SITS Contest

I wanted to point out this contest on the SITS site. They know it takes some motivation to get us to get into the commenting habit. Check it out.

Posted in General | Comments Off on SITS Contest

Update on Dad

He’s still in ICU but breathing much better. Judy says he looks better today. She doesn’t know when they’ll move him out of ICU. They took him off the morphine (last time he saw bugs, he doesn’t do well with morphine) and have him on something else. Sounds like he’s making progress.

Posted in Family | 1 Comment

Book suggestion

Got this from Jen:

“At no stage in my years of study had I been taught how to deal with 8-year-old victims of gang rape in a rural clinic without enough sutures to go around.”
— Dr. Halima Bashir, a young Darfuri woman whom the Sudanese authorities have tried to silence by beatings and gang-rape, writing in her memoir “Tears of the Desert,” which will shortly be published in the United States, at considerable risk to herself. One day she gave an interview in which she hinted that the Darfur reality was more complicated than the Sudanese government version. The authorities detained her, threatened her, warned her to keep silent and transferred her to a remote clinic where there were no journalists around to interview her, she recalls in the book, as cited by New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof. Then the janjaweed attacked a girls’ school near Halima’s new clinic and raped dozens of the girls, aged 7 to 13. The first patient Halima tended to was 8 years old. Her face was bashed in and her insides torn apart. The girl was emitting a haunting sound: “a keening, empty wail kept coming from somewhere deep within her throat – over and over again.”


Like the single white eyelash that graces her row of dark lashes–seen by her people as a mark of good fortune–Halima Bashir’s story stands out. Tears of the Desert is the first memoir ever written by a woman caught up in the war in Darfur. It is a survivor’s tale of a conflicted country, a resilient people, and the uncompromising spirit of a young woman who refused to be silenced.

Born into the Zaghawa tribe in the Sudanese desert, Halima was doted on by her father, a cattle herder, and kept in line by her formidable grandmother. A politically astute man, Halima’s father saw to it that his daughter received a good education away from their rural surroundings. Halima excelled in her studies and exams, surpassing even the privileged Arab girls who looked down their noses at the black Africans. With her love of learning and her father’s support, Halima went on to study medicine, and at twenty-four became her village’s first formal doctor.

Yet not even the symbol of good luck that dotted her eye could protect her from the encroaching conflict that would consume her land. Janjaweed Arab militias started savagely assaulting the Zaghawa, often with the backing of the Sudanese military. Then, in early 2004, the Janjaweed attacked Bashir’s village and surrounding areas, raping forty-two schoolgirls and their teachers. Bashir, who treated the traumatized victims, some as young as eight years old, could no longer remain quiet. But breaking her silence ignited a horrifying turn of events.

In this harrowing and heartbreaking account, Halima Bashir sheds light on the hundreds of thousands of innocent lives being eradicated by what is fast becoming one of the most terrifying genocides of the twenty-first century. Raw and riveting, Tears of the Desert is more than just a memoir–it is Halima Bashir’s global call to action.

About the Author

Halima Bashir lives with her husband and son in England, where she continues to speak out about the violence in Sudan.

Damien Lewis has spent the last twenty years reporting from war zones in Africa, with a particular focus and expertise in Sudan. His reporting from Darfur won the BBC One World Award. He is the internationally bestselling co-author of Slave, winner of the Index on Censorship Book Award.

Posted in General | Comments Off on Book suggestion

Whimsical Weekend

This looked fun. Go here to see more.

Spender or saver? Frustrated saver, I do review the list of necessities, but I still have a suspicion we’re spenders

What is your favorite type of ethnic food? Which dish? I really like Indian food. I love cheese and sourcream so most Mexican dishes are good too!

Guest or host? I am a very good guest. (Although, I usually find I enjoyed being hostess more than I expected.)

Are you still friends with anyone from high school? Elementary school? Yes! Luckily one of my high school friends was also in elementary school with me so yes to both. There are 4 or 5 of us in the area and we even get together once a year.

Have you ever been in the audience for the taping of a TV show? What show would you like to see live? We sat in on a Letterman once when we lived in Brooklyn. Funny, and very different to see it from that angle.

Do you save cards and letters from your spouse? What about from friends or old boyfriends? I keep lots of stuff. I have one box that I keep everything in and then when it’s full I label it and start another box. Once a year or so I’ll go back through and relive the memories.

What is your favorite fall activity? The Maize Maze with the nephews.

When you were growing up, did your family eat dinner together or whenever you had time? What do you do with your family now? Growing up we all ate dinner together just about every single night. We don’t do that here (subject for an entire post I think) with all the stuff going on. Maybe next year when I finish my own classes and don’t have study group at night.

You have just inherited a vacation home. Where do you want it to be? I would say Tuscany, but the airfare would get me. If we stay within traveling distance, the mountains of NC would be just fine!

“Brevity is the soul of lingerie.” ~ Dorothy Parker Do you like to wear sexy lingerie? Nah, I won’t spent the money on any that fits real well. And there have been no complaints.

Posted in General | 2 Comments

Isn’t it funny…

Isn’t it funny how you don’t know the surge protector doesn’t work until you have a surge?

Isn’t it funny when your surge protector doesn’t work on the laptop with no battery?

