Saturday, October 30, 2010

Good Stuff

I have collected a bunch of eclectic resources lately that I want to share:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Yank Away

There is a wind-up toy in her crib, a musical bear, that I always play before I leave for her nap. Apparently, she has been watching me quite closely. Two weeks ago, I would suddenly hear it out of nowhere. She was signaling me that nap time was over. "All done. I'm awake now. Come get me." Aolani is still obsessed. She pulls it all the time. Over and over and over... I am hearing Brahm's Lullaby nonstop. She's proud of herself, can you tell?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What I Was Waiting For

When I was younger in my faith (I turned 10 years old, in the spiritual sense, this past year), I was constantly waiting. I was eager, like a perched dog with head high and ears up, sitting by the back door just waiting for my master to come home at the end of the day.

Waiting for what? For something to come about that would prove God's existence.

Like what? Something tangible or visible. Something outward, not inward. Something undeniable.

Proof? Complete, total, 100%, beyond a shadow of a doubt. In other words, when this something would "happen" or "be uncovered," then everyone (and I mean everyone) would have to believe. Period. His existence would be irrefutable.

2 + 2 = 4. There is no denying that truth. That is what I was waiting for.

And then, years later, it comes to me. I remember. Faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God... Now faith is being sure of what I hope for, certain of what I do not see.

I was waiting for a proof that is never going to come. Indeed, it cannot happen. Because I was waiting for that undeniable proof that would eliminate my need for faith. God will never allow the kind of proof that will extinguish faith. God will always make faith necessary.

That's why there is ample extremely convincing evidence for Intelligent Design, the Creator, but not undeniable evidence. He will always give us plenty of the extremely convincing proof - just enough to remind us to have hope. In fact, it just keeps coming. I am unable to keep up with all the new discoveries that reveal our LORD. Yet, some people still deny Him. They are not convinced. The proof is not undeniable. But you know what, it never will be.

Faith is a necessity.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Who to Talk to First

"The prayer closet is the arena which produces the overcomer." ~ Paul Billheimer

“After you have met God in the secret place you are ready to meet men in the market place. Keep the order straight: speak to God about men, and then speak to men about God.” ~ Bill Bathman

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mercola's Medical Myth #5

Saturated Fat Causes Heart Disease

As recently as 2002, the "expert" Food & Nutrition Board issued the following misguided statement, which epitomizes this myth:

"Saturated fats and dietary cholesterol have no known beneficial role in preventing chronic disease and are not required at any level in the diet."

This dangerous recommendation, which arose from an unproven hypothesis from the mid-1950s, has been harming your health and that of your loved ones for about 40 years now.

The truth is, saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources provide the building blocks for cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone-like substances, without which your body cannot function optimally.

They also act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Dietary fats are also needed for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption, and for a host of other biological processes.

In fact, saturated is the preferred fuel for your heart!

For more information about saturated fats and the essential role they play in maintaining your health, please read my previous article The Truth About Saturated Fat.
We all know that unsaturated fats are good. Trans-fats are bad. Saturated fat? Depends on the source! It is actually necessary and vital to maintain your health. It even helps you LOSE weight. The whole low-fat or no-fat thing is a bust. There is healthy and unhealthy saturated fat. You need not, should not, cut healthy sources of this fat out of your diet.

Mercola's Medical Myth #4

Monday, October 25, 2010

Let Me Out!

  • Our little party-girl! We had a friend from Asbury University visiting over the weekend, and we went to Myrtle Beach to visit my side of the family. Aolani got to meet two more of her great-grands (my dad's parents) for the first time. Her cousin, Kylie, was there. This was the first time they really interacted - it was so cute!

Caught red-handed trying to bust out!

  • The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is Sunday, November 14, 2010. Inform your church to participate and remember our suffering brothers and sisters in prayer this day. Here is the international website for information about IDOP and some helpful resources you can use.

