Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Is Left-Leaning Google Censoring Right-Leaning Websites?

Is Left-Leaning Google Censoring Right-Leaning Websites?
May 22nd, 2006



Something frighteningly ominous has been happening on the Internet lately: Google, without any prior explanation or notice, has been terminating its News relationship with conservative e-zines and web journals.

At first blush, one can easily ignore such business decisions by the most powerful company on the Internet as being routine. However, on closer examination, such behavior could give one relatively small (when measured by the size of its workforce) technology corporation a degree of political might that frankly dwarfs even its current financial prowess.

It's Not So Easy Being A Conservative E-Zine

As reported by NewsBusters, the most recent occurrence of this unexplained phenomenon was Friday, May 19, when Frank Salvato, proprietor of The New Media Journal, realized that his content that day hadn't been disseminated at Google News as it had been on a daily basis since he reached an agreement with the search engine in September 2005.

After sending the Google Help Desk a query concerning the matter, Salvato was informed that there had been complaints of "hate speech" at his website, and as a result, The New Media Journal would no longer be part of Google News. As evidence of his offense, the Google Team supplied Salvato with links to three recent op-eds published by his contributing writers, all coincidentally about radical Islam and its relation to terrorism.

Unfortunately, this was not the first conservative e-zine to be terminated in such a fashion. On March 29, Rusty Shackleford, owner of The Jawa Report, received a similar e-mail message as Salvato informing him that:

"Upon recent review, we've found that your site contains hate speech, and we will no longer be including it in Google News."


For those unfamiliar, The Jawa Report focuses a great deal of attention on terrorist issues and how they relate to radical Islam.

Two weeks after Jawa was cut from Google News, Jim Sesi's MichNews.com was banished on April 12. In Sesi's case, the three pieces provided as examples of "hate speech" were articles by conservative writer J. Grant Swank, Jr., all about - you guessed it - radical Islam and terrorism.

See a trend here?

As a sidebar, the NewsBusters article that first broke this story on May 19 cannot be found by doing a Google News search even though other recent articles by NewsBusters can.

Smells Like Conservative Intolerance

To be sure, there have been complaints in the past from conservative bloggers that Google seems to have dubious requirements to be a part of its News Crawl. In February 2005, Michelle Malkin wrote of the difficulties she was having becoming part of Google News. At roughly the same time, Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs also complained about not being able to curry Google's favor.

Yet, in the current instance, what is indeed odd is that some of the supposedly offensive content is still available at Google News even if some of the publishers aren't. Arlene Peck's "How Has Islam Enriched Your Life?" is still being promoted by Google News at InfoIsrael.net even though it is no longer linked by Google News to The New Media Journal.

The same is true of Barbara Stock's "Islam is as Islam Does," which can still be found via Google News at Renew America. And, Amil Imani's "Islam: A False Religion" can still be found through Google News at Think and Ask.

As such, the three articles that appalled Google News to an extent that necessitated ties between it and The New Media Journal be severed can still be found at other sites by accessing Google News.

That doesn't make much sense, does it?

Enter The Paperless Newspaper

To better understand the hypocrisy here, a little background concerning Google technology is required. When Google News launched its Beta Release Site in April 2002, it introduced to the world a new paradigm in information delivery. Its mission: To construct a totally unbiased news engine, based on a principle of human nonintervention, fully automated both in its gathering and editing of news.

Google begins the process via conventional methods of aggregating news from sources worldwide, launching programs known as News Crawlers. Unlike its cousin the Web Crawler, a News Crawler is highly specialized in that it harvests information from a table of predefined news sites. This targeted approach makes for a distinctively agile transaction, allowing the crawl to be efficient and swift. This celerity is a vital attribute of a "news" crawler, as data refreshment needs to take place at short, regular intervals in order to assure the inclusion of "breaking news."

What distinguishes Google's system from its competitors is that captured plaintext descriptions, links, and, where available, images, are then stored in Google's mammoth database, where they are indexed and ranked on an up-to-the-minute citation relevance scale by proprietary real-time artificial intelligence algorithms without any decisions from human editors. This method, in theory, provides everyone using Google's search engine with the best coverage for each story they seek out, while shielding Google from any potential claims of bias.

The Results Speak For Themselves

Obviously, the results have been stellar. Google has quickly moved to the forefront of all things Internet. According to the April 2006 Nielsen/NetRatings report, 49 percent of all searches conducted in the U.S. in March 2006 were carried out on Google. This is an astounding market share that continues to grow. In addition, a recent study by Hitwise ranked Google News as the fifth most visited news website behind Yahoo, the Weather Channel, MSNBC, and CNN, clearly making it a growing force in news aggregation.

This penetration has given the company unprecedented influence on society. Appearing on the first page of any word search result list all but assures higher hit rates, which equates to higher revenues for e-tailers as well as brick and mortar retailers using the web to drive traffic, and more reads for news and opinion providers.

In fact, Google ranking can actually be a determining factor in the success and, perhaps, very viability of online business ventures, especially to companies with limited or no domain name recognition. This reality has given rise to a cottage industry that offers enterprises measures to improve their standings. These Search Engine Optimization companies make use of approved and, sometimes, dubious, techniques to coerce better page rankings and, thereby, superior public exposure.

Ghosts In The Machine

With this much influence and with so much at stake, challenges are inevitable. A lawsuit has been filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California, by Kinderstart.com, which seeks to prove that Google has become an "essential facility" to business, and that its arbitrary manner of banning sites from its search results represents anticompetitive behavior.

Maybe more important, when it comes to the dissemination of news, if any aggregator - be it Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc. - is creating arbitrary rules to determine what will be accessible on its pages, the potential for bias in what gets reported rears its ugly little head.

In the case of the aforementioned conservative e-zines - as well as the inaccessibility of the May 19 NewsBusters article on this subject at Google News - it appears that a human element is involved in making such decisions that is overruling an intentionally and necessarily impartial algorithm.

Is Your Internet News Service Fair and Balanced?

Few people with an above room temperature intelligence quotient question the existence of bias in the media, although there is great debate about the slant. However, it is conceivable that few folks have considered the possibility of Internet news aggregators possessing such partiality, and, maybe more important, the ramifications.

In the case of Google, there is some evidence that its employees lean strongly to the left. According to a February 2005 USA Today article on the subject:

"As it claws for greater power, the Democratic Party has found a newly rich ally in one of the fastest-growing U.S. companies: Google."


The article stated that of the over $200,000 Google employees gave to federal candidates in 2004, "98% went to Democrats, the biggest share among top tech donors." And, with a largely successful public stock offering making "scores of millionaires among [Google's] 3,000 workers,"

"Democrats now have a potentially potent source of cash as they fight to retake the White House and Congress."

Potentially more telling, a May 15 "Washington Prowler" piece at The American Spectator disclosed a link between Google and the ultra-left wing MoveOn.org:

Google has become the single largest private corporate underwriter of MoveOn. According to sources in the Democrat National Committee, MoveOn has received more than $1 million from Google and its lobbyists in Washington to create grassroots support for the Internet regulation legislation ["Net Neutrality"]. Some of that money has gone to an online petition drive and a letter-writing campaign, but the majority of that money is being used to fund their activities against Republicans out in the states.