The good news is that I have become a frequent saver so nothing was lost (or I’ve forgotten what it was) so it is, almost, funny.

Posted in General | Comments Off on Isn’t it funny…

Prayer Request

Dad’s back in the hospital. The lung cancer from 2 years ago came back in the same spot, smaller this time. They removed it this week and now he’s recovering. Then they’ll discuss radiation or chemo. Last time he said he’d never do that again. It’s likely he’ll stick with that decision. Today he had trouble coughing up the mucus so it was blocking an airway and he wasn’t getting as much oxygen. They moved him to ICU but he could get upgraded back out of ICU tomorrow.

Posted in Family | Comments Off on Prayer Request

End 08 Great – Fixin’ Our Finances

Now, for this month’s challenge!

Here’s my post about what I want to try to do this month.

I already provided a breakdown of how much money we spent on food (restaurant, grocery, personal coffee/snacks/lunch) in July and August (way too much). This gave dh an idea of why he should brown-bag it to work more often and cut back on his sodas. We probably ought to also look at planning our meals more. Especially now that the dear nephew needs lunch each day.

I started looking at getting additional life insurance for dh, we need to finish that this month.

We need to update the executor of our estate and revisit that. Probably useful to combine that with the life insurance.

We use Quicken so basic stuff is organized.

I’m through buying curriculum so that sucking sound is gone for now.

The challenge is on. I’ll think of more things and report on progress during the month.

Posted in End 08 Great, Home | 1 Comment

End 08 Great – Face Time with the Kids

Here is the August entry

August was the month the nephew came back so this was easy!

Connor came back on Saturday August 23rd. He spent the night with Anthony at the Clash of the Clergy where our pastor and others were racing. We started home school the next Monday and spent time together shopping that night. The next weekend was Labor Day weekend. His brother came up and we spent Friday night at GameStop where he picked out his birthday gift. Then we spent Saturday around the house so he could play his new game. Then we had dinner with friends (for all ages) Saturday night and went to an indoor pool for a few hours on Monday. Plus, Monday was Connor’s 14th birthday. We went out for lunch after the pool and then met up with their dad for dinner at his choice of restaurant (Hooter’s).

All told, it was a great weekend. This weekend would have been another opportunity with the Roman Army Festival. But Hurricane Hannah threatened and the Festival was cancelled. So, he’ll go spend the weekend with his dad and brothers – which is even better.

Some suggestions from the Challenge post:

Here are some fun ideas to get you started:

  • Take the afternoon off with your children. Begin with a picnic lunch, either at a park or just in your backyard. Then spend some time lying on the picnic blanket watching clouds, telling stories, or reading books out loud.
  • Build something with your children. Maybe a sand castle, an outdoor fort or even an indoor tent. When the building process is over, keep playing with them.
  • Let the children see you throw away your to-do list for the day. Then, turn to them and say, “I don’t want to work today. What do you want to do instead?” Then, try to be accommodating, within reason of course.
  • Do something to make your kids feel extra special. Spell out their name in pancake batter, cut their sandwiches into fun shapes, let them stay up a little later and do something fun with mom or dad.
  • Take your children on a one on one “date.” This could be something as simple as a trip alone to the library with mom, or a $1 ice cream at McDonalds.
  • Have a family slumber party. Bring out the sleeping bags and smores and camp out in the living room for a night of flashlight fun.
  • And there were lots of links for inspiration in Joy’s Super Surfing Saturday post this week too.
Posted in End 08 Great, Family | 1 Comment

End 08 Great – Conquer the Clutter

I came across Happy To Be At Home and they are having a great second half of 2008 challenge.

July was Conquer the Clutter

I’ll take credit for my work in June to clean out the nephew’s room after he went home for the summer. I took a large trash bag up there, threw out or gave away trash and toys. I also took the storage containers out of his room (fewer hiding places). Then this past weekend we also had him empty the boxes out of the closet to that room into the quiet room. That’s a lot of clutter conquering. (We won’t talk about the quiet room.) I tend to conquer clutter once a month in the main living areas. It’s those rooms with closed doors that get out of control.

Posted in End 08 Great | 1 Comment

BFS Assignment #100

Memory Verse: Ephesians 4:19 KJV
Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

I’m enrolled in BFS. I’ve already blogged about much of what is in the first assignment.

I’ve just started homeschooling so I don’t have much experience to pull from. I do know that I’m still working to find the balance between what I need to walk him through and what he can do on his own. Yesterday I sat here wondering if I could do this or if it was a mistake. That little pity party didn’t last long. As I’ve said before, this isn’t more work than slogging through his homework only to find out he didn’t bother to hand it in. At least this way I know what he’s doing and we are getting some real good time together. I just need to remember that I’m not in this alone and I know I can’t do this on my own. I have some good friends I can turn to for perspective and help. And I’m finding a whole world of homeschoolers on the web with advice and encouragement as well.

I love the feeling of starting something new and the limitless possibilities and potential. Connor may not feel that, but then again he might. I know this is what I’m called to do. And God is good, all the time.

My Scripture for this post: Psalm 73:25-26

Whom have I in heaven but you?

And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.

My flesh and my heart may fail,

but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Posted in BFS, Home School | 1 Comment