Thursday, February 26, 2009

i'm trying not to worry...



Published in the New York Post on February 25, 2009

With a speech to match the most eloquent of State of the Union Addresses, with strains of FDR and JFK and a touch of Winston Churchill thrown in, President Obama has clearly staked his presidency on the outcome of the economic crisis.

Whether or not you agree with his prescription for recovery (I don't), it's clear that he's not hedging his bets. If it works, his place in history is assured. If it fails, so is his early retirement.

The speech made it apparent that the Obama administration's response to this crisis will either go down in history as a success that Americans will admire for decades, or become a case study in economic failure that students and scholars will study and pick apart for generations.

The speech began where it needed to begin, with a bold affirmation of faith in the rebuilding and recovery of America. Then Obama listed some of the more popular parts of his spending-stimulus program.

The specific items he recalled from the package were attractive. But Americans know, by now, that much of the program (largely unmentioned last night) is a mountain of pork - money spent for the sake of spending it to spur recovery, not to achieve particularly important ends.

Obama did not seek to justify the spending for the specific purposes to which it is dedicated. Courageously, he said that he passed it because it will work. For his sake, it better. But I doubt it.

Then he spoke unconvincingly about his bank-rescue plan. Promising to punish and regulate bankers even as he stressed the need to restore their confidence, he reminded me of the facetious sign posted in a friend's workplace: "The beatings will continue until morale improves."

How he plans to restore the nerve and confidence of our bankers as he castigates them is unclear. But, then, so is his program for financial rescue. One suspects that he knows full well that he will nationalize the banks. But even that step assumes that politicians can do what bankers can't: Act quickly, ruthlessly and honestly - never a notable attribute of elected officials.

Halfway through the speech, the president got to the minefields of Social Security and health-care reform. He avoided any specifics, but it's clear that he plans to salvage the former with increases in the payroll tax and implement the latter by government rationing of health care. If you like your HMO, you'll love Obama's health plan.

And then Obama affirmed that he'll support big tax increases on the richest 2 percent of American families. Disregarding the fact that these households already pay upward of half of all income taxes, while earning only a quarter of the national income, he has singled out the entrepreneurs, professionals, innovators and businesspeople of America for taxation.

Oh, but he won't raise taxes until he's had a few years to stimulate the economy. How many in that 2 percent feel like one of those huge hogs in the Chicago stockyards, being fattened up to slaughter the next year?

Can all this work? Can Obama get banks to lend even as he terrorizes them? Can he get the engines of our economy back to work even as he announces that he'll be taking away more of their earnings? Can he persuade the American people to accept bureaucrats deciding their health-care choices? And can his economic stimulus survive a huge increase in the payroll tax on the most productive citizens?

Probably not; Obama likely won't succeed. This speech will be viewed as his high-water mark - the time before we came to realize how flawed is his understanding of economics and how supreme is his commitment to expanded spending. It will be seen as a sort of age of innocence before we realized what he had in mind.

But it sure was a great speech...while it lasted.

Monday, February 23, 2009

a meme

i am participating in an interviewing game that began with the immoral matriarch, but i stumbled upon it on my friend's blog citystreams.

1. Describe your favorite outfit. Where did you wear it last?

right now, since we are on the tail end of winter: jeans or cords (preferably owned by me for at least 5 years), 3/4 length sleeve solid shirt, button or zip-up sweater, smartwool striped socks,keen maryjanes, freshwater pearl dangly earrings from adam, some sort of bracelet so i can remember which side i nursed on last. i wear this outfit pretty much every day (as pictured).

2. What theological puzzle have you been chewing on lately? Which way are you leaning on it?

we are doing a fabulous study on romans by tim keller in our ladies Bible study and we just finished all the election/adoption stuff in chapters 10-12. i go to a presbyterian church now for the first time in my life. we love our church, but many people think presbyterians only believe in predestination and the words "calvinism" and "reformed" seem to make some angry. i was wading through the scripture using adam's esv study Bible (which is fantastic by the way) and read this in the notes:

"On the one hand, God predestines some to be saved. On the other hand, God still longs for all to be saved (1Tim 2:4, Ezek 33:11). Though it may seem impossible to understand how both of these statements are true, the Bible teaches both, and one should not use either truth to deny the other. (Eph 1:3,4,5,6,11)"

i love this because it gives me permission to not fully understand the mind of God. i never will. what may seem like a paradox to me works in perfect harmony and unity in the unsearchable person of God.

3. Of all your posts on your blog, which was your favorite? Why?

probably this one because i started this blog a while back to help me process life. marit's hip dysplasia has been one of those things that i have processed's been really hard at times, but wonderful to see God's grace in it as well as we have been shaped as parents and watched God work in our family. also, it's one of those times when we got a sneak peak (at least that's what it feels like) of the bigger picture of all things working together to bring God glory and our good...