Beyond this, Google appears intimately tied to former vice president and potential 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore. It is no secret that Gore is a senior advisor to Google, a position that garnered him a sizable number of shares according to Fox News political analyst Susan Estrich. On May 19's The Big Story, Estrich discussed with host John Gibson Gore's connection with Google, and how the wealth generated from the shares he owns in the Internet behemoth could give him enough money to finance his own presidential campaign.

This relationship goes further. According to a recent Wired magazine article about Gore, he is extremely close to Google's CEO Eric Schmidt who "supported Gore's 2000 presidential campaign." Moreover, in April 2005, Google partnered with Gore's cable channel, Current.

Googling Past The Graveyard

Certainly, there is nothing new about politicians getting in bed with billionaires, and vice versa. However, in this case, if the political leanings and proclivities of the world's largest online information engine - as well as likely the number one disseminator of "new media" content - begin impacting its policies, America may be on the precipice of an even ghastlier problem than journalists, editors, and news producers allowing their political dogma to interfere with the impartiality of their reports.

Without question - and taking a cue from Kinderstart.com - this juggernaut named Google has become an "essential facility" to news seekers. In an interview with The Poynter Institute, Barry Parr of Jupiter Research discussed the findings of his company's September 2005 study into demographic preferences for news gathering online. Mr. Parr states that portals like Google, Yahoo, and MSN "have become the second-most-used news medium by young people."

Moreover, to new media providers like e-zines and web journals, referrals from Google News can comprise 20 percent or more of their unique reads in a given day, which is the bread and butter for determining current and future ad revenue.

With that in mind, how much power does a company that disseminates almost half of the country's word search results command over the opinions of our growing population, and what protections exist against abuses of such overreaching power?

How does such a company put itself in the position of grand arbiter over what is and what is not "hate speech," or content otherwise objectionable?

And, doesn't this obvious gray area give such a company the unilateral ability to squelch opinions it doesn't agree with just by applying such a vague moniker to what might be an infinitesimally small percentage of an e-zine or web journal's content?

As comforting as the mission statement of unbiased reporting driven by algorithm rather than opinion may sound on paper, the truth is that, with all "approved" news sources contained in a single table, team Google retains complete editorial authority over the parents of the information to which they give birth.

One touch of a key, and, poof: To the Google World, that news site no longer exists!

Regrettably, neither do the facts and opinions contained therein.

Noel Sheppard is a contributing writer for the Business & Media Institute, as well as contributing editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org. Marc Sheppard is a business owner, software developer, and writer residing on New York's Long Island. They welcome your feedback to Noel and Mark. and mshep@optonline.com.




Noel Sheppard and Marc Sheppard

original source can be found here

Sunday, May 28, 2006

*Freedom Is Not Free*

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
and then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, freedom isn't free.

I heard the sound of taps one night,
when everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That taps had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington..
No freedom isn't free.

copyright 1981 Kelly Strong
KellyStrong@aol.com

Friday, May 26, 2006

Rain, rain, go away.

Well, we were supposed to go to Waldameer today for the twins' school picnic. Needless to say, we didn't go. It has rained 90% of the day. Not that we don't need the rain. And, I guess I'd rather have it rain today than on Memorial Day. I think we might take the kids Monday to Waldameer, instead. It's probably the only time we'll have this month to take them. They weren't too bummed, though, fortunately. We could have gone in the rain, but would we have had fun? No.

I just finished a lo for the font speed scrap. I must share. It is probably my favorite so far! Thanks, laurie, for hosting it and giving me inspiration. I probably would not hav scrapped this photo otherwise.



This is a picture Ryan took of Zach. He wanted to take a few pics with our digi cam, and this is one of the ones he came up with. This has inspired me to do a few other lo's with the pics Ryan took. Look for those in a future post or 2.

Well, it sounds like it's time for me to wrangle the kids back to bed.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Five

Here is the page I did celebrating the twins' birthday:



I've been pretty busy working on an actual kit. Hopefully I'll get it done soon. If not, I'll at least have some papers for y'all :)

For now, I'm off to bed. The boys' end-of-year class picnic is tomorrow at Waldameer. We're all going to be whipped, I'm sure, but it will be fun!

I can not believe this!

So, I guess since I'm 5 feet 1/2 in tall, this would apply to me, too? This is despicable! How could a judge be so stupid?

Judge rules sex offender is too short for prison
5-foot-1 man gets 10 years probation for sexual assault of a child

AP
Updated: 8:14 a.m. ET May 25, 2006

SIDNEY, Neb. - A judge said a 5-foot-1 man convicted of sexually assaulting a child was too small to survive in prison, and gave him 10 years of probation instead.

His crimes deserved a long sentence, District Judge Kristine Cecava said, but she worried that Richard W. Thompson, 50, would be especially imperiled by prison dangers.

"You are a sex offender, and you did it to a child," she said.

But, she said, "That doesn't make you a hunter. You do not fit in that category."

Thompson will be electronically monitored the first four months of his probation, and he was told to never be alone with someone under age 18 or date or live with a woman whose children were under 18. Cecava also ordered Thompson to get rid of his pornography.

He faces 30 days of jail each year of his probation unless he follows its conditions closely.

"I want control of you until I know you have integrated change into your life," the judge told Thompson. "I truly hope that my bet on you being OK out in society is not misplaced."

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

It's finished

Today was the last day of Preschool for the twins. I though I'd be a little more upset than I was. I was completely fine until their teacher gave me a hug. Then I got a little misty-eyed. When I picked them up and read their report cards, She put on there that she was going to miss them, us and especially Alex. I found this so touching. Alex loved taking his brothers to school and was always more excited than the twins to see Mrs. McCarthy. I always had a hard time pulling him away from the classroom. I was very touched that she said she would miss him. I will have to make it a point to stop in and see her next year, although Alex will be in the Tues/Thurs class, opposite days that she teaches. But I'll still have to take the boys over there to see her.

I still remember my first teacher. She's long since retired, but I remember her name, what she looked like, the classroom, everything. What I love is that Mrs. McCarthy has instilled such a love of learning and a love for school into the boys, much as Mrs. Pasto did in me.

But now, it's 11 weeks of fun until school starts again!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

American Idol...one last performance!

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Casey hits a new low

Ok, having not heard of this story until I checked in on the Rick Santorum website, I realize I need to watch the news in it's entirety, not just the weather, lol. That being said, I am completely appalled! This is disturbing on so many levels it isn't funny in the slightest. This is what I have discovered:

On KDKA TV on May 18, there was an investigative report that revealed the shocking news of a Casey campaign operative peeking into the windows of the Santorum family home. Watch the KDKA story that details their effort: http://kdka.com/local/local_story_138235556.html

The television segment features Ed Vecchio, who is married to Erin Vecchio, chairwoman of the Penn Hills Democratic Committee, and closely connected with Bobby Casey Jr.'s campaign.

The Vecchios acknowledge to peering in the windows of the Santorum's home. You can play politics during political campaigns and criticize the candidate's positions, but to go after someone's family by snooping around their home is beyond the pale.



That is beyond scary! Here is what the article linked above says. This is from KDKA's website:

May 19, 2006 7:11 am US/Eastern

Patrols Beefed Up Near Santorum's Home

Ralph Iannotti
Reporting

(KDKA) PENN HILLS KDKA has learned that extra police patrols have been called in to keep an eye on Senator Rick Santorum's home in Penn Hills.