  • Verse to memorize this week: 1 Peter 5:10 ~ And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Panic is a Dead-End

I have a bad habit. Actually, habit should be plural, but let's focus on the singular.

I was analyzing those thoughts that run through my head occasionally, such as I cannot do this! or This is too hard! or I think I'm going to quit! Basically, these reactions are all the same and result from the same place - panic. Something bad/hard happens, I panic, and irrational thoughts break loose.

I usually have three responses when I feel the tide rising and panic is coming after me. This is the typical order that I seem to naturally follow:

  1. Recall 2 Corinthians 10:5 ("We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.") and speak it. Yell it, if you need to :)

  2. Anxiety and faith cannot coexist. It's that simple. I remind myself that I swim in the ocean of grace. If I am anywhere else, get out and dry off. I have a choice every moment that I have to make, and I choose faith.

  3. This is very important step to me. I'll call it gaining perspective or being realistic or getting my head screwed on straight. When a tough situation would present itself, I would start to panic (aka freak out, in my head of course) - WHY? Because I would project that one occurrence onto forever. In other words, I would start to think that I cannot keep doing this one thing over and over for the rest of my life. I know, it's a preposterous thought! Time marches on, and eventually this situation will no longer even be an issue. I just take a deep breath and ask myself, "Can I do this one thing right now?" And just focus on the present and what is required in this moment.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Our Superabundance

"We don’t need to increase our goods nearly as much as we need to scale down our wants. Not wanting something is as good as possessing it." ~ Donald Horban

"In most [Third World] countries… a good wage is $1 to $3 a day. While much of the world is concerned mainly about where its next meal is coming from, affluent North Americans spend most of their wages and waking moments planning unnecessary purchases… In light of the superabundance you enjoy here, what do you think is your minimal responsibility to the untold millions of lost and suffering in the Two-Thirds World?" ~ K.P. Yohannan

Truth is, if you own a home and have a variety of clothes, you are in the top 5% of the richest people in the world.

What is my minimal responsibility?? The haunting question that MUST be asked. Of myself.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mercola's Medical Myth #4

GMOs Crops are Safe, Well Tested and Economically Beneficial

GMOs may be the greatest health disaster in the American diet. Within 9 years of their introduction in 1996, multiple chronic illnesses jumped from 7 percent to 13 percent of the population, food allergies doubled in less time, and many other ailments have exponentially increased with the introduction of GM foods.

Millions may already be suffering health problems caused by genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in their diet. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has already urged doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets for all patients, citing studies that show how GMOs cause disorders such as vital organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system problems, accelerated aging, infertility, and dysfunctional regulation of insulin and cholesterol.

But not only are GM foods a health disaster, they also pose a significant environmental threat, and industry promises of financial benefits have turned out to be false as well.

For a quick introduction, I recommend reading the article 10 Reasons to Avoid Genetically Modified Foods, which delves into everything from the health problems associated with eating GM foods to the evidence against GM crops as a sustainable, economically and environmentally viable alternative to traditional farming.
Mercola's Medical Myth #3

Monday, October 18, 2010

Highway to the Danger Zone

  • Today, we are celebrating 8 months for Aolani, which has turned out to be a big milestone for two reasons. One: While staring into my eyes Saturday morning after she had nursed, she said "Mama." Ricky was with me, so I have proof. It was exhilarating! I realize that she was mimicking the sound I had made earlier, but it was elating all the same. Two: She crawled on Friday for the first time. Yes, forward. That morning she had combined three techniques to move forward, but she learned to alternate arm and leg by the afternoon. So, we have spent the weekend watching her crawl. It is so cute that I can't contain myself! I will get a video up of her crawling soon. [I took one already, but she is wearing a dress that kept getting caught under her knee and causing her to slip.]