4. Do you have any secret indulgences? Do tell!

if i had a secret indulgence (and i don't think i really do), i would not share it on my public blog! i really enjoy chocolate and peanut butter together. it doesn't matter if it is as simple as a chocolate graham cracker with peanut-butter on it or as fancy as gourmet peanut-butter pie. it is just the best period. i hate that the peanut has endured so much bad press lately!

5. What was your favorite bedtime story when you were a little girl?

i loved, loved, loved it when my dad would read the borrowers series to us. they were so hilarious-stories about this itsy bitsy family that lived in a house of normal sized folks. the borrowers made a home with all the random things the normal people always seemed to lose: socks, paperclips, rubber bands, a shoe would make a perfect bed for a borrower etc. these books were so clever and had the best illustrations. i hope i can read them to my kids someday...

if you comment, i will email you 5 of your own personalized interview questions that you can answer on your own blog and continue the fun by interviewing your readers as well!

4 months and 19 months

we went to the pediatrician today and they refused to see us at first because of insurance changes that have occurred over the last couple months with me quitting my job and paying for cobra ($1000/month in case you were wondering) until residency insurance kicks in. adam and i were both pretty angry and frustrated that we pay this much every month and no one bothered to communicate with each other. benefits lady says it's blue cross's fault, bcbs says it's benefits lady, dr's office says sorry can't see you even though we have had a good relationship with you and your kids for 19 months! it took us going to the human resources office in person (they never answer the phone) and insisting that it be cleared up. thankfully, we were able to return to the dr and be seen! and neither one of us lost our temper (that never helps, though it is tempting at times). so here are the stats on the munchkins:

marit 19months
-one shot-cried as soon as she saw the nurse...
-24 lb 8oz putting her in the 25th percentile where she has been for a while
-height is 25th percentile as well
-head circumference still in the 95th percentile
-we had her lead level redrawn to see if it is increasing at all-check back to see if we will need to move or not...the saga continues

graham 4months
-2 shots and an oral vaccine-just a few tears
-15lb 6oz (!) putting him in the 75th percentile
-25 inches, again 75th percentile
-head circumference is also in the 95th-apparently both kids got the humongous hoover head

-everyone is healthy at the moment and for that we are thankful-we do not want to take God's grace on our lives for granted. He is good to us. He is good when things are hard too, but right now we are just thankful for good reports all around!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

thanks marit

today adam and marit were looking at one of marit's many animal books. marit pointed at a primate and said "m------y!" adam said: "she said monkey! oh wait, maybe it was 'mommy.'" hehehe, very funny. my daughter thinks i look like a monkey...

Friday, February 20, 2009

book recommendation?

i just started reading piper's new book on marriage This Momentary Marriage. i've barely finished one chapter and i already want to post a quote. i hope that's ok. i love to read and listen to piper and sometimes what he says or writes just makes me want to stand up and cheer...

"the magnificence of God (will) seem unintelligible in a modern Western culture, where the maid idol is self; and its main doctrine is autonomy; and its central act of worship is being entertained; and its three main shrines are the television, the Internet, and the cinema; and its most sacred genuflection is the uninhibited act of sexual intercourse. Such a culture will find the glory of marriage in the mind of Jesus virtually incomprehensible...The natural man does not have the capacities to see or receive or feel the wonder of what God has designed for marriage to be. I pray that this book might be used by God to help set you free from small, worldly, culturally contaminated, self-centered, Christ-ignoring, God-neglecting, romance-intoxicated, unbiblical views of marriage."

as Mark Driscoll says: "hard words make soft people, soft words make hard people."

i appreciate Piper and Driscoll speaking the truth about sin and my (our) preoccupation with self...i need to be confronted with my selfishness and Christ's grace and mercy daily.

i now have

a roth ira. yesterday my financial advisor came to our house (isn't that so nice?!) and we moved my retirement fund from my former job to a roth ira. isn't that such an old sounding decision? i went upstairs to put marit to bed and adam and ross were talking about life insurance. and he asked adam if that was my "normal weight." grrr! i don't know because our scale is broken, but apparently it matters for life insurance if you have a few extra post-partum pounds. as if i didn't have enough "fat-fear" as adam likes to call it! i guess we will wait a couple more months before we get life insurance so we can get the best rate...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

yesterday we sang this wonderful indelible grace version of this old hymn in Bible study. the words are fantastic! after the babes were in bed, adam and i learned it. it was sooo fun, though we discovered our piano is ridiculously out of tune.

Beneath the Cross of Jesus
©1997 Christopher Miner Music. Words: Elizabeth C. Clephane. Music: Christopher Miner.
1. Beneath the cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand,
The shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land;
A home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way,
From the burning of the noontide heat, and the burden of the

2. Upon the cross of Jesus, mine eye at times can see
The very dying form of One Who suffered there for me;
And from my stricken heart with tears two wonders I confess
The wonders of redeeming love and my unworthiness.