Rick Santorum's residency in the area and, in fact, his residency in Pennsylvania, has become an issue in this still young U.S. Senate campaign.

KDKA's Ralph Iannotti reports Santorum's residency is no longer just only a political issue... it's now become a police matter, as well.

"He doesn't live here," said Ed Vecchio of Penn Hills. "The house he's registered to vote out of, is vacant -- no curtains, furniture, nothing in there. It's abandoned for over a month. So, I feel it's my right to contest his vote."

Those comments from the husband of the head of the Penn Hills Democratic Party led police to beef up patrols around the home of U.S. Senator Rick Santorum.

The increased police presence began late Tuesday, after authorities in Washington D.C. contacted Penn Hills authorities.

U.S. Capitol Police received a complaint from Karen Santorum.

She was worried that someone was trespassing or prowling on their Penn Hills property.

The Santorums are under fire from some Democrats who have long questioned their Penn Hills residency.

They admit they spend most of their time at their home in Leesburg, Virginia.

Rick Santorum's in-laws told KDKA the senator and their daughters were in town this week.

"They were here for five days over Mother's Day, and they left early Wednesday morning, to go back to Washington," said Betty Lee Garver, Senator Santorum's mother-in-law.

Penn Hills Public Safety Director Ron Machesky said he's asked his officers to document their Santorum house checks whenever they're free, after they finish regular duties.

Machesky said the beefed up security around Santorum's house does not detract from police service to the rest of Penn Hills.

John Braebender, a Santorum strategist, thinks leaders of the Penn Hills Democratic Party are involved.

Braebender says: "It's hardball politics, looking into people's homes... For someone to be stalking their house for political reasons is nothing short of unconscionable."

Right now, Penn Hills Police don't know who, if anybody, trespassed on Santorum's property.

No one has been charged.

As for the Santorums, they think someone would have had to go onto their property to know what is, or isn't inside.


How someone can stoop that low is beyond me! If that were me, in Mrs. Santorum's position, I think I would be too afraid to go back to the property. I would not feel it was safe for myself and my children. My heart goes out to them. As far as the claims that the house is vacant, if you look at the picture on KDKA's website, you can clearly see there are curtains in the window. But, that is neither here nor there. The fact that someone from Casey's campaign admitted to going onto the private property of anyone, let a lone a U.S. Senator, is incomprehensible. Casey should be ashamed to have such people working for him. Not to mention they were breaking the law! Have people in politics really stooped this low?

But what's even more shocking, the Casey campaign is embracing these tactics and put out false information about the Santorum family, further risking the safety of the Santorum's young children and the security of their home. Here is a press release from the Casey campaign in regards to the spying matter:

DID GEORGE WASHINGTON SLEEP THERE TOO? - 5/18/2006


For Immediate Release

May 18, 2006

Contact:

Larry Smar

215-567-4190

Did George Washington Sleep There Too?

Santorum not shooting straight on residency; legal questions arise


PHILADELPHIA--U.S. Sen. Santorum's residency is in question again after
a Penn Hills resident challenged Santorum's right to vote. Although
press reports state the house is either empty or occupied by his niece,
Santorum says he sleeps in Penn Hills...and in Virginia.


"Santorum's claims that he lives in Penn Hills are blatantly untrue,"
said Bob Casey spokesperson Larry Smar. "Santorum was first elected by
attacking his opponent for moving to Virginia, he should just admit that
he's done the same thing and repay the taxpayers for the tens of
thousands of dollars in cyber school expenses."


The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that residency is determined by
where a candidate's family lives. These rulings raise serious questions
about Santorum's residency. These rulings were recently invoked when
Democrat Mike Crossey was not allowed to run for the State House in
District 27 because his family lived in another District.


In 1990, Santorum ran TV ads featuring his opponent's house in Virginia
and questioning his residency. Santorum lives in a Virginia home valued
at over $900,000. Santorum also owns a small house in Penn Hills that
press reports have stated has been occupied by his niece and her family.




According to a story in the Penn Hills Progress yesterday, Santorum now
even denies that his niece had ever lived in the house. However, in
2004, even Santorum admitted that he only stays at the house on holidays
and that his niece and her family live at the house. [Pittsburgh
Post-Gazette, 11-22-04] His niece and her husband are registered to vote
at the property owned by Santorum. [Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 12-24-04]




Who do you believe 2004 Santorum or 2006 Santorum?


Santorum billed Penn Hills taxpayers for tens of thousands of dollars in
cyberschool expenses even though he lives in Virginia. Santorum also
collected a tax break claiming that the Penn Hills property is his
primary residence.


On a day like this, having a spokesperson named Virginia is the last
thing Santorum needs.



###



Larry Smar

Communications and Policy Director

Bob Casey for Pennsylvania Committee

(P) 215-567-4190

(F) 215-567-4191

lsmar@bobcaseyforpa.com

www.bobcaseyforpa.com

Paid for and authorized by the Bob Casey for Pennsylvania Committee.

Contributions to the Bob Casey for Pennsylvania Committee are not
tax-deductible.



In response to this whole ordeal, here is the letter Rick and his wife, Karen, sent to Bob Casey:

Bob Casey, Jr.
c/o Bob Casey for Pennsylvania Committee
1601 Walnut St, Suite 402
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Dear Bob,

We are writing to express our outrage regarding the actions of your campaign, which have put our six young children at a serious safety risk. Last night, we learned with deep dismay that a Casey operative admitted on KDKA-TV to trespassing on our property and viewing the inside of our home. Further, your campaign issued a press release yesterday that falsely says that we do not stay in our Penn Hills home. This reckless statement is not only a lie, but alerts those who may want to enter the home illegally. Your despicable actions have greatly endangered our children's safety.

Let us remind you that while Rick is a U.S. Senator, Karen and our six young children are not. You are welcome to criticize Rick's positions, but putting our children's privacy and safety at risk has certainly crossed a line we never expected. If anyone associated with our campaign ever put your wife or children in any type of risk, he or she would be fired immediately.

We call on you to immediately dismiss your campaign spokesperson and anyone else on your staff involved with this malicious effort. Anything short of the dismissal of these individuals is your endorsement of this repugnant act.

Your immediate attention to this unfortunate matter would be much appreciated by every member of our family.

Sincerely,

Rick and Karen Santorum



I have an idea, Mr. Casey. Instead of smearing Santorum's name all over the state, why don't you just agree to debate him? Then, instead of running on the platform of defacing your opponent, you can run on a platform of what you're going to actually do for Pennsylvania? If you want people to vote for you, tell us what you will do for us. Where do you stand on the issues? Casey did agree to debate, but would not agree to the 10 that the Santorum campaign wanted. How many he will participate in is unckear. From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

"Casey also would not agree to participate in 10 debates, as Santorum suggested Tuesday in an election night speech. Casey said he would debate, but declined to specify a number." (Carrie Budoff, "Santorum and Casey come out slugging," The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 18, 2006)


Also from the Inquirer:

"Casey yesterday rejected a challenge from Sen. Rick Santorum (R., Pa.) to state how he would vote on every Senate bill through Election Day, calling it a 'silly political ploy.' 'No voter in Pennsylvania cares about individual votes on every single vote that comes before the Senate,' Casey said at his Center City office. 'They want to know whether you are going to be standing with them on very important priorities.' (Carrie Budoff, "Santorum and Casey come out slugging," The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 18, 2006)


