Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Right to Life & Human Rights

http://daddystractor.com/2014/02/24/the-heartbreak-of-foster-care/

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/human_nature/2012/03/after_birth_abortion_the_pro_choice_case_for_infanticide_.html


http://www.albertmohler.com/2014/02/25/strengthen-the-things-that-remain-human-dignity-human-rights-and-human-flourishing-in-a-dangerous-age-an-address-at-brigham-young-university/



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Undone-The Beginning

The thoughts that follow are true of who I am as an individual and as a Jesus-follower. But this article,  Baby Zion, and included video spurred this particular essay. I hope you will take the time to read the article, see the video, read my thoughts and share your own. Blessings to you. #UNDONE



Our nation is known for its successes, its bigness, our money, our monuments, our influence. And as a nation we worship this measure of "success"- money in the bank, a comfy life, well-groomed spouse and kids, big house, fancy cars, no worries. But it's rooted in so many lies of what success really is.

What if American Christians became known, instead, for protecting the innocent, defending the defenseless, speaking for the voiceless, naming the nameless?

What if, instead of "standing our ground", we showed the world what it looks like to bend low to come to the aid of the widow, the orphan, the unwanted, the neglected, the broken, the disheartened, the forgotten, the "useless", the used up and thrown out?

What if we made every effort to bind up the brokenhearted with the Good News that no one is beyond the reach of the Grace of God?

What if, instead of pushing away those who make us sense our own shortcomings, we drew them near? Until the grace of God captured all of us? Until we lived so dependent on the moment-by-moment, He's-gotta-show-up-or-I'm-sunk-deep, grace and mercy and power of God, that we can't imagine living any other way?

What if?

I bet our kids would no longer ask in Sunday School, "why don't miracles happen now like they did back then?" ...

I bet our neighbors and co-workers wouldn't be surprised to find out we are church-goers or consider ourselves Christians...

I bet we wouldn't spend so much energy getting angry when some newspaper is "anti-Christian" because we're too busy feeding "sheep" and have our hands full living out the love of Jesus...

--------------------------------------------------------------------

I believe in the inherent value of all human life from conception to natural death. ALL human life. Yes, the unborn. Yes, the dementia riddled. Yes, the broken. Yes, the feeble. Yes, the "my body hurts so bad I can't get out of bed." Yes, the body of an adult and mental capacity of a child. Yes, the alcoholic. Yes, the prostitute. Yes, the pimp. Yes, the depressed, anxious, sad, and lonely. Yes, yes, yes.

There is not one without value and purpose. If you are alive today, it is because God has purposed it and purposed you.

If you know Jesus and call yourself a Christian, do not cast off that which God has called you to care for.

And if you do not know the grace of God in Jesus Christ, may today be the day you hear Him say, "YES, YES, YES!! I have called you by name, you are MINE!"

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pilau (Seasoned Rice Dish)

I made Pilau for my family as our Easter meal. I'm sad to say that after almost 10 years of marriage, it's the first time I've made it. It's sad because it was so darn easy! I should have been making it every week for years.
When I lived in Mombasa, Pilau was one of my favorite dishes. There was(is) a restaurant just down from the Mombasa Post Office called Little Chefs. They had great Pilau and Kachumbari. I always assumed it was a difficult dish to make because on several occasions I saw it made at the school where I worked and it seemed to take all day. Now, I have no idea what was being done because I can have it on the table i less than 45 minutes. Most of that time is simmering, with no work on my part. This recipe can be adjusted for more or less meat, different vegetables, more rice...whatever you need. I haven't had coconut milk in my pantry in a while because of the high cost. I opted to use chicken broth instead of the coconut.


Pilau


1 T oil
1 onion, diced
minced garlic
2t Pilau  Masala (or 1/2 t each of: black pepper, cumin, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, cinnamon)

1 lb meat: beef, lamb, chicken; in small pieces
2 c frozen vegetables (peas are a great option)
1 1/2 c Basmati rice
1 c coconut milk (or 1 1/2 c broth/water with bullion)
1 t salt
2 tomatoes, skinned and chopped (or a 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes)

- Heat the oil and then saute onion and garlic until clear. Add spices and saute for about 2-5 minutes; don't burn them.
-Stir in the meat and cook on medium until cooked to desired tenderness.
-Add vegetables (if they are hard, cook 2 minutes. If tender like peas, move to next step.)
-Add rice and liquid.
-Stir and bring to boil.
-Cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook 20 minutes.
-Serve with Kachumbari or cabbage slaw.

WARNING: This is such a delicious dish it may be addictive!!!