3. I take, O cross, thy shadow for my abiding place:
I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of His face;
Content to let the world go by to know no gain nor loss,
My sinful self my only shame, my glory, all the cross

yesterday adam and marit went on a "daddy date" and adam couldn't resist bringing this new toy home to add to our plastic universe of toys. at least it doesn't make any noise and marit loves it!

marit just waking up...i love this dewy look!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

graham and mommy snuggling

marit "helping" put graham's hat on

marit excited about sitting next to her brother

adam and marit catching the secretions that come from the head

tupperware play


here are some moments we have caught on camera lately. marit has been so much fun as her words have taken off...she's saying please ("BLEESE") and thank you ("in yo") and she has been giving graham lots of kisses and help lately. she has also been enjoying her new little wooden kitchen where she makes lots of pretend edibles to share with us. she still has a few more teeth to go and so we still attribute a lot of sad moments to "teething." graham is humongous and has been rolling over for a little over a week now and seems to enjoy his new trick. we are thankful that he finally seems to be falling into a nap schedule and getting better night-time sleep as well. they are both such a delight to us. we still can't believe how different they look and we think marit looks just like adam and graham looks just like me...maybe our future children will be more of a combination? we have been fighting off colds, but so far just snot and nothing serious. poor auntie char has been sick as well and we miss her...

adam has two weeks left of med school (i can hardly believe it!) and then he will try to work a few odd jobs (let us know if you know of anything) until residency starts in july.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

thank you sweetie!

since graham has been born and i have faced serious exhaustion, adam has taught me to like coffee. i have tried to drink it many times, but i guess you just need some real motivation, like a necessity to stay awake and care for two crazy munchkins. anyway, it worked and i now enjoy a cup every morning. and let me tell you, adam makes gooood coffee!

also, you must know that i am a complete cup snob. i do not like to drink anything out of plastic cups...i drink water out of mugs because it stays cooler, doesn't taste like plastic, doesn't tip over easily, and has a comfortable handle. and my favorite mugs are handmade pottery. each creation is a unique piece of art. i want to learn to make this stuff someday.

so, the best valentines gift this year is my new handmade mug that adam got from a new pottery shop downtown. don't tell him, but i knew what i was getting (i didn't snoop or anything, but i almost always just know what he will give it good gift intuition). i think it is beautiful and it fits so comfortably in my hand. my coffee was wonderful this morning!

Friday, February 13, 2009

happy valentine's! i know that this day is way commercialized and lovers are taken advantage of by sellers of expensive flowers and candies, but i don't care. i just want to take the opportunity to say a few things that i love and appreciate about my valentine of 7 years.
*i love that you have put up with me for so long already!
*i love that you know exactly how i like my coffee and you prepare it for me nearly every morning.
*i love that you are tenderhearted, but not sappy
*thank you for telling me so often how much you love me and what exactly about each outfit you like:)-you are so affirming and so i don't need to look to anyone else besides my spouse and Jesus for affirmation...this is a wonderfully freeing, securing thing indeed!
*i love the kind of strong, tender, careful, gentle, protective, and capable father you are
*i love your facial hair right now...not too lumber jackish or little's just right
*thank you for thinking and saying that my post-partum body is beautiful to you
*thank you for always putting family first and not regretting or resenting it
*i love the revival that has occurred in your heart for Jesus
*i love talking with you long into the night...even though you've been falling asleep on me lately (we are somewhat deprived i suppose)
*i'm sorry i steal the covers pretty much every night
*i'm sorry i was so grumpy on tuesday, but
*thank you for confronting my sin and loving me in spite of it
*thank you for your selflessness
*i could say a gazillion more things, but i'll do that in you honey i mean lion of the jungle!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Monday, February 2, 2009

today we made carrot cake

from scratch. why? you may ask. well, you may remember that my husband is in med school and i just quit my job...that makes our primary income student loans. so we are on WIC (a government funded program that stands for women infant children), which provides formula for your baby or if you breastfeed like me, you get vouchers for food. it is pretty much the most inefficient and disorganized program i have ever been a part of, but we get pretty much all our milk, peanut butter, eggs, cheese, juice, cereal, and CARROTs for free. thus i am thankful. however, there is no way i can cook or eat all the carrots and eggs, so i've been trying to think of ways to use them. i'm going to hard boil a bunch of eggs (if i can figure it out)and put them in our salads. today marit and i grated more than a pound of carrots and a little of my knuckle(anyone else remember that ramoma book in which her sister shredded her knuckles into their carrot salad?). it was fun and is now delicious. the recipe is here if you like. we documented!