of US Soldiers

I followed a link from where I grabbed the video below and found these great photos!


Incredible Pictures Formed by Thousands of US Soldiers

Living Flag

Here is a short video clip of the formation of the Living Flag that my son participated in today at Great Lakes Recruit Training Command.


Flag Day!


Today is Flag Day, and the U.S. Navy Recruit Training Command out did themselves by creating this "Living Flag." Not only do I think it is just totally cool, but to make it even more cool, my son is one of the Sailors in this photo!!

He is one of the Sailors in the second white stripe near the pole of the flag! Yes, if you didn't already know, I am one proud mama!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

It's All About Me!!

Actually it's all about Kate, although I do believe the show is called Kate Plus Eight and of course prior to the messy public divorce it was John and Kate Plus Eight.

I watched this show faithfully the first season or two as Kate was someone I thought I could relate to. No, I don't have eight kids or any multiples, but she just seemed like an overwhelmed mom to many trying her best. She seemed real. She lost her temper sometimes, could be a little obsessive compulsive, but she was NORMAL.

While Mrs. Duggar from 2o and Counting is the type of mom I aspire to be, Kate was more like the kind of mom I am, for better or worse!

I quit watching a few seasons in as both Kate and the show seemed to change. No longer was it about the kids just being kids and Kate being a stay at home mom trying to stretch the family budget, it became to where every episode they were going on some sort of adventure to places most of us could never afford. Not that they didn't have a right to go there, but that's not why I was watching. I was watching a real life, large family I could relate to, and the show started to become something different than that.

They went from living in a house really to small for all of them( I can relate there too, squeezing six of us in under 1200 sq ft!) to living in a near mansion. They went from busy days at home to extravagant trips. They went from somewhat humble and modest clothing, toys, etc.. to an abundance of expensive goodies. With all of these changes in lifestyle I thought I noticed Kate becoming somewhat of a Diva.

I didn't watch the last season or two, so I really don't know what happened between her and John or any other changes in lifestyle, but out of boredom and lack of anything else better on and a bit of curiosity I watched the new season now entitled "Kate Plus Eight" last night.

Wow!! No mistaking it now, that woman has turned into a diva!! Oh my! Why on earth they call the show Kate Plus Eight is beyond me. It should just be Kate, All About Kate. Out of the hour it was on, I think we saw maybe 5 to 10 minutes of clips of the children. The rest was all about Kate, Kate, Kate......AHHHH!!!

The few minutes the kids were on she was on them about cleaning up, or eating properly or whatever other negatives she could seem to find about them.

I understand she is busy with their show, and the Dancing with the Stars show she did, and book signings and all, but you'd think the few, VERY brief moments she had with her children, she'd want to make them more positive.

Most of the show was her complaining about how hard her life is, how she is so misunderstood, how the rest of the world needs to come to a standstill so she can get her beauty rest and on and on about HER. I wonder if she has a clue how hard any of this is on her kids? Does she even care?

I don't mean to sound so harsh and judgemental towards her, I really don't. I don't know her whole situation, I don't know what she is thinking or feeling, I don't know how the editing is done. Are they showing the worse side of her only or are they showing the most positive they can find? What irks me is that TLC is making money on this families destruction. Clearly Kate isn't going to do the right thing and take her family out of the lime light, she really seems to love all the attention, even the negative, cause after all even negative attention is attention. But I wish TLC or Child Protective Services or somebody would do something and stop this mayhem.

Even better yet, people like myself should just stop tuning in. TLC only shows it because there are people still interested and tuning in. If it wasn't making them money they wouldn't air it.

I am all for big families and the blessing of many children, but I am afraid shows like this and even the Duggars as lovely as they seem is only going to create more attention seekers like Octomom who see large families or multiples as a way to get rich or famous.

I think that is the problem with all of these reality TV type shows that are so popular. That 15 minutes of fame comes so easily now and if you're bizarre enough, dysfunctional enough, or willing to sale your families privacy or your own personal pride for that 15 minutes and a few bucks you may get 30 minutes of fame out of the deal. Is it really worth it?

I know large families and those with multiples struggle financially with medical expenses from premature births and with suitable housing for a large family and other expenses, and I know we are all curious to see the daily workings of such families, but I really think the Duggars had it right when they just did a few specials. It was a good way to generate a little extra income to keep their heads above the water and give us all a peak, but still maintain a normal life the rest of the year. But like anything else, I suppose good enough is never enough when there is more to be had.

I sure hope we don't see a disaster with the Duggars or any of the other reality families TLC features in their shows like we have with John and Kate Plus Eight. In the end it is the children who will be effected by all of this the most, for the better or for the worse.

The only way to stop these types of shows from having the negative effect on these families that they already have had on John and Kate's is for us all to stop tuning in. While I am done with Kate, I do still have a curiosity about the Duggars, but I think I am done for now. I hope they maintain their integrity and strong family and spiritual values, I just refuse to give any more attention to these types of shows as I feel in the end they really are not healthy for the children or even mom and dad for that matter. Hopefully without an audience they wont be aired for much longer and the moms and dads can go back to just being parents and doing what we all do, which is work for a living rather than sell our children's childhood for an income. The kids can have for many of them, for the first time a normal childhood free of camera men in the house and a normal childhood with parents focused on them and their well being rather than playing Diva for the camera or being more outrageous for that extra buck or two or another 15 minutes of fame...