  • This was great timing because Nonna (Ricky's mom) and Aolani's great Aunt were visiting this weekend to witness her accomplishments. She got to get dressed up three days in a row, so here are some pictures:

I love this video of her and Ricky flirting ;)

  • Last week, I laid down a towel in her crib, stripped her, and started eating a banana in front of her. Of course, she snatched it away quickly, put it to her mouth, discovered it was food, and gave me her "Mommy that was sneaky" look, and wouldn't eat a bite. Oh well. It was worth a try. At least it made for a fun, messy picture :)

  • Ricky and I went on our traditional date last week. Traditional meaning it involved chess and Where's Waldo? However, looking down at the book hurt my neck, so I suggested that we go home and find Waldo propped up in bed. Yeah, we fell asleep in no time like that. Lights on, clothes on, and Waldo was still missing. We learned our lesson.

  • Aolani has begun this thing where she will nap briefly and then awake. I get ready to go get her (she plays by herself in her crib just fine) and by the time I'm ready, she will fall back asleep for a long time. So funny!

  • Another cute behavior: Now when I open the crib, she crawls over and out the door to me!

  • Changing her has become impossible! It now takes me twice as long and requires all the skill I can muster. I feel like I am wrestling an alligator! I need to listen to some workout music during this time. Right into the Danger Zone...

  • Verse to memorize this week: Romans 12:17 ~ Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Halloween is...

I always waver when it comes to Halloween - good or bad, innocent or evil, redeemable or not.

John Piper has a GREAT, short video addressing this very issue. It's only 3 minutes.

Her Eyes Smile

I could not wait to get a good closeup shot of Aolani's smile that revealed her two adorable bottom teeth for all to see!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

On or Off?

You know those days when you are just "off"?

I'm not referring to those days when everything around you, your circumstances, goes wrong and nothing goes according to plan. That certainly does happen to us all, though.

But, I'm not talking about an off day. I'm thinking about an off you.

Some days you feel like you are HOT - on fire. You're with it. You are on.

And then there are those days where you feel like you got nothing. Nothing good to offer. You're grouchy, grumpy, tearful, irritable - for no real reason. Nothing is wrong, per se. You are off.

Well, babies have those days, too. And why shouldn't they? They are little people (not that size matters). I found this out probably within the first week of having my precious firstborn home. She would not follow her routine from the day before. She would cry without cause - she wasn't in pain or need, just felt like it I guess. And, you know what I told her...

You can have an off day. You can be off. I have days where I am off, too. It is okay. You are allowed to be off.

Tomorrow is another day. And, you can be off then, too.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Elevating Self

"If you are not right with God, you can never turn your mind anywhere but on yourself." ~ Oswald Chambers

“What is being depicted to individuals is a ‘user-friendly’ God who will smile benignly down upon their lifestyles of choice, as they continue to live as they like.” ~ Greg Laurie

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mercola's Medical Myth #3

Fluoride in Your Water Lowers Your Risk of Cavities
The theory behind the introduction of fluoride in your water supply initially seems beneficial – to reduce the incidence of dental caries in children. However, the health dangers of fluoride are so numerous; they far outweigh any benefit to your teeth, and that’s IF water fluoridation actually did what its claimed to do.

Today, even promoters of fluoridation concede that the major benefits are only from topical applications; fluoride works from the outside of the tooth, not from inside of your body, so why swallow it?

Statistics tell us that water fluoridation is ineffective for preventing caries. There is practically no difference in tooth decay between fluoridated and non-fluoridated countries, and no difference between states that have a high- or low percentage of their water fluoridated.

Meanwhile, fluoride can cause significant harm, from dental fluorosis to thyroid damage to reduced IQ... and much more.

I’ve joined forces with the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) to help end water fluoridation poisoning in Canada and the United States.