But, perhaps the most interesting quote by Mr. Casey is this one, from the Scranton-Times News:

"'It's always tough, always adversarial. That's the nature of the system,' the Scranton Democrat said when asked if the campaign could go negative. '(Campaigns) should be adversarial. This isn't a discussion about public policy, this is an election, and politics in this state is a contact sport.'" (Roger Dupuis, "Casey looking ahead to November race Scrantonian set to face Santorum," Scranton Times-Tribune, May 17, 2006)


Oh, really? It's not about public policy? So, what exactly are we electing you for, then, Mr. Casey? If you aren't taking this election seriously, then why should we take you seriously? You have just made it blatantly obvious that you aren't in this to help us by getting policies passed that will benefit Pennsylvanians. Do tell why it is we should think your campaign is anything but a joke? If you aren't serious about us, there is no way we will be seerious about you. You have just written your ticket back home, Mr. Casey. I see no trip to Washington in your future.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

SAHM part 2

When I posted earlier about SAHM's and how we're under attack, I was met with some opposition. Particularly with my comments about feminism and how they don't like SAHM's. Well, I ran across an interesting article in a list of several links, courtesy of my dh, and I wanted to share it. Normally I would share it in part, but I'll post it in it's entirety. It speaks volumes as to what I was saying a few days ago. I will, however, highligh a few paragraphs for easier reading....Please, please, please know that in no way do I have anything against working mothers. I was a working mother until our youngest was born and we could no longer afford for me to work (yes, you read that right. When the price of daycare exceeds what I would bring in, what's the point?). I am only posting this as a support to my previous post. Obviously I have made the choice to not work, just as others have chosen to work. And, when my youngest is in Kindergarten in 2 years, I will return to school/work.




How Feminism Harms Families
By Dennis Leap June/July 2006



Feminism is under fire. Feminist philosophy has reigned—the queen unchallenged—since the end of the early 1980s. But in recent years, biologists, educators, law enforcement officials and thinking women have begun objecting to and rejecting some long-held feminist doctrines. The throne’s foundation has cracks! Many of the radical feminist’s sacred truths are now recognized for what they are: myths and lies.

Although there exists some strong opposition against the feminist fortress, we should not expect the feminist movement to topple any time soon. But is there truth in the criticism? Has the feminist movement, so proudly praised for servicing women, done a disservice to the family?

Women’s Suffrage to NOW

Feminists claim the women’s suffrage movement as the beginning of modern feminism. The suffrage movement originated in the United States during the 19th century. Some famous early suffragists were Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucy Stone. Originally, women’s suffrage sought to give women equal political rights with men—the right to vote in elections and referendums; the right to hold political office. We must remember that these political rights had only been given to the majority of the male population as a result of the democratic revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries. The women’s suffrage movement claimed its victory shortly after World War i with the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution on Aug. 18, 1920, guaranteeing women the right to vote in state and federal elections.

In the 1960s, the women’s liberation movement was organized and became active. Betty Friedan is credited as one of the founders of modern feminism. Her 1963 book The Feminine Mystique challenged the traditional idea that women could find fulfillment only as wives and mothers. She taught that the idealization of the role of wife and mother was the product of a well-organized conspiracy by males to prevent women from competing with men.

In 1966, Friedan founded the National Organization for Women (now) to fight for equal rights for women, and served as its president until 1970. At that time, the women’s movement sought to liberate women from the tedious humdrum of babies, bottles, diapers, cleaning and cooking. Women’s movement leaders sought freedom from their “prison” at home. The key to freedom was equal opportunity with men, which meant equal jobs and equal pay.

Then, the women’s movement aligned itself with the civil rights movement. A clear message was being sent: Blacks had to fight white racism; enslaved women had to fight male sexism. Women everywhere had to be made aware of their oppression and oppressors. The women’s movement borrowed heavily from the attention-getting strategies of the civil rights movement. It skillfully employed rallies, demonstrations and marches to trumpet the women’s cause. Besides politicians and media, the struggle targeted young, impressionable college-aged women. What began as a tiny rumble soon roared into major discontent. Many angry, frustrated women joined the cause. The energy released by the women’s liberation movement was enormous. Old traditions came tumbling down.

Now we have four decades of feminist history to look at. What do we see?

More than any other social movement in our time, feminism has changed the warp and weave of our society. Feminist philosophy has made major inroads into politics, the work place, the military, education, medical research and the building block of society—the family. Very few have questioned the changes. Many who balk at some feminist notions heartily embrace others.

Wisdom tells us not all change is good. Not all change is growth. Some bitter fruits are now being harvested from feminism in all areas it has infiltrated, in the personal lives of many women, and especially in the family. Who will take the blame?

For decades, feminists have condemned men for everything. Supposedly, our patriarchal society is the root cause of everything wrong. Of course, some men should be condemned for their mistreatment of women. But what has feminism brought us? Is life really better for women? Are families better off? Is society stronger?

Attack on Motherhood

The fact that so many women identified with the liberation movement shows that there were real problems within the American home. The movement greatly publicized the dissatisfaction and desperation of housewives. Many American wives were indeed unhappy. But what was the cause of all the unhappiness?

Leaders of the women’s liberation movement theorized that the real cause of women’s sorrow was the role of wife and mother. Many asked, shouldn’t we women find fulfillment in a career like a man? Supposedly, those who wanted to hold a career had been made to feel guilty about it by oppressive males. Many women began to feel their real potential was being denied them. The proposed solution was that women seek real fulfillment outside of the home—without guilt.

Women fought hard for the right to choose a career outside the home. Yet labor statistics at that time show that a large number of women had already entered the work force. Could the cause of unhappiness have been wrongly identified? Was a wrong solution given? Caught up in the movement, few seemed to ask these all-important questions in the ’60s and ’70s.

Today, many women have come to understand that feminism really did not offer a choice in the ’60s. In fact, it demanded that women could only find fulfillment through a career outside the home. Though it has taken several decades for it to be recognized, in reality, feminism has led a vicious attack on motherhood—one of two major underpinnings of strong families.

The ’60s woman complained that she was made to feel guilty for not desiring to stay home. Isn’t it ironic today that a woman who desires to stay home to be a wife and mother is made to feel guilty? In an interview on abc’s Good Morning America, prominent feminist Linda Hirshman said, “I am saying an educated, competent adult’s place is in the office” (February 23). Feminist Rebecca Traister admits that, somewhere along the line, the feminist movement declared stay-at-home mothers uneducated and incompetent: “[W]hen you lose your paycheck and lose your title, somehow you lose respect. And … that should not be the case” (Salon.com, Dec. 6, 2005).
Young women are made to feel that education should be directed toward career advancement only and not toward teaching and training their own young children. Stable families with educated, stay-at-home mothers would solve a large number of our current social troubles. We must learn to defend and praise the women who stay at home. Motherhood is noble and fulfilling, real work!

Mothers as Non-Persons

Today, a stay-at-home mother is viewed as a kind of second-class woman. In fact, feminists do not even view stay-at-home mothers as persons. This derogatory view began with Betty Friedan. “[V]acuuming the living room floor—with or without makeup—is not work that takes enough thought or energy to challenge any woman’s full capacity. Down through the ages man has known that he was set apart from other animals by his mind’s power to have an idea, a vision, and shape the future to it. … [W]hen he discovers and creates and shapes a future different from his past, he is a man, a human being” (The Feminine Mystique). The basic idea of feminism was that women should have a choice to go to the workplace and become less animal-like. What does that make a stay-at-home mother? Since being a wife and mother was supposedly glorified in the 1950s, the women’s movement fought to demote that role to the lowest level possible. Many impressionable young women wholeheartedly believed this 1960s philosophy.