A Conversation on How the IRS Pigeonholes Mothers

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/04/opinion/lean-in-what-about-child-care.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0

HOW THE IRS HURTS MOTHERS, is the actual title of this. While the author's motivation is for women to stay or get back into the workforce, I think this is an important issue because many women don't have the range of choices that they ideally could.
For most mothers, the idea of working beyond the home front is an "all or nothing" idea. Between the cost of childcare and the meager wages available in part time positions, college educated women either have to decide to get a "good" job which means high pay and an absurd work schedule or not work. And really, its incredibly discriminatory that childcare costs aren't a business expense. I found these things out the "hard" way when I became self-employed.
I have an amazing working husband and I am the childcare provider. But, my long term financial security entirely rests on him. That's fine for us because I trust him (and God :)) 100%. But that's an awfully precarious situation for society as a whole with a 50% divorce rate!
Ideally (in my perspective), a parent should have the largest burden of raising children but, if college educated, still have some outlet for staying "credible" in their field. There aren't many professions where this is possible. I have friends who are registered nurses and can be per diem at a hospital and only work occasionally. And I know a few pharmacists who can work very part-time, but there aren't too many lines of work in which that's possible. At least where the pay being brought in makes it worthwhile to juggle the duality of work and family.
I'd really love to hear from moms in every generation on this. Is your current lifestyle/work situation dictated by the economics of childcare costs and absurd (salaried) work schedules?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Maharagwe (Maragwe)

Recipe for Kenyan style beans with coconut milk. This makes a big pot of beans. If they are too much, just toss them in the freezer and they'll taste just a great when you pull them out after a month! The beans will taste even better after they sit in the spices for a few hours. Leftovers are usually better than the first time. Ideally, fix them in the morning or on the weekend to eat during the week!

2 lb. pinto beans (or another red/white bean)
3 cubes bullion
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 t. curry powder
1/4 t. black pepper
dash gr. red pepper
1/2 t. salt
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can of coconut milk
cilantro, chopped

Soak beans overnight according to directions. (I soak mine in a 4.5qt slow cooker) Drain and rinse and return to pot with water to cover. Add bullion. (I often cook mine in the slow cooker on HIGH for about the same amount of time as on the stove.) Bring to a boil and put on rapid simmer for 2 to 3 hours.

Once beans are cooked, in a fry pan, add oil, onion and garlic and saute until soft. Add spices and salt and saute for a minute or two longer. Add tomatoes and let simmer for 5 minutes or until tomatoes no longer taste acidic. Turn off heat.

Turn beans on high and add coconut milk. Bring to boil and add tomato/spice mixture. Add cilantro. Let simmer on low for 15 minutes or longer. Serve with rice, ugali, cornbread or flatbread.

When serving leftovers, add fresh cilantro.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New Cloth Diapers: BumGenius 4.0

Our latest addition to the cloth diaper "stash" arrived today! Six BumGenius 4.0 Snaps in Ribbit from Nicki's Diapers. I was so excited when they came that I rushed them into the wash and dryer so we could try them out. They are a work of art!

 This is the first BumGenius we've purchased, but I have one that a friend gave me and really liked it. I was moved to purchase them because of the great sale they have going on right now. Bum Genius 4.0 are Buy 5 Get 1 Free! That brings the price to $15 each!!!!

I really can't use enough exclamation points to describe my excitement. If you don't cloth diaper then you probably think I'm a little nutty, but using cloth diapers has been one of the greatest sources of savings for our family in these early years of having children. It's a modest upfront investment ($200-500 depending on your likes) but you can them pay nothing on diapers until your 'little' is out of diapers.


"Well, Molly, if they're so great, why are you spending more money on new ones?"

Good question.

Because I have Two Under Two. I thought Mogi would be potty trained by now and out of cloth diapers, but we're still in the process and its not going to be done tomorrow. He does go through a lot less diapers than Aj does, but they still get used and we didn't have enough to make it from wash day to wash day. There's nothing worse than needing to get your child dressed only to realize the diapers are still wet in the wash and there's no clean ones to use. Since this has happened or nearly happened several times lately, I decided to buy more. Also, AJ is a big wetter for her size and I bought some Cotton Babies Diaper Doublers from Nicki's to use with her prefolds and covers. I've been having to change her diaper so often that its become a hassle. And I can't imagine she like sitting in a soggy diaper!


Do you have questions about cloth diapering? Something that's preventing you from taking the "leap"? Share them on hear and I'll try to answer them. We'll also be having a series over at Muddy Mamas in the next few months on cloth diapers, so if I can't answer them I know one of the other cloth diaper Mamas can!

+++ I'm not receiving compensation in any way for this post. I'm just a huge fan!++

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there, whether your kids are in your arms, out your door, or just a dream conceived in your heart. I am becoming overwhelmingly convinced with each passing day that motherhood is a huge and high calling that has been undermined by our culture. We need to "take it back" and celebrate it as the important career that it is!

Happy Mother's Day to my mom. She goes by the name "Dani" to her Mocha Drop grandkids, but she'll always be my mama. She's one of the hardest working, determined, loving, and generous women I know. She gives so much of her time and energy to all of us and we could not imagine how our world would "keep on spinning" without her help. We love you, Mama Dani :)

It's been a nice Mother's Day for me. Mogi-boy made me a card and gift at preschool, which was my first homemade gift from him! And Hubs took me and the kids out for a yummy meal, which we NEVER do given the high octane level of Mogi. But, it was great.

Today, in addition to Mother's Day, AJ is 6 months old and Mogi 23 months! Time is flying. I've got some more "Two Under Two" posts rolling around in my head, so I better get them writtin before he's no longer "under two"!