For more about the dangers of fluoride, and information about how to get involved in this campaign, please see this recent article, which also includes an excellent interview with Dr. Paul Connett, who created FAN and is one of the foremost experts on this topic.
As fluoride is a highly toxic chemical, Ricky and I avoid it as much as we can. This is one reason that we do not use toothpaste containing fluoride but make our own toothpaste. We also use a water filter to avoid the fluoridation of the water supply.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Active Little Servant

  • I just cannot get over the gorgeous weather right now! Fall is my favorite season. Yesterday, we took advantage of it and played Boccé Ball together in the backyard. Boccé Ball (pronounced Botch-ee) is one of the few games I can play outside. It's been a great gift! However, I have resorted to wearing rubber gloves while I play, so that I can get a better grip - is that cheating? ;)
  • I meant to acknowledge this earlier, but Aolani can sit up by herself quite well.
  • So, Aolani doesn't really like food or water (baths, swimming). I think most babies do. I sure did and do still. Not quite sure what this oddity means, maybe nothing.
  • Just like her daddy, she would much rather play than eat or sleep. Not me! She is ready to forgo having these basic needs met if it means play time. And, she associates Ricky with play and Mommy with the "boring" stuff. No wonder she's a Daddy's girl!
  • We let Aolani feed herself all week, hoping that was the answer. Did it work? Nope :(
  • There is a website that you can go to and make clicks with your mouse to help the poor and needy. It is free and takes 20-30 seconds! I do it everyday. Check it out and don't forget the tabs at the top of the page:
  • I can't stop thinking about how thankful I am that my firstborn is a girl. Because our firstborn is going to have to be Mommy's Little Helper with a servant's heart! She will have to help me with all the household chores and future children. More so than other families (with my being in a wheelchair). No offense to the male race, but girls are (usually) more attentive, sacrificial, and overall sweet. Thank You, my Provider. This is just one drop in my ocean of gratitude.
  • It is time for some videos. The first one is of her getting ready to crawl. Seriously, she rocks the crib so hard that I am just waiting for it to break! [Don't you just love how she rocks so hard that she sets off the musical bear in her crib ;)] The second video is of her jumping in the Johnny Jump Up. Her legs are definitely getting stronger.

  • Verse to memorize this week: Hebrews 4:13 ~ Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Marco? Polo!

Part of last week, we were able to meet my immediate family down in Marco Island, FL. We flew while everyone else drove because we were not able to stay as long. We had never been there, but we now call it 'The Continental Hawai'i.' It is that nice. If there is another family vacation down the road, I think this will be the destination :)

Aolani was ideal on the flights - wooing every other passenger with her coy, flirty smiles! The weather was great; it only rained the day we were leaving ;) By far, the most noteworthy news regarding the trip... by a fluke (aka grace) all the handicap accessible rooms were taken, so Ricky and I had to settle on getting moved up to the penthouse. Yep, the penthouse at the Marriott's resort. I have never (and likely it will never happen again) seen, needless stayed, inside a penthouse suite. But, oh my! Our deck was larger than my parent's and my brother's rooms put together! What a delightful and unexpected treat this turned out to be. Thank You, Father of lights. Let me just say that there is something special about being on the rooftop :)

Aolani did get to experience some firsts on this trip. Ricky took her into the ocean, and he also submerged her under water (in the pool). Supposedly, babies hold their breath when you blow on their face. So, he blew and dipped. I was suspicious (I'm the mother), but hey, she's alive... Here's some pictures:

Marco Island is gulf side. The beach had soft, white sand. Not that I would know; I didn't ever feel it!

Aolani and her cousin Kylie had three of the same outfits. Here's the first one: a sun suit.

See my nervous expression in the background as Ricky blows and dunks?!

Lindsay, Kylie, and Jacob (my brother)

"I'm too cool for this pool"

Outfit no. 2 = bathing suit

I love this picture of Kylie - it looks like she has the football and is warding off the defense as she runs the ball in for a touchdown. Go, Kylie, go!

"Toss me in, Dad. I can float!"

Grandma Oliver

Pawpaw Oliver

Our precious niece

This makes the third identical outfit. Aolani may be smaller, but she can obviously hold her own - here she is ripping her cousin's ear off!

Family portrait

Farewell to this tropical paradise!
Marco Island is highly recommended!