Unfortunately, this feminist teaching has planted deep roots in the consciousness of American women. The feminist tree has blossomed. Today, it is considered a great shame to be a wife and mother only. In fact, being a wife and mother is synonymous with the meaningless life of a lower, uneducated class of people. What are today’s fruits of this philosophy?

Families in Crisis

The fight for women’s rights has actually turned into a fight against the family. Even the mothers of modern feminism admit that radical feminists have worked hard to repudiate the family.

Feminist Stephanie Coontz, history professor at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wa., wrote in the Washington Post, “We cannot afford to construct our social policies, our advice to our own children and even our own emotional expectations around the illusion that all commitments, sexual activities and caregiving will take place in a traditional marriage” (May 1). You don’t have to read between the lines to understand that such thinking is destroying the traditional family!

It is within the Anglo-American world that feminism has been embraced the most passionately. These countries also have the highest divorce rates in the world, and are producing record numbers of fatherless children—which in turn creates many other social problems. Robert Sheaffer writes, “One can try to argue that the U.S. family died of natural causes at precisely the same time feminists began shooting at it, but after examining the depth and ferocity of the feminist attack against women’s roles as wives and mothers, such an argument fails to convince” (Feminism, the Noble Lie). Let’s own up to it: Feminism has caused some tragic results for the family.

If we are going to fix our social problems, we must recognize that feminism has led our Western families into serious crises. Here is how it happened. Although many young women answered the call to pursue a career, they could not deny their natural desire for a husband and children. Many then opted to have a husband, children and a career. Realizing that certain feminine desires could not be denied, a new movement slogan was quickly pushed into public view—“having it all.” This slogan lives on. But it ignores a hard reality for many working mothers: Having it all also means handling it all. Working career mothers were forced into a high-stress rat race. Having it all was supposed to be fulfilling, but it was not. Now, almost four decades later, women find they are not any closer to finding true, satisfying fulfillment. For some, “having it all” has meant losing it all.

The truth is, working mothers suffer. The children of working mothers always suffer. And should we forget—the husband suffers too.

Severe fatigue plagues many working mothers. Balancing career, marriage and child care is an impossible task. Few can actually do it all. To do it all, corners have to be cut. Unfortunately, because of feminist peer pressure, marriage and family are sacrificed before career. Many two-career marriages have crumbled. Children have been left at home alone. Can we begin to see the harm that working motherhood has done to families?

Absentee Mothers

Our society of working mothers is a disaster. Experts agree that the industrial revolution produced families with absentee fathers. Now feminism has given us families with absentee mothers. What does this mean? Essentially, our children are growing up alone.

It is estimated that as many as 60 percent of American children do not have full-time parental supervision. Think about it. If children are blessed enough to be in a two-parent home, generally they still have both parents working outside the home. The children are left home alone. If the family is run by a single parent, that parent (whether male or female) is working. Again, the children are home alone. This means our youth are growing up with an ever-dwindling amount of parental love, nurturing and supervision. The average latchkey child (a child returning home after school with no parent to greet him) is alone three hours per day. Some of these children are as young as 8; most are in their teens. When we think about parents arriving home after a difficult day at the office, we can logically surmise that there is not much quality time left for the child.

All children and teens fundamentally need acceptance, praise, teaching and discipline. Children need to be taught right from wrong. Children need to learn how to be successful. This requires experience and activities. These needs are best met by parents. If these needs are not met at home, children have no other choice than to look elsewhere. This makes our children frustrated, angry and vulnerable to many dangers.

Unfortunately, many children and teens are falling prey to unscrupulous adults and other youth who lead them in the wrong direction. For example, law enforcement officials recognize that gang membership is up. The sale of illegal drugs to elementary and middle school children is also escalating.

One proverb states, “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame” (Proverbs 29:15). Many adults are shocked by headlines about school shootings and other youth crime, but is anybody doing anything about it? Experts are looking for causes and solutions. It is a proven fact that children and youth living under the loving attention of parents generally do not get involved with crime. Most experts now agree that to fix our social problems, the family has to be restored. But how?

The solution to restoring families can only be found by understanding God’s intended purpose for men and women.

God’s Purpose for Women


Herbert Armstrong taught for many years that if you start from a wrong hypothesis, then the solution will be in error and the problem will grow worse. Isn’t that exactly what we are seeing today? When it was discovered that so many American women were unhappy, the women’s liberation movement assumed that the role of wife and mother was the cause of all the unhappiness; the solution to the problem was to have women reject the role of wife and mother. Did this solution produce the desired result? Today, many women admit they have not found true fulfillment in careers, and our social problems have increased. As Mr. Armstrong forewarned, the problem has grown worse.

What is the cause of women’s unhappiness? We must look to the Bible for our answer. The cause for women’s unhappiness and frustration predates even the women’s suffrage movement of the 1900s.

For millennia, women (and men) have not understood the God-intended purpose for women. Elizabeth Cady Stanton stated this about the Bible: “I know of no other books that so fully teach the subjection and degradation of women” (Eighty Years and More, 1898). I am sure many of today’s feminists would agree. But this comment reveals a total lack of understanding of a woman’s true purpose in life—of what true womanhood is and how to achieve it.

In truth, the Bible’s purpose for women (and men), when fully understood, reveals a potential so incredible it is nearly unbelievable. Request your free copy of The Incredible Human Potential, by Herbert Armstrong, for an eye-opening explanation of God’s purpose for all mankind.

The Bible shows that God created women to be wives and mothers. “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18). This one verse reveals that man by himself was not complete. God designed a woman to be his perfect counterpart.

A woman was not created to be a man’s slave, but his co-regent (Genesis 1:28). Neither could achieve success in life without the other. To be successful and happy in life, both would have to fulfill their respective created roles. Simply put, the man was to be a loving leader and provider; the woman was to help and inspire the man. She was also given the exalted responsibility to bear and train children. Men and women were created to work together to build a happy society that fosters growth and success. All this training on Earth was intended as a preparation for a future, more permanent afterlife. God intended that men and women share equally the opportunity to obtain eternal life (1 Peter 3:7). When men and women work together to achieve their designed purpose, they will experience satisfying fulfillment.

So how do we restore families? What about putting fathers back in charge of families and having mothers stay at home? To many, this solution may seem oversimplified, yet it is the only solution that will work. As long as men and women forsake the position in life God intended for them, unhappiness, frustration and catastrophe will be the result.

Our first parents, Adam and Eve, rejected what God taught them. They rejected their intended roles and they produced a child delinquent. Remember, Cain killed Abel (Genesis 4). Sounds thoroughly modern, doesn’t it?

Will society fix our family problems? The answer is no. But if you seriously consider this article, you can change your family situation.

It’s All About Me

The problems in our society and families go much deeper than feminism. What is the real problem? Feminism is a symptom of a deeper human sickness. After 40 years of history, it is clear now that feminism’s agenda has always been to seize power and change society to suit its own purpose. Feminists have been selfish and self-centered. Little thought has been given to the impact on others. Many now recognize that feminists have grown excessively selfish. The movement is now best defined, not as we, but me!

The current trends in feminism are a sign of our times. It is typical of a human problem that has existed since Adam and Eve: Men, women and children have all become extremely selfish.

The Apostle Paul prophesied this sickness in our society nearly 2,000 years ago. He wrote to Timothy, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men [and women and children] shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Timothy 3:1-5). If we are truly honest with ourselves, we can easily recognize that this scripture perfectly describes our time.

We live in dangerous times. Why? Remember, there is a cause for every effect. As Mr. Armstrong said so many times, all human beings are living the way of get! Everyone selfishly seeks only what he perceives as good for himself. What are the results? Isaiah gives us the answer. Referring to our time, he wrote, “And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable” (Isaiah 3:5). When human beings live only for self, everyone eventually suffers. The Bible shows us that the worst time of human suffering is just ahead of us (Matthew 24:15-21). Mankind—which includes men, women and children—is bringing this suffering upon itself.

But there is hope. Although the Bible shows us there are some very serious times just ahead, afterward there will be the best of times. Jesus Christ will return. He will restore the family. Women’s high calling as wife and mother will be reestablished. Fathers will be taught how to lovingly guide their families. Peace, success and abundance will break out worldwide.

A bold new journey

I am embarking on a bold new journey. I have only dabbled in politics, but I am delving in head first, now. No, I'm not running for office, but I am going to start campaigning for new legislation in PA. It's called The Twin Legislation Bill for Pennsylvania.

What is this bill? In a nutshell, it would give parents of twins (like Brian and I) and other multiples the right to choose whether their children are separated or together in school. Seems trivial, I know, but believe it or not, we are not being given a choice. When I registered them at Emerson-Gridley, I was surprised that they asked me what we wanted. I was very glad, though, as it meant I didn't have to fight them on it.

That being said, they actually got into Harding, much to my delight. Upon filling out a few extra registration forms, the secretary in the office told me that they usually separate them. I informed her that it is our wishes that they be together, not separate. She said she would tell them (by them, I assume she means whomever divy's up the kindergarteners) but that they usually separate them anyway. This, to me, translates into "Well, you can tell us what you want, but we'll do what we want anyway."

Once their preschool teacher heard that they were going to Harding, she told me to fight to keep them together. She has had experience with twins being separated against parental wishes. Apparently this is a common occurance at Harding and other places around the district. Why someone who doesn't know my kids would think they could make the best decision for them is beyond my realm of understanding.

So, Monday I embark on a bold new journey...one I had never dreamed I would need to take. I am starting by composing a letter to the Principal of Harding requesting that our parental wishes be granted. I hope that is enough. If not, I will take it as far as I can, including to the news media, if I must.

Speaking of taking it as far as I can, something else I'm doing is pushing for the aforementioned legislation. If you would like to sign the petition that is being sent to our state and federal lawmakers, here is the link. This is the petition for PA and you don't have to be a parent of twins or multiples to sign it. I urge you to sign it, even if you don't have children. Help us retain our rights as parents to decide what is best for our children, not the schools. Thanks for your support!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Teacher gift

I am making each of their teachers (2 of them) 2 scrapbook pages of pictures throughout the year. Here is the first one. I'll post the other 3 when I get them done. I'm still working on implementing their handwriting (their names) into the second page for each. Will work on that this weekend :)

My first freebie!

Well, it's not much, but it's a start! It's just a paper pack, but here's a preview:



If you are interested, you can download it here. If you download it, please leave me a comment. I'm new to all this still, so any cc is greatly appreciated!

The boys have 2 days left of school. I have 1 of their teacher's pages done, all I have to do for the other teacher is change a couple of photos. We're also going to get a small little thing of flowers and plant them in the picket fence planters the boys made at Home Depot's Kid workshop this month. I figured I don't need 3, so we thought we'd give 2 of those to the teachers. I think it will be special, since they each made their own. Much better than a store bought gift!

Ok, Im off to finish the pages! Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Connie's Ice Cream

I will just come out and say that this is the BEST Ice cream Erie has to offer!

We took the boys there tonight for the first ice cream of the season. As soon as we mentioned ice cream, they all chimed in "Are we going to go see Dave the Ice Cream man?" To them, there is no other ice cream worth having, lol. We tried to take them on Monday, but they closed early, due to the rain. I can't say I blame them, though. We were the only ones crazy enough to drive over there in the rain!

I have a feeling that, since they moved, people don't know where it's at! Oh, you all must go! Buffalo Rd in Fairview....PAST the Creamland ice cream place (or whatever it's called) about 2 minutes. If you haven't been there, you don't know what you're missing! It is well worth the drive and the gas to get out there! And, you can see and smell his beautiful flowers while you're there.

It's a great place for kids, since it's fenced in. My kids love running through the flowers "chasing cars" (like dogs), screaming all the while. I feel safe knowing that the only way for them to get to the street is to walk all the way down to the entrance to the fence and around, or crawling through the rails (it's a wooden fence...a split rail of sorts).

Anyway, if you love ice cream, or even like it, you must try Connie's!

They'll be at the Rib cook-off downtown and they'll also be at the 8 Great Tuesday's at the Amphitheatre. Give them a try!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Cheese!

Sometimes I find it frustrating that I can't capture my kids in candid moments. As soon as I pull out the camera, they cheese it up. But, I was happy he cheesed for this picture. This was last year at our first SeaWolves game. We bought ourselves hats, and he was so delighted with it, he kept taking it off and slipping it back on his head just like daddy does. I managed to catch him "in the act", since his hand was poised for taking it off. Just wanted to share!


My patriotic duty is done for today!

Yes, that's right. I have voted. And, I must say that the new touch-screen voting machines are SO MUCH EASIER than those stupid pull tabs. I never could get that right. I am sure I voted for people I had no intentions of voting for because I couldn't get the hang of the pull-tab voting. DH points out that I could have asked for help. Um, yeah, but don't you think that after asking for help EVERY TIME, they'd start to think I was a moron? I know I would! And it's the same ladies in there proctoring every voting day, so I know they know who I am (especially since we've had conversations about the weather before...hint hint).

Anyway, when I voted in the 2000 election, I was a junior in college. I skipped classes that day and went home to vote. We had the touch-screen voting machines then and I loved them. We had paper ballots in ND...scantron! No, I'm not kidding! It was like taking a test! LOL. That was too funny. Talk about taking forever to vote! I think that was much more problematic than the "hanging chads", or at least you would think. I don't remember any complaints with them, though, so they must have worked for them there in no-mans-land. Wonder if they've joined the 21st century yet..........

Ok, so, enough about all of that. Just remember to vote today! Polls are open until 8 pm, so unless you work from 5 am-9 pm with no break, you ahve no excuse! Well, there are a few excuses I can think of....but that's another post in and of itself.

Monday, May 15, 2006

What does the world have against SAHM's?

Brian sent me this article and I thought it was worth sharing. If you read my blog, or know me, you know I'm a stay-at-home mom (commonly referred to as sahm). From feminists who say we are not being true to ourselves by staying at home to raise our children (and ultimately undermining the feminist movement), to this, it seems as though the world is looking for an excuse to say choosing to stay at home and raise children is bad for us. I can not fathom how this could be bad. I was a working mom before our youngest was born. Let me tell you I don't know how I did it. I would never go back, in a million years! This is not to say that being a working mom is bad. As I've said, I've been there. It's hard work being a mom, working or not, and nothing can change that. But why do people look down upon those of us who choose to stay home? It is a choice we have made in the best interest of our family and our children. For some, like myself, it's the most cost-efficient option we have. It just makes sense. Others of us feel it's the best choice for our kids. Either way, it is a choice. We don't look down upon those mothers who choose to work. It is what they feel is right for them and for their family. For whatever choices we make as mother's, whether to stay home or to work, don't try to make us feel wrong for chosing what we did. Until you stand in our shoes, you have no idea why we made the choice we did.

New scrap page!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!

I want to wish all of you mom's out there a Happy Mother's Day! Here's to hoping you get to be

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Before I was a mom

Before I was a Mom
I slept as late as I wanted and never worried about how late I got into bed.
I brushed my hair and my teeth everyday.
Before I was a Mom
I cleaned my house each day.
I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.
Before I was a Mom I had never been puked on.
Pooped on. Spit on.
Chewed on
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.
I slept all night..
Before I was a Mom
I never held down a screaming child so that doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.
Before I was a Mom
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put it down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.
Before I was a Mom
I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.
Before I was a Mom
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much before I was a Mom.
And before I was a Grandma
I didn't know that all those "Mom" feelings more than doubled!

Motherhood - A Trivial Pursuit

Motherhood - A Trivial Pursuit

By: Jacklyn Lee Lindstrom

You've no doubt heard of Trivial Pursuit, the popular
board game based on answering trivia questions. I've
often thought that mothering is similar to such a game.
It seems we spend much of our time in a maze of trivia,
fumbling through the daily minutiae of family living,
never quite sure whether we're ahead of the game or not.

With that in mind, I have devised my own trivia game for
mothers. The rules are simple - you'll start with 10
marbles, and collect or deduct marbles as you play the
game.

Are you ready? Okay, let's go . . .

Square 1. You are awaiting the arrival of your firstborn
child. If you look at your rapidly expanding waistline
and say, "As soon as the baby is born I'll be a size 6
again," deduct 2 marbles - for wishful thinking.

Square 2. It is two years later and your second child is
soon to be born. To avoid sibling rivalry you have
prepared carefully for the event, spending "quality time"
with your firstborn, giving him his own baby doll to
feed, bathe and cuddle. When the new baby comes home,
older brother is fine. But deduct 1 marble - it's the dog
who's jealous.

Square 3. Your number one son has just announced at the
supper table that he is to be an oak tree in the school
play and needs a costume by tomorrow morning. If you stay
up until 3 a.m. making an imaginative and innovative
costume, deduct 3 marbles for setting an impossible
example for the rest of us. On the other hand, if you
stick him into a brown paper bag with a hole for head and
arms and tape green leaves all over front and back,
collect 5 marbles. You've just taken the rest of us off
the hook.

Square 4. The kids now number three and are all in
school. You have discovered that "mother" is synonymous
with "taxi service." On a typical day you drop the
youngest off at her music lesson, then go with the boys
to their Little League practice. Then back to pick up
daughter and drop accumulated Little Leaguers off at
their assorted homes. It's dinner on the fly because
somebody has to be at choir practice at 7 p.m. It's now
bedtime and you discover you have an extra kid. But you
don't panic . . . it's happened before and soon the phone
will ring as another mother discovers she's missing one.
Collect 5 marbles for endurance.

Square 5. The little darlings that you tucked lovingly
into bed for so many years suddenly treat you as though
you lost your brains in kindergarten. They are
embarrassed to be seen with you. Guess what: You are the
parent of teenagers, those strange creatures who think
they are eight feet tall and bulletproof. If you survive
this age with your senses intact, collect 8 marbles for
heroism under fire. Until then, always remember that you
hold the ultimate weapon - you have the car keys!

Square 6. You can tell your oldest child is home from
college when you see the pile of dirty laundry in the
front hall. If you take the clothes downstairs to sort,
wash and press as in days of old . . . deduct 3 marbles
and shame on you! If, instead, you take him by the hand
and show him the room where the automatic washer and
dryer have been housed since he was small, collect 5
marbles. Some of the most important things in life are
not taught in college, you know.

Square 7. The children, by some miracle, have grown into
responsible adults. By chance you overhear your now
grown-up son telling the same bedtime stories to his
firstborn that you so long ago told to him, and the tears
fall silently down your cheeks. Don't despair - these are
the pearls of parenting, and that is what the game is all
about.

Congratulations. You have crossed the finish line and
it's time to add up the score. The game you have just
played is called "Motherhood" and if you haven't lost all
your marbles - you win!

Our new job title

I happened upon this little story thanks to Jenifer A from my stay-at-home moms of Erie group :) I thought I'd pass it along. it's appropriate for Mother's Day! Here you go:


Just a Mom???

A woman, renewing her driver's license at the County Clerk's office was
asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation. She hesitated,
uncertain how to classify herself. "What I mean is,"
explained the recorder, "do you have a job or are you just a...?"
"Of course I have a job," snapped the woman. "I'm a Mom."
"We don't list 'Mom' as an occupation, "housewife covers it," said
the recorder emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day, I found myself in the same
situation, this time at our own Town Hall. The Clerk was obviously a
career woman, poised, efficient and possessed of a high sounding title
like, "Official Interrogator" or "Town Registrar.

"What is your occupation?" she probed.
What made me say it? I do not know. The words simply popped out.
"I'm a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and
Human Relations."* The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair and looked up as though she had not heard right. I repeated the title slowly
emphasizing the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as
my pronouncement was written in bold, black ink on the official
questionnaire.

"Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest, "just what you do in
your field?"
Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself
reply, "I have a continuing program of research, (what mother
doesn't) in the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have
said indoors and out).
I'm working for my Masters, (the whole darned family) and already have
four credits (all daughters). Of course, the job is one of the most
demanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree?) and I
often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it). But the job is more
challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more
of a satisfaction rather than just money."

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she
completed the form, stood up and personally ushered me to the door.
As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I
was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I
could hear our new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby) in the
child development program, testing out a new vocal pattern. I felt I
had scored a beat on bureaucracy! And I had gone on the official
records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than "just another Mom."

Motherhood! What a glorious career! Especially when there's a title
on the door.

Does this make grandmothers "Senior Research associates in the field
of Child Development and Human Relations" and great grandmothers
Executive Senior Research Associates"? I think so!!!
I also think it makes Aunts "Associate Research Assistants."

Alphabet album

I'm working on a challenge at SBB. It's an ongoing thing, but since I just joined, I had some catching up to do. It's an alphabet album, so you take a letter and scrap anything you want to for that letter. Here are my first 4. D is as far as my group is right now, but I might work ahead cause it's so fun! Enjoy!






Friday, May 12, 2006

Troyer Farms


The boys had a field trip on Wed to Troyer Farms. It was very neat. We got to watch a short video about Troyer Farms and how they make their products. Then we got a tour of the plant.....sort of. We were up in an observation deck, behind glass. It was very cool to see how they were made. As we pulled up to the building, they had a semi tipped up in the air. That's how they unload their potatoes. I wish i had pointed it out to the boys, but I didn't. They saw it in the video, but it would have been nice for them to see it IRL.

We all got a small bag of potato chips and a small bag of the cheese curls when we were done. They are so good!

I learned a lot about Troyer farms. I had no idea they are the only potato chip factory that grows their own potatoes. And they don't use Idaho potatoes, they use Pennsylvania potatoes. All in all, it was very informative. I really enjoyed it and I think the boys did, too!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Honoring Mom

It's one Sunday where both the phone company and restaurants do a record setting business--that is, if you've remembered your mom. And it all began because one grateful daughter did remember hers almost a hundred years ago.

In 1908 Anna Jarvis from Philadelphia didn't want to forget her loving mother. So Jarvis arranged to honor her deceased mother at a church service, knowing her mother would ahve been pleased. At an early age, jarvis had heard her mother express hope for an official day to be established to commemorate all mothers. There were many special days dedicated to men, but none to mothers. Soon after, Jarvis and her friends began a letter-writing campaign lobbying for a national day honoring mothers. In 1914, Congress passed legislation designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

In honor of my Mother:

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Mother's Day is almost here!

Have you forgotten your mother/s? I sure hope not! Mother's Day is Sunday, so don't forget your cards and/or flowers!

Here are a few stats about Mom and her day:

* There are over 82 million mothers in the United States
* Ninety-six percent of American consumers celebrate Mother's Day
* Mother's Day is the second highest gift-giving holiday in the United States--second only to Christmas
*Approximately 82 percent of U.S. women ages 40-44 are mothers.
*Mothers in Utah and Alaska will have an average of three children before the end of their child-bearing years. The overall U.S. average is two.
*The odds of a woman delivering twins are 1 in 32. her odds of having triplets or other multiple births are approximately 1 in 540.
*More babies are born on a Tuesday then any other day of the week.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Prepare to die laughing!

This video is hilarious! I was rolling on the floor laughing so hard!

And one more for good measure

And now, I bid you good night!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

National Scrapbook Day

NSD was yesterday. I would have blogged and wished y'all a Happy National Scrapbook Day, but I was too busy scrapping! Scrapbook-bytes had a whole Marathon of chats and scraps yesterday. It was such fun! Props to all who put it together. ANd than you to all the designers who donated stuff for prizes (not that I won any!) and for all of you cool chicks who had stuff for the big kit! I love every single piece and used a lot in the layouts I'm about to post. I'm sure I'll be using lots of those kits/papers/elements!

So, before I go to bed, I wanted to share what I scrapped yesterday(there's only 3, but I didn't get on the site until 3:30!). Here ya go!


This was a scraplift. I lifted one of my friend LeeAndra's layouts. Very simple and to the point :)



Basic and simple, this layout required me to use 1 or 2 b/w photos, 3 different fonts, 1 large alpha or number, something blue and lots of "white space" (in my case, blue space), stitching and a doodle. Very fun to create!


I had to scrap about why I scrap, lol. I also had to include a photo of me, so, there ya go! Me and my boys and why I digi-scrap :)

Hope you enjoyed the pics!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Correction to Triplets story

I appologize for the wrong link in my previous post about the triplets. I have corrected the problem!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Triplets again!

This story is amazing!

This is so rare in the realm of multiples, to have triplets (or twins, or any other multiple) twice..... naturally!

I often joke that having Alex when the twins were 19 months was like having triplets, but I'm sure it doesn't come close in a lot of ways. Sure, I had 3 under the age of 2 and all in diapers..... but 6? No thank you!

These people are truly blessed and I give them props! More babies to love and more to love them.....precious, precious gifts from God.

Laurie Berkner

After a few months of asking Brian to look on iTunes and Kazaa for Laurie Berkner songs for me, I spent the morning on Kazaa and found 47 songs! 2 cd's full of her songs! YAY! I'm so excited! Something other than Thomas the tank engine to play in my van!

I am hoping her clean-up song will inspire my boys to clean up their toys ;)

We've been jamming to her songs for about 30 min already and I love them all!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Newsies




Checking things out



Ready for the show!

Suckers make everything better!

The twins had their 5 yr well check today. And, as per the norm, they were due for 3 shots each. Ryan went first and screamed the whole time. By the last shot, there were huge crocodile tears streaming down his face. By now, Zach has started crying, while he watched in horror at his brothers pain (and, perhaps, because they say that twins can often feel their twin's pain). By the time he got up to get his shots, I was crying! The only ones in the room not crying were the nurses and Alex! Usually a bandaid will make everything better. Not so today.....Snoopy had little effect on their poor, bruised little feelings. Fast-forward through the cries down the hall to the check-out desk. We no sooner get in sight of the sucker box and the tears dry up almost instantaniously! You would never have known they were crying if you hadn't heard them only seconds before.

So apparently, suckers make everything better :)

Oh, and after Ryan was done and was sitting in the chair waiting for Zach, he looked at me and through his crocodile tears and said "Mommy, I'm not brave." The poor sweet thing thought because he had cried he wasn't brave. I explained to him that just because he cried, didn't mean he wasn't brave. Oh, it broke my heart!

Monday, May 01, 2006

My Day

Happy May Day!

8 am on the dot, water was gone. However, it was back on by 10:30, much earlier than they originally told us. It was quite fun....Alex was up at 7:40 this morning, so after making coffee for myself, he and I sat outside and watched them tear up the concrete at the foot of our neighbors drive. Then, about 8:20, the water company tore half of a section of the driveway up next door. The boys loved it, as boys do. They didn't even want to eat their breakfast they were so excited!

On another note, they aren't tearing out our driveway, like we were originally told. Just our neighbors. Well, that would have been a fabulous bit of information to know before I parked the van a block away and attempted to get 3 kids across the street without being run over! Thank goodness our cars are back in our driveway! A whole week of that would have surely driven me nuts!

I think we're taking the boys to a SeaWolves game again tonight. They had so much fun, and tonight it'll be warmer, lol. We're going with their school next week, too. Apparently they have school days, so we pay $5 and get to see the game plus get lunch. That should be lots of fun!

Day 4 of not having a voice.....it's getting annoying, too. I sound like a kid going through puberty, lol. I figure by Thursday, if I still don't have a voice, I should probably go to the doctor. I've only lost my voice 3 times (including this time) but usually it comes back in a day or 2. It's never been gone for this long. Guess that means I won't be staying for choir Thursday!

Alright, off to fix the boys dinner before heading to the ball park.

Walk America....*whew!*

As I'm sitting here at 1 am waiting for the dryer to go off so I can switch laundry over before the water is turned off at 8 am, I decided I'd kill time by posting about Walk America today. First, I wanna say....OMG! My calves hurt so bad! Secondly, thanks to all who donated to anyone (way to rock Stephanie! $550 is AWESOME!).

I have never been able to do more than about 2 miles in this walk. Usually I have the boys with me and they don't last the whole 6.2 miles. Today, I was lucky enough to leave the little ones at home with daddy and I hoofed it the whole way! I am so proud of myself. I came home and had a HUGE headache that took a few hours to get rid of. Thankfully the boys were understanding and let me lay on the couch while they watched Chicken Little.

What hurts the most are the muscles/tendons in my heels. Oh, man....stairs are agony!
I just wanna curl up in bed and sleep all day tomorrow. I walked off all of the birthday cake I ate Friday and Saturday, that's for sure!

Alright, I'm off to coax the dryer into hurrying up so I can go to bed! I won't get much sleep after 8 am with they digging up the water lines in front of our house and digging up the driveway